Fashion - Beauty - Mum Life

Monday, 10 July 2017

St Tropez - Self Tan Express Bronzing Facial Sheet Mask / Try on / Review / First impressions

I am a bit of a fan of sheet masks, I make no secret of this, in fact I often make an idiot of myself by applying this on Insta stories and make stupid faces whilst wearing it. Sorry I just can't help myself. (see vid below)

I am also partial to a bit of fake tan too, the subtle/take the edge off/give a bit of a glow type. I can't do full on tan, it doesn't suit me, plus I am not the best applicator (think tiger stripes)

So when I saw that St Tropez had launched a new sheet mask embedded with tanning agent, I was sold, I hot footed it down to boots and popped one in my basket (along with the one hour tan which was equally as intriguing, but I will save that for another post)

I paid £15.00 for the Self Tan Express Face Sheet (pack of 2) as part of a buy one get one half price offer across the St Tropez range here . I later found them on Beauty Bay that sells them singularly for £4.99 here

I will have to say from the start I am not sure how I felt about this mask, the idea in principle was fantastic, but then the fears of an orange mask left on my face was strong. The fear wasn't enough to put me off though, so after a previous evening of exfoliating/moisturising, I was ready to give it a try. 

The strength of colour you want is up to you, leaving it on for 5 mins for a light shade, 10 for a medium and 15 for dark. To test it out for the first time, I went middle of the range and opted for 10 mins to see what finish I get, a bit scary on my pale skin. 

Like other sheet masks, you unfold and peel away the protective film and apply to your face, smoothing it out as much as possible before leaving it to do it's magic (and wash your hands of course)

Whats the blurb? well it is supposed to give you flawless tan after 8 hours, with no tan lines and it also has hyaluranic acid in it to help with hydration to add to the dewy finish. 
After the 10 minutes, I peeled off the mask and massaged the residue into my hairline, around the eyes and down the neck as directed, which I guess means you will not get the dreaded tan lines. I applied this of an evening, went to bed and got up in the morning to discover.....

It had worked, nicely! an even tan, no patchiness and actually a nice colour. I will be honest I was expecting more of an orange hue, but I was pleasantly surprised. I did not have any tan lines where the mask ended, it was all even - I am not sure if that was down to the mask or the fact that I gave a thorough massage afterward, either way there were no tan lines.
It also left my skin fresh and plump, with no pesky breakouts, always a concern when trying something new on blemish prone skin.

Over all I am pleased with the results it gave, would I buy them again? yes and no, yes because they work well, but from a cost point of view it would not replace my current method of adding some Clarin's tanning drops to my moisturiser. This is more of a treat mask for a special occasion rather than for regular use.

If you fancy watching me try out this mask, I filmed a review which you can see below:


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Suck it in! - Wearing a summer dress - Shapeez

"The joy of dressing is an art."
John Galliano

I think we can safely say that it is dress season, OK I've said it now! (cue the pouring rain) well at least we get intermittent sun which, in my eyes, calls for summer dress wearing.

There's so many that I have my eye on at the moment, too many to be precise, but sometimes I will take a look at one and immediately think - I love it but its not for me. Why is that? what I really mean is, I love it but my mum tum will be shown in all its glory in that one - NEXT!

Recently I have been trying a different approach, instead of instantly dismissing something I will at least try and if it doesn't work then take it back - that's what a receipt is for right? The key here is to try it on with different underwear options because it really does make such a difference.
For all of the ladies we look at and admire in their fitted dresses, I can guarantee decent underwear is a key player in the overall look.

For me, I have two main go to underwear items when I am wearing something fitted and they both SUCK IT IN. I do actually refer to them as suck it in pants, even though they are more like suck it in suits covering boobs down to the thighs.

The first one is a pair of M&S undies, these are the tighter of the two, borderline can't breathe but it does a really good job of holding it all in! one I keep for event type dresses (left in pic below)
The other is a bit more comfortable to wear, I was recently kindly sent a Shapeez to try - these give more of a slimline fit to smooth out the silhouette, but I can still move freely (and eat) in these. The main selling point here is that it creates a smooth back silhouette (right in pic below) you can take a look at their site here

They are by no means an alternative for the gym, I am still working on that one. But it does make me feel a bit more held in place, with no wobbly bits hanging free underneath the dress! nice vision for you there.

The downside to this is (well depending how you look at it) is that I am spending more on dresses, like this Zara number below. I whipped it on and dismissed it as I felt like I had to pull too much on the waist tie. However, trying in on again with the right underwear gave me a bit more space and it felt much more comfortable to wear. I couldn't size up on it because it would then be too big on the shoulder/bust area, the different underwear option worked much better here.


Tuesday, 4 July 2017

June Favourites - The Body Shop Honey Bronze, Skin Defence, Diptyque, Zara skirt and more!

June was a bit of a different month because it was holiday month. I went to Spain (Javea) for a week with the family, it was great! only now it seems like a distant memory.

It did, however, mean that I got to try out a few things that I was saving for holiday. You may or may not know, but I kinda have an interest in skin glowing products (you wouldn't think it to look at me, as soon as I step off the plane my colour goes!) so I got to have a little play around with glow enhancing goodies.

The Body Shop Honey Bronze - Drops of Sun Holiday Glow Creator - £12.00

I bought this as part of a three for two offer, this one being the cheapest out of the three so it was the free item. The tan coloured drops can be added to foundation or moisturiser to add a bit more colour to the skin. I like to add it to the Giorgio Armani Power Fabric foundation to tint it slightly, especially whilst I was on holiday, and it didn't affect the consistency at all. I also put a few drops into sun cream, again to add a bit more colour which I found worked quite well. I assume you could use it neat, I have not tried this, but it depends on how dark you want to go! I find the dropper application quite handy, and personally I think this is the best way to dispense this type of product. This doesn't contain any tanning agent, it is just makeup to add a tint to your current routine. Link here

The Body Shop - Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist - £16.00

Whilst in the Body Shop I also spotted the glow mist for legs, again this is just make up that you spray onto the legs to add a bit of colour. This is essentially the same thing as the droppers but it is a lighter texture which glides easily straight onto the skin. I actually used this on my arms too (and anywhere else that needed it) just to add the same colour, no reason why not! I haven't tried it on my face though, I think I will stick to the drops for that one. Personally I like to spray it onto my hand first and apply it that way, I feel like I get better coverage. Link here

The Body Shop - Skin Defence - Multi-Protection Essence - £16.00

This was the reason I went into The Body Shop in the first place (typical me buying more than I went in for!) I needed a facial SPF for holiday, a task I never like. every SPF I have tried in the past has been, heavy, greasy, pore clogging. This however absorbs like a dream, leaving no residue and caused no break outs. I really do love this! It's become part of my morning routine and I will be repurchasing it! I have written a post on it, you can find it here

Diptyque Roses candle - £24.00

I find Diptyque candles a bit hit and miss, and actually sometimes I'm a little disappointed. But this time it was different, and in comes the Rose scented candle. Normally, I am not one for rose scented items, just a bit too floral if you get what I mean. This one however is strong yet not over powering, it fills a room but its not over the top. I actually find it a very relaxing scent, and compared to the lavender one (which is my go to relaxing scent) I think I actually prefer this at the mo. It doesn't quite match my love for Jo Malone candles, but its still a winner. Link here

The Life Changing Art of Not Giving a F*ck - By Sarah Knight - £9.09 (Amazon Prime)

This was my holiday read, quite funny to see the looks I got when I told people what I was reading! but you know what? I don't give a f*ck! ha! applying it already! in a nutshell, this book reminds you that there are only a certain amount of things you can worry/care about, pick those things wisely, and the rest of it? well who cares! I have written a review which you can find here

Victoria Beckham Morning Aura Illuminating Creme - £68.00

OK so you know that glow I go on about? look no further because this cream does the trick. I am not talking about tanning, I am talking about an actual glow. This is a part moisturiser/part primer, which means you can wear it either on its own or underneath foundation. I like to wear it both ways, I particularly liked it on holiday when I wanted to wear minimal makeup but still have a nice glow. It is a bit pricey I know, but you won't regret paying the price (well I don't anyway) because it does exactly what it says. Link here

Zara Pleated Midi Skirt - down to £25.99

In case you didn't know, the Zara sale is on (but I bet you already knew that!) so naturally, I went online as soon as the sale went live and filled my basket in a frenzy. Once I had calmed down, I halved my basket, went in for browse round 2, and came across this beaut. Now if you are a bit hippy like me, you will know that some pleated skirts can enhance the hip area. I find that they can balloon out a bit and make me look even wider. This one however, hangs beautifully! the length is just right and the colour is gorgeous, so much nicer once I had received it. I feel this item will be worn a lot over the next few months! link here

That's it for this month, if you fancy watching the vid in relation to this post you can find it below:


Sunday, 2 July 2017

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo - Review & Applying The Magic

"Housework can't kill you, but why take a chance?"
Phyllis Diller

I'm not what you would describe as the most tidy person, I promise I do try, but I'm not by any means a natural. Use something and then put it back - yes that is logic, I get that. The reality? use it, put it down for a second, then just like that its existence has been erased from my memory, even though it is still sat directly in front of me. That is until I enter a room and can barely walk in because of all the non-put back stuff. Sometimes I feel like Dory from Finding Nemo, always forgetful when it comes to returning things to their home, but at least I can remember 42, Wallaby Way, Sydney.

Now you wouldn't believe me if you entered my house, but I don't actually like clutter, in fact I detest it. Yet I am a firm believer in "A tidy house, a tidy mind" - hence why my mind currently represents a NEXT sale (don't even get me started on the folded T-shirt piles in Primark - anyone who has the patience for that job is a saint)

So now that I have pointed out that 1) I am crap at tidying and 2) I hate mess, what exactly am I going to do about it? the same as every problem - read a self-help book and hope that the problem sorts itself out.

The book of choice? Marie Kondo - The Life Changing Magic of tidying - a book that was mentioned in The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck that I recently read. Anything with life-changing in the title and I'm sold!
Now I am actually listening to the e-book, mainly because I want to use my spare time wisely (on Instagram) so I listen to this WHILST tidying - get me multitasking. One thing is for sure, if you listen to something about tidying, whilst tidying, the likelihood of actually tidying is high. Try listening to it whilst sat eating cake - it doesn't work. Cake with bake off on the TV however - a different story.

So I am going to break this down into a few posts because I have not finished listening to the book yet, just hang a work in progress sign over your screen.

This is what I have learnt so far and how I have/am going to apply it:

- Make tidying an event 

 Y'know, get all excited about it. Instead of saying - "Woo Hoo it's Friday!" it should be "Woo Hoo it's the day I get to clean out my drawers!" excited yet? OK, then you need to think of it as a life changing event, after this mega clear out you will never have to do it again and will have mental clarity (her words, don't shoot the messenger). Clearly, Marie has never been into a pound shop because the amount of tat I accumulate from there means more than a one off blitz. ("But it's two for a pound, I only need one, but I get TWO! who's really winning here Marie?")
Joking aside, I am actually a bit excited about sorting out my socks (still don't get out much) it needs to be done and I do think the mental fog will clear a but if I sorted out my tat.

- Do it in one hit 

Don't think you can get away with saying "I will do a little a day" nope, doesn't work here. Blitz the muther, get rid, get it gone. Now it would be hard to get it all done in one day, but make sure you pick regular chunks of time to devote to decluttering.

- Does it spark joy?

Now here comes the tough bit, what do you actually discard? It is so easy to keep hold of things "Just in case" or "Maybe I would wear it again" etc. So the answer here it to hold each item and ask "Does it spark joy?" If you clutch hold of wet look leopard print leggings (still with the tag on) and they spark joy then keep them. However if you think "I might slim into them one day/they might come back into fashion/they are brand new/what the hell was I thinking" well, that's not joy is it - get rid. Be ruthless.

- Don't palm it off onto family

Apparently this is a no no, because you are just passing the burden. This is true, I know this too well because my mum does this to me almost daily. The majority of stuff I need to get rid of is actually her hand me downs. So she is not exempt from my decluttering - in fact this morning I handed over three candle holders she had passed to me, and said "these will look nice in your living room" With that I turned and ran before she could respond. Watch out - a box of junk is coming to a door step near you soon! (in my mind this also ticks the box of a random act of kindness too)

I have paused the audio at the art of folding, as a draw stuffer, this is all way too much information to take in in one hit. I am going to start by decluttering and then I will be back with my roll/fold techniques.

Bin bags at the ready, route to the charity shop planned, people lined up for "gifts" I am ready for mental clarity.



Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Body Shop - Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF50 Review

When you think of an SPF what's your first thoughts? for me it is thick, white, greasy cream. In fact, it immediately brings back memories of childhood slatherings, of what could only be compared to lard. Seeing as the sun is starting to make the odd appearance (and also a recent holiday) meant I had to dig out the sun cream to make sure we were all protected against the rays. Generally, I only used to consider sun cream when it was hot and when the sun is fully out, but as the aging process is starting to take its toll, it's time to reconsider my spf habits.

As an oily skin sufferer, I really didn't want to add a greasy cream into my routine, that would cause a whole host of problems that I cannot be dealing with. Spots or sun damage? that's the toss up here, as in my experience using sun protection on my face ended up in break outs.

However, seeing as I had avoided facial SPF's for a while, it was time for me to see what was on the market and if things had moved on to more of a lightweight texture.

So, whilst in The Body Shop I came across the Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence, saw it was suitable for all skin types, had a quick swatch and thought I might as well start there. It is £16.00 for 40ml, but I bought this as part of the 3 for 2 offer with two make up items so that brought the cost down.

The texture of this cream is perfect, nothing like the horrors of the past of thick sun block, oh no! It comes out of the tube as a light cream, but then it turns into a really light milky texture that is quickly absorbed into the skin. Really easy to apply and it sinks in super fast, already onto a win here.

It does not leave a greasy residue, it just leaves my skin feeling smooth and prepped for the day. I actually add a few drops of Clarin's Radiance-plus golden Glow Booster drops (review vid here) for an extra glow and it blends in to the cream nicely.

What are the skin benefits?
- UVA protection - to protect against deep ray penetration
- UVB protection - SPF50 - to protect against redness and damage to the skin surface
- Contains red algae extract and vitamin C to brighten

Overall, the texture is fabulous - sinking straight into the skin with its lightweight texture. It caused no breakouts and left my skin feeling fresh and brightened. I also experienced no redness at all whilst using it in the sun, even on holiday in the intense Spanish heat, my face was protected.

This has changed my opinion of facial spf's and I now use this every morning, I think I may be repurchasing this one!

You can buy one here


Monday, 26 June 2017

Just another moody Monday - The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck By Sarah Knight - Review

I am back with another moody Monday post - which is essentially posts on how I am feeling on the day of writing. I am a big fan of personal development books, anything to help with the daily mental mind games I play with myself is welcomed. So I thought I would start writing about the books I have been reading, what I have learnt from them and how I can implement them into my life. The plan then, once I have reached enlightenment, is to collate everything I have discovered and write a multi-million, Times best seller, No1. book. Until that point, I will continue to write about it on my blog.

So I thought I would start with my holiday read - The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight. What really drew my attention to this book is the work f*ck in the title, (sorry I am not fully at the no f*cks given stage to actually type out the full spelling of the word, just in case I get told off by "them")

I feel that adding the occasional swear word in really gives emphasis to how you are feeling. I will give you an example, when I asked my husband to catch a spider that was on the ceiling above the bed we were in, I could've said:

"Don't let that spider drop when you try to catch it!"

What I actually said was:

"Don't let that f*cker drop!"

You see, the use of the swear word emphasised that I would be really unhappy if that f*cker did indeed drop onto the bed. Hubby then knew it was very important to catch it.
The use of the swear word worked - the spider was successfully caught, and kindly freed out of the window (aka released out of the window to its plunging death)

So when this book talks about not giving a f*ck, it pleased me immediately, kinda fitting for my current mood of letting it go.

Overview of what it's about

There's only a certain number of things you can care about, the alternative is to be consumed by things that don't really matter yet we hold onto them. This book goes through examples of the things that we currently give a f*ck about (good and bad) and then sort it out into categories of things you actually do care about and things you really don't. The NotSorry method, is then applied to all the things that you do not care about - I do not care about X, I choose not spend time on it and I am not sorry about it.

Best bits for me

- Feelings Vs. Opinions

This I really like, and I have started using it a lot. When you decide not to give a f*ck about something, but then you think it would give a conflicting response from someone, think this - is the conflict through a difference of opinion or because you could potentially hurt their feelings?
If it is because you may hurt their feelings then that is something you should give a f*ck about and be a bit more cautious with your approach. If on the other hand it is due to a difference of opinion, then hey, who cares! everyone has an opinion and they are not always the same.

How I used it this morning -

"I might not wear that bright red lipstick because of what people will think  (the school run trollop)"

- Actually, if me wearing red lipstick causes conflict that's only because of a difference in opinion, I like red lips, they don't, that's not causing offense (well it could potentially depending on the application) therefore in this instance, no f*cks should be given and the lipstick shall be worn.

I find this thought process really useful when I stupidly worry about what other people would think about a situation. Most of the time, the possible conflict of an upcoming situation is just a difference of opinion. And if there is a possibility of offending? Just be really polite with your thanks but no thanks response.

- Spending my f*cks wisely

Having a f*ck budget makes you really careful about how you spend them. If you only allow yourself a certain amount of things to put your energy into, it makes you so much more productive and ultimately happier.

Is this book for you?

If you find yourself being very apologetic, trying to please people and spending too much time on things that do not really make you happy then this book could have a few nuggets of wisdom for you. It is written with humour and swearing which personally I love (she's talking my language) it's relateable and most importantly makes you more conscious of what exactly it is you are spending your energy on.


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Summer beauty picks

If you read my post on packing for Spain you may be wondering where all the beauty items are, well you know me, I built up quite a stash! So I picked out a few new bits that I have been looking forward to trying.

I love summer beauty, the bronze/glow, the coconut "holiday" inspired scents, the bright pops of colour on lips and nails - whats not to love?

With out further a do, here are my holiday picks

Nuxe Sun Delicious Fragrant Water £26.00

Summer in a bottle? yeah kinda, sorry, but that is how I would describe it. Having said that, its not too "summer holiday" y'know like the scents that are borderline sun cream? no, its not one of them. The main players are sweet orange and petitgrain, which is backed up with coconut, tiare flower, vanilla and musk. A blend which I find perfect for both day and night whilst in a warm climate. I have never been disappointed with Nuxe (in fact my fave all time body cleanser is from Nuxe) and this fragrance carries through my love for the brand. The only down side is that it is a bit heafty for travel, plus it's a glass bottle, but it will be the only one you need! I bought mine from M&S, link here

Body Shop Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist - £16.00

A wash off tan for legs, which actually I use on my arms too (and anywhere else that needs it!) good for a last minute "oh no I need to get my legs out but for got to tan" moment, plus it washes off if you make any mistakes! I like this to fill in any streaky/white patches - the aftermath of a tanning session that didn't go as planned. It's enough to take the edge off, but not too dark at the same time. Its a matte finish, which I prefer, because you then have the option to add shimmer if you want too!

Body Shop Honey Bronze Drops of Sun Holiday Glow Creator - £12.00

I kinda have a bad habit of sticking to one shade of foundation, come rain or shine, its always pale. Which is fine for most of the year, but for the warmer months I need to turn up the saturation to match the rest of me. Instead of buying another shade, I usually just add bronzer over the top and hope for the best. Not this year, I have got savvy and bought the Drops of Sun from The Body Shop. This vial contains a tan coloured liquid that you add to your current foundation to make it darker. I have been adding this to my Giorgio Armarni Power Fabric foundation which works well to change the shade, just enough to make a difference. Less is more, start with one drop and see how you go!

The Body Shop - Skin Defence Multi Protection Essense - SPF 50 - £16.00

I have recently been reflecting on my past skin care, and have wondered why I didn't start certain things earlier - like eye cream for example. The same goes for SPF, I used to just slap on a bit of factor 15 that was on my hands, left over from applying to the rest of my body. Now I need to up my game, because it really is so important to look after your skin! so this time I have gone for Factor 50 Skin Defecnce from The Body Shop - a broad spectrum UVA/UVB. I am actually quite suprised how light weight this cream is, no greasiness and absorbs quickly into the skin! so far, no effects on my spot prone skin!

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil - £19.00

I have read the hype about these in the past, so this year I decided to try it and opted for one of the new shades - tangerine. These are tinted lip glosses which nourish the lips, leaving them nice and smooth. From the swatches I did in store (and from what the sales assistant said) there is not too much difference in colour when they are on the lips and to go for a smell preference! This one doesn't smell like tangerine to me, more like strawberry hubba bubba! but it does give an orange tint to the lips which I quite like for summer.


Friday, 2 June 2017

Packing outfits for a summer holiday

"I'm going on a trip and need 4 outfits, I've packed 35 just to be safe."

The normal statement that most people make when it comes to packing for holiday is "I hate packing" do I agree with this? nope, and let me tell you why.

First of all, I love planning outfits, collecting all the holiday paraphernalia, and generally building the holiday hype. Second, I am not allowed to pack the suitcases, this is strictly my husband's job which he will not let me touch. As a regular traveller, he has a particular routine that I am not allowed to interfere with. Fine by me. Fold or roll? don't have a clue, ask the husband,

So that just leaves me to get my summer gear out and plan what exactly I need to take with me. Most holidays, I totally over do it, well and truly embracing "just in case" this time however, I feel like I have streamlined my selection.

What do I plan to take? let's have a nosey


I am only taking two pairs - two flat pairs that is, no heels. I always pack a pair or two of heels but never end up wearing them and instead stick with a sandal. So this time I am only taking a pair of open toed sandals and a pair of espadrilles. 
For sandals, I am taking these Dune ones from last year (which I actually found in TKmaxx) and the espadrilles from Gucci - which I think would be good for travel too.


Two dresses, one long and blue, one short and red! both floaty and perfect for the heat. I love both of these dresses and I will more than likely end up wearing them a lot. I am yet to wear the blue (Zara) as I have saved it for holiday, the red however (H&M) have already had a few outings. 


Six tops, a mixture of patterned statement tops and plain to match up with other items. I normally over do the tops so I feel I have done pretty well here! I particularly like the H&M pineapple tee and the plain blue Primark top.


Every year I bring out these white Karen Millen shorts - a standard summer pair that comes out every year! then of course a pair of denim shorts which will be easy to put on over a cozzi. I bought a new pair too, a bright stripey knitted pair which I loved when I saw them online - when they arrived however, I had a mini panic attack about the size. Look how small they are! luckily they stretch - a lot.

Travel outfits

A pair of comfy bottoms is definitely needed for travel! especially as we are leaving early in the morning. I have a pair of M&S linen mix trousers which do the job nicely! I am going to pair that with a tee, denim jacket and my Gucci espadrilles. For the return. I have a maxi dress from Oasis (last year) again with a denim jacket and Gucci's - comfort is King.

Skirts & Trousers

One white skirt from Hush, quite a versatile piece which can be dressed up or down - and the silver trousers! which I am yet to wear but I can't wait to pair them with some brights! Being a tad on the short side, these need taking up, a lot (rolls eyes)


This is my downfall, my jewellery bag tends to get a bit on the heavy side. So much so that I usually have to end up taking it in my hand luggage in fear of us tipping the scales. Here is a selection of what I will be taking, but actually I am not going to add too much more. Statement earrings are where its at for me this year, I may add in the odd statement necklace too. One of my faves is the red tassel pair from H&M, but I am also looking forward to wearing the long gold chain - which I think will look good with swimwear. 

Then of course I need some sunnies (well I bloody hope so!) and also my usual summer floppy hat, although it's gone a bit too floppy. I have a pina colada hazed memory of it ending up in the pool last time and then being left on the side to air like a sun dried tomato. So I may need to make an emergency hat purchase, or just wait and buy a special Spanish one, what do you reckon?


Just two bags, OK that's a lie, there is also a beach bag or two - but they don't count because they will end up being baby bags, husband bags, anyone who has loose stuff and wants to shove it somewhere bags. This post is about outfits, so I will stick to the two that are just for me. First of all, this pink raffia bag with bamboo handles that I got in a charity shop for three quid! I was so happy when I found this gem. On the other end of the scale, I am taking my Chanel WOC, y'know for those special nights out. For my carry on, I think it is going to be the Louis Vuitton Neverfull, simply because it is so easy to chuck everything in (and like I said above it will be everyone's stuff!) 

Beach wear

I bought a few new bits this year, mainly because I threw out all my bikinis in a huff post baby. I saw this black cozzi (above) in H&M, tried it on and thought "I don't look too horrendous so that's the one." Combine that with a long black cover up and I am well sorted for beach "I'm allergic to sand" hiding. Having said that, the cover up is actually nice and floaty, can be dressed up a bit, plus it will go with anything.

Did I do well for a week in Spain? I think so, defo have room for the emergency last minute pair of platforms..... Where's the beauty goodies I hear you ask? well that's a whole other case, a whole other post. 


Monday, 29 May 2017

Just another moody Monday - In it to win it - Estee Lauder Morning Aura 1 min review

"Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I never win anything. Not a giveaway, not a sausage, nada. Not even a free bag of fries on a Maccy d's token, (I have 20 Piccadilly's already thanks) what's the point in the lotto daydream if I'm just not a lucky type. Y'know the ones, they win everything, they hog everything.

When I came across a competition on a beauty website to become "the next top vlogger" I immediately thought, that looks interesting (then scrolls on) I'm too old, there will be lots of young pretty girls entering, plus my skin isn't great, really I am sure that I am not what they are looking for. Then I had the pang (no not my pants elastic on this occasion) the live in the moment pang. Why wouldn't I enter? I would love to win, talking about makeup in front of a camera? love it! it could open up many doors of opportunity, plus it's a good excuse to buy a few new outfits #anyopportunity

But thinking about it rationally, why would they want a 32-year-old saggy, boring, frumpmiester of a mum flogging their beauty goods? then the higher self came into play and whispered:

 "You never know unless you try Kim" 

hhhmmmm maybe, just maybe, a frumptastic mum is just what they are looking for? y'know like a "Wow what a turn around after using our products" type project. Then the higher self spoke again:

 "Your'e not a frump, I think you could nail it"  

Even if I fitted the bill perfectly, what are the odds? with so many entrants it would be unlikely anyway, best stick to not trying - I know the outcome of that, there is no disappointment that way. And maybe that is what puts me off of trying, setting myself up for the disappointment of "Thanks but no thanks."

Then I realised that I had not put myself forward for much in the way of competitions, maybe the odd thing here and there, but really not enough to call it trying. It's a numbers game, the more you enter the more likely you are to win, fact. Thinking back, I have only entered one giveaway in recent months, had two Mcdonald's, and I can't even remember the last time I played the lotto. The moral of the story here is to eat more Mcdonald's and gamble #themoralmademedoit

Maybe this is my thing, a professional competition entrant, like a coupon-er. Nah, I don't have time for that, I just prefer the opportunities to come knocking at my door instead, because that's how it works right? wrong, if I want it I have to be in it to win it.

So I have decided that I am going to enter the competition, I am just saying now that I am pretty sure I am not going to be considered for boot camp - I know I am supposed to be all positive and put it out there to the universe and all, but I am also a realist.

I am going to enter so that:

1) The higher self can't throw it in my face for not trying
2) To add another number in the numbers game pot, meaning it is more likely I will win something soon
3) Because I can't not enter it now that I have written a post about being in it to win it.

This is where the mental battle comes into play. Part of me assumes I will not be considered (self defence mechanism) the other part is up for it and positive. If I take the first stance, am I already on the back foot? adopting a "I'm not that bothered" attitude? If I am entering, I obviously want it so why not put it out to the universe that actually, I want it and I am bothered. The tricky part is dealing with the outcome, dealing with the possible disappointment, but like the higher self said, I have to try.

So here is my entry, a 1 minute review of Victoria Beckham's Morning Aura creme. Like it, love it, share it, make me Britain and Ireland's next top model  the next top vlogger. Otherwise I will keep on entering competitions and you will never hear the end of it with constant - vote for me pleas, lets just get the win out the way now. (Although I don't actually need votes, just some lucky dust will do nicely)

This week - vlog winner, next week -  a five star holiday. POW!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

May Favourites - Nip & fab, Adidas, PS Pure Glow, M&S and more!

It's come around again! favourites time! here are the items I have enjoyed using this month.

PS Pure Glow Highlighting palette £4.00

I have had my eye on the Anastasia palettes for a while now, I constantly come across them as one of the must try highlighting palettes. I was on the verge of buying, but decided that I did not want to spend £39-44 on something that I feel I wouldn't use a lot and also quite sparingly too. So when I saw the obvious dupe in Primark I knew this was my que from the universe to try. There are four gorgeous colours, a white (desert) pink (Eden) a light beige/gold (glimmer) and a coppery/gold (firefly)
They all look lovely on the skin, Eden and Glimmer being my favourites, but all work well on my fair skin tone and not too strong either. The strongest colour is firefly, I don't have to use much of that to get a glow, and the white is quite bright too - so I personally like the two that sit in the middle. I am also using it on my eyes, brow bone and corners to lighten and open my eyes. The real test will be to see how they wear in the heat, so far they have been fine in the UK weather but lets see what happens in the Spanish heat! (heading there in a few weeks) for £4, its definitely worth a try.

Adidas Trainers

I have been wearing these A LOT this month, it's funny because I never used to be a trainer girl and now I can't stop wearing them. They are so versatile and go with most of my everyday wardrobe. I also find that it dresses down an outfit - in a good way. If I have a new top or pair of trousers that are a tad on the dressy side (Aka not really school run material) then the trainers adds a down to earth balance to the outfit. Adding these to an outfit means that I am actually being a bit more adventurous with other items, for example, the pic below. I bought this gorgeous Hush skirt for summer, I have a few occasions in mind for it. However, when I pair it with trainers, it gives it a much more casual look that I feel more comfortable wearing on a normal day!

Alberto Balsam blends - Colour bright detangler £1

If you have fine hair that tangles easily (waves hand in air) then you should give this spray a try. I picked this up in a pound shop (sorry I can't remember which but Asda has it) for guess how much...£1! it has a subtle fruity/coconut scent, a decent fine spray and it is lightweight but still detangles. I do not have coloured hair so I cannot say if it makes treated hair brighter but it works well to detangle locks. Sometimes I just wash my hair with head and shoulders and then spray this on after - it's a good combo - but you probably need something heavier if you have dry hair.

Nip & Fab - Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme £9.97 from Boots

Last month it was Pixi, this month? Nip and Fab. My mum gave me this pot to try and I have to say that it packs a satisfying punch when it comes to exfoliating. It contains 5% glycolic acid, salicylic and lactic acid which combined gives smooth decongested skin. I use this of an evening (it suggests 2-3 times a week but I use it more like 4-5 which has been fine) the only thing is that the next morning it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun (the same with any acid exfoliator) so that is worth remembering. I do notice a difference on the days I use them compared to the days I do not, defo worth a try.

Marks & Spencers top - £35

This top jumped out at me whilst I was walking through M&S (I was heading for the shoes - I wanted these yellow sandals but decided they were to high) it said take me home, so I did. And we have been happy ever since, I have only worn it a few times but I got many compliments! (I know! but its nice right) and I also have a few outfits planned with this. I particularly like the length of the wide sleeves, and it looks good with statement earrings! of course! link here


I love magazines, and I don't care what they say, a paper copy is far more satisfying than an on screen copy. Nothing beats having a cuppa and a quick flick through the glossy pages.
However the last year or so I have not bought many at all, mainly because I tell my self I do not have time to read them. That is a silly thing to say because I DO have time, I just have to utilize my time more efficiently. This month I have picked up Glamour, Cosmo and Look, and I have actually found some good outfit inspo which I will show on my Insta feed next month. I have also dowloaded the kindle app - I know what I said, BUT I have an Amazon Prime account meaning I get a selection of books and magazines for free since I have downloaded the app - including Vogue, Red, Women's health and others!

Statement earrings

If you missed my post on statement earrings on the high street then you can catch up here. I love a good statement earring, it really can make an outfit! I also recently got my ears pierced again so I now have two at the bottom on each side and one at the top on my right side. My healing time of six weeks is up, TODAY! so as soon as I have finished this post I am going to go and have a play around with some earrings. But for a statement earring, I will have to tone down the other piercings with small studs, somehow a massive tassel earring hanging of the top of my ear doesn't quite give the same look. Below are the earrings that I have bought so far, and of course I have a few others on the radar too. My fave pair being the blue tassel ones from Next - my summer wardrobe has a lot of blue in it so these should be quite versatile.

Cotswolds Gin £35 bought from Daylesford summer festival 

Ever since we were bought a bottle at Christmas we have been hooked on gin. Let me just clarify that statement - we are partial to the odd tipple, not dependant in any way (yet)
We tend to come across Cotswold gin in the local restaurants/bars because that's where we live! and there's also many a tasting room, which we need to utilise. I would also love to do a distillery tour which the Cotswold Gin company hold, I think that could make an interesting day out don't you think? The gin itself is actually lovely on its own, but with fever tree it comes out very grapefruity and refreshing. Oh and did I mention I picked up a few pies too whilst at the festival? pie and gin - bliss!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Eye Cream Review

Tired - yep, "laughter lines" aka crows feet identified - yep, not getting ID'd anymore - yep (well maybe they just recognise me as a regular now?)

My jowls have a large part to play in my resting sag face, the downward trout-esque mouth heading south. That can be easily rectified with effort - pull your face muscles into a smile love.

Eyes however, unless you want to hide behind sunglasses #lifesaver, they are the biggest giveaway to your tired ( just leave me alone, come near me and die) mood.

That along with mum life (I don't have to detail that, we know) and a sluggish "I'm on it tomorrow" diet, all puts its penny's worth in to the creasy corneas (sorry)

The eyes are the windows to the soul, with the purple puffy sacks of doom hanging off the entrance like a funky pair of curtains that the sodding cat has pulled down again.

Now that I have set a wonderful scene, lets introduce the saviour of this situation: Kiehls Midnight Recovery Eye creme. I have to admit, when I walked into Selfridges I was 40% in the market for an eye cream, when I saw the Kiehls stand I was 80% in the market, then when I smelt it? sold.
I think eye creams are one of those products that you start using too late in life, I am only 32 but I feel that I would've benefited by starting in my late 20's. So now that I have many a fine line, it was time to invest in something a bit heavier than just an extra bit of moisturiser. Plus having kids had aged me by 10 years I'm sure #blamethekids

As I mentioned above, the smell is divine, a blend of essential oils including lavender, primrose oil and squalane, makes this a treat to use of an evening. A lightweight cream that I find absorbs well into the fine skin around the eyes and does not irritate at all. It's also paraben, mineral oil and fragrance free (no added fragrance)
 It is very softening and gentle which is ideal for the eye area, I actually use this all over my eyes, including the lids, moisturising all the way up to the eyebrows. Even though I have oily skin, I do not think this is too heavy any didn't cause any breakouts (what's with spots on your brow bone???)

I have noticed a difference since using this, my eyes do not look as tired, they feel more refreshed and also the dark circles are not as dark. It is lightweight but moisturising too, so their is definitely less of a crepey look.

Overall it is a treat to use of an evening and it's still going after weeks of use. even though its a small 15ml tube you do not need much!

I bought this from Selfridges for £26.00 - but you can also buy direct from Kiehls here

Monday, 22 May 2017

Just another moody monday - Excited much?

"Expectation is the root of all heartache."
William Shakespeare

Me - "Only two weeks to go before we are on the beach! I am really looking forward to it, are you excited?"

Dad -  "No"

Me - "Oh, I thought you would be looking forward to it by now!"

Dad - "I live in the moment, I do not think about the past, I do not worry about the future - I will be excited about it when the day comes"

My first thought of this response was " you grump! how can you not be excited about a holiday" wondering now why I invited my parents to come away with us. But then I remember, back up is welcomed when travelling with two little ones and all of a sudden, he is not so much of a grump anymore.

But it got me thinking about his approach on thinking, and actually it's quite guru, well done dad. Never to be one to worry, or show it (he quite possibly is more like a duck on a pond - still on the surface and paddling away underneath) it was refreshing to hear the same approach taken on excitement too. We all know worrying is pointless, has it ever brought about any good? no. It may feel like a safety net, y'know, I have thought about something so much that if it happens I have all outcomes covered. However, if it does or doesn't happen, does worrying about it beforehand actually change anything?

Instead, surely it is positive to focus on good things in the future, a wedding, birthday, Christmas or like me a holiday. Having something positive to focus on is way healthier than creating worrying possibilities in our heads. But by doing this are we missing out? missing out on the everyday things that we really should be enjoying so much more.

An example of this for me is driving, I am usually so focused on getting up and out and to my destination that I do not notice what is going on around me. I am trying to be more aware, and now I look at the beauty of the place I live in as I drive down the country lanes, living in the moment. I know, it sounds hippyish, but don't worry I have not had the desire to pull over and tree hug, yet.

The only thing is, as a thinker, I enjoy getting lost in the day dream of an upcoming event, what I am going to do, wear, see - it's all exciting to plan. The downside to that is it not living up to expectations, sometimes the dressing up and pre-chats/drinks are way more fun than the actual event. And why is that? well the pre-party was living in the moment, the party itself had been analysed for weeks.

I am not saying I'm not going to get excited about future plans, I actually don't have the ability to do that (hence why I have been talking about going on holiday for the past month) but I am going to be more mindful of living in the moment, or at least try. That's until I see a pair of tassel adorned sandals and off I float in my holiday bubble for at least half an hour.

I think this attitude actually fits in well with my new "Don't think, just do" motto, a new twist being "Don't think, just live" yeah I like that, thanks dad.
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