Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The perfect Autumn smokey eye - Dior 5 couleurs eyeshadow palette in Hypnotise

A new season calls for a new eye shadow palette (even though it's still summer but I am now fully embracing autumn) but to be honest I wasn't really looking for a palette of this type, a nude palette was on the agenda. However I came across this beaut while flicking through a magazine and just like that, there was moment of synchronicity. My husband sent me a message as he was in the beauty hall in duty free and asked if there was anything I needed. Can't ignore a universal sign, so it was bought.

Introducing Dior 5 couleurs in Hypnotise, a limited edition palette for A/W 2017 as part of their metallics range. Five shades with a mix of matte and shimmer shades, some with a touch of glitter.

The top two are shimmer shades, a taupe and a gold, middle is a rich copper shade, bottom two browns - one matte with sparkle and the other a matte chocolate. I have to say that I am a little disappointed with the colour pay off with the gold, it is quite sheer and I was expecting a bit more pigmentation. The taupe seems to give a better pay off out of the two shimmer shades.
My favourite shade has to be the copper in the middle, a strong pigment with a beautiful rich shade that is perfect for autumn. The two browns at the bottom give both options of sparkle and matte which opens up more smokey/smudgy eye  looks.

Over all I like the palette and how the shades work together, the sheer/glitter shades look nice built up and also over the top of the darker shades. The only thing I do not like so much is the shade of the gold on its own, as a gold eye lover that is the only thing I would change.
 Although, the sheer sparkly shades over the top of the browns creates a more day to night look (add a bit of this over the top of a brown shade to make it more evening) plus it will carry through to the festive season too.

As a whole, I am enjoying creating chocolatey/copper smudgy eyed with this palette, one I am happy I added to my stash.

(There's two different looks here)

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Day in the life vlog - Work out, Primark shopping and conker hunting

Come work out with me! a vlog of my day including a workout, Primark shopping and conker hunting! If you enjoy it, why not head over to my Youtube channel and have a little watch! x

If the baby allows Youtube channel


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Buys & Tries

When I started writing this post, it was a make up review - it turned into a post about things I have bought recently // things I am trying // things going back - call it my purchase profit and loss. I don't know how it evolved into this subject from an eye shadow but it did and actually I quite like writing it all out to see where I am at with what I am buying. I think it may help me to make better decisions when it comes to the checkout, plus I love reading about other peoples buys so I thought I would post mine too



Dior palette - 5 Couleur palette in Hypnotize - I saw this in a magazine and was taken by the beaut shades in this palette, my kinda colouring and ideal for autumn. A strange coincidence happened, as I was reading the mag my hubby messaged me from an airport saying do I need anything from duty free.....well if there's ever a sign from the universe that is it, I couldn't ignore it now could I? the request was put in and the palette purchase was made!

Gucci lipstick - This was a little cheeky suprise from the hubster, he knows I have a thing for lippy (people collect stamps, I collect lipsticks OK? and a whole loada over shiz but we will gloss over that) I will be honest I was not exactly wowed by the packaging compared to others in the same ball park but the colour is lush!

Brazilian Bum Bum cream - I am on a bit of a health kick at the mo, trying to shift the lingering baby weight and tone up a bit, so now was a good time to give this bum bum cream a go. I tried to buy it when it was first released but I could not get hold of it at the time so kinda forgot about it. But I spotted it in Selfridges and thought now was the time to try it. Its pricey though £18 for this small travel size 75ml tub (that's going to cover 1/4 of a bum cheek) but if it's going to give me a Gisele bum then im in! (I said Gisele not gazelle, which actually is more of a likely outcome) Not going to lie, the name BUM BUM totally lured me in, such a kid.


Leopard print dress
- Bought from a charity shop for £2 (Topshop)
Main thoughts:
1) Someone got rid of this?!?! 2) It was only £2! 3) Its leopard print 4) It will go with my leather jacket and boots nicely 5) Love finding a bargain, makes me feel like i'm winning at life!!! woo hoo

Ballooned sleeve blouse - H&M £24.99- Not a planned purchase
Thoughts :
1) It's got big sleeves which I love 2) Potential dinner dippage but its a dark coloured top so OK 3) It's a loose fit for meh days 4) It doesn't need ironing - the main win here. Tag off - worn it.

White jumper with apple - £17.99 - Not a planned purchase
Thoughts :
1) Its white, risky, is it worth the risk with small humans around? yes it's worth the risk 2) The apple is cute and I can match my red bag to it or lipstick for a pop (yep I'm the sad matchy matchy one) 3) Loose fit 4) Good going into autumn over a dress/with jeans. Tag off - worn it - no stains thus far.

Red Boots - Primark £16.00 - Semi planned purchase (I was looking out for boots)
1) OMG red boots! they will go with a lot of things in my wardrobe 2) Good mum height heel 3) Good for autumn 4) £16! not a lot of thought needed here - bought and worn

Black & multi colour tweed skirt - H&M £19.99 - Not a planned purchase - until I put a changing room pic on instagram and everyone said I should buy it - panic mode purchase
1) A good length, no flashing here! 2) It will look good with boots and my leather jacket 3) the different colours make it more versatile - bought it, not worn yet - had to size up.

Jeans - H&M - Planned purchase
1) a "cropped" leg jean in normal fit = normal length for short legged people 2) Nice relaxed fit 3) Love the light wash 4) Had to size up and it still feels a tad "crotchy" as in, if it was thin material there may be a slight camel toe present, not enough to be uncomfortable though. Tag off - worn them


Yellow cushions from Primark - Planned purchase
1) The rest of my living room is grey, I needed pops of colour - yellow works well 2) I think it will look nice along other "jewel" type colours too 3) £5 each 4) Husband seems to have a cushion phobia but he actually likes these, Tags off (decision made by a child that attacked it and ripped off the label)

Himalayan rock salt candle holder - Bought at a fayre £5 - Planned purchase
1) It's supposed to cleanse the air 2) Helps with mood and sleep 3) Makes me feel well Zen 4) It looks nice 5) If it doesn't work I can always crumble it on my dinner - keep


Hand lettering - Charity shop 70p

This book details ways to write letters and numbers all fancy! A good one, for example, if you are writing wedding invitations etc, or like me you just fancy being creative!
1) I want to learn how to draw/write letters nicely 2) It will look nice in my bullet journal 3) Only 70p so worth a shot 4) A good way to be creative

Trying (Things I have bought that I am not sure about yet / Just trying for fun)

Stripey cropped trousers - Newlook
I bought these on a whim, I didn't plant to buy cropped trousers, I actually wanted full length! I am having a play around but I may return them for what I actually intended to buy...but I do like them....decisions
*Update - I have since decided to keep them*

Jeans - Newlook
I love the frayed bottom, this is why I bought them! but...I don't think I need another pair of skinny jeans, I am actually enjoyed a looser fit at the mo (like the H&M ones above) having a play but I think these will go back (especially because they were £35 from New Look and as a comparison they have the coat below for £35) - * update - I took them back*

Light is the new black - Rebecca Campbell - Amazon
I am trying to read a new self development book at least once a month, I have seen this many times over the last few days so I guess this has to be the one I read next! a tad hippyish - its about "answering your calling so you can light up the world" - LOVE, bought it, it's in the post!


Sunday, 3 September 2017

August favourites - What I loved in August - fashion, beauty, home and books

August - Its been a bit of a funny month weather wise, it appears to becoming a regular thing that the majority of August is pants. Away went the summer dresses and out came some items ready for autumn - but actually I don't mind, I like autumn, no scratch that, I love it. But while we are still in season limbo, there's also a few summer inspired items, starting with...

St Tropez 1 hour tan

I tried the facial sheet mask - you can see it here. But it was only in the last few weeks I have used the body tan. I am always nervous about trying a new tan, especially St Tropez which I have always found to be a bit on the dark side. The idea behind this light mousse is that you apply it and leave it on for 1 hour for a light shade, 2 hours medium, 3 hours dark - a bit like roasting a joint. I opt for rare light, leave it on for an hour and then wash off. The colour is just right for a "tanned" me with no streaking, easy to apply (it is coloured so you can see where it is going) and after an hour your cooked done. Yes it is a bit of a faff waiting an hour semi nude/nudey but it is worth it.

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Core Restore shampoo/conditioner/treatment

Anything that promises to add volume to lank hair I'm there, when my supplies ran low I decided to try something new. The John Frieda range was on a three for two offer in Boots so I went for Luxurious Volume Core Restore shampoo, conditioner and the treatment. As a trio they work really well together, the protein infused formula does as it says by adding volume and strength to the hair. Once I ran out of shampoo and swapped it for the nearest thing in my shower (head and shoulders) it didn't work as well so I would suggest using it as a trio. Shampoo, condition, then put the treatment onto damp hair and blow dry - I use the treatment every time I wash my hair (every day) and it works well. The only thing I was not too keen on at first was the clear conditioner, when you are applying it, it does not feel like your traditional nourishing conditioner. More like a gel that soon disappears into the hair. The results however are good, the lightweight feel of the conditioner does not weigh the hair down yet still conditions the hair well.

Dior 5 Couleurs palette in Hypnotise

Seeing as we are heading into autumn, it was time to have a look at the seasons new eye shadow palettes. To be honest I was after something with a good selection of nudes with the odd brown, but when I saw this palette I was lured in by the shades. A mix of matte and shimmer, there's shades from gold to chocolate which I am a total sucker for. It obviously hasn't scratched my nude palette itch but it does tick the boxes for an A/W palette. This is limited edition for this season so if you fancy it take a look soon.

Coccinelle bucket bag

This has been my go to handbag this month, the red seems to work with a lot of my outfits at the mo and the red adds a nice "pop". It's handy because 1) It's not too big so I am not carrying around the contents of the house with me 2) The top has a wide opening for quick dipping in and out 3) It's cross body which means I have my hands free. I bought mine from Bicester Village last year but there is a very similar one on their website here and its in the sale!

Leather jacket

Well I couldn't not mention this jacket could I! It's been a firm staple in my wardrobe over the past few weeks, thrown over pretty much any outfit I have been wearing. For more info on it check out this post wholly dedicated to this jacket and how I am styling it.

Boho Berry 

Have you dabbled with bullet journalling? up until the past few weeks I hadn't, kind of in an "Ignorance is bliss" sorta way, because I assumed it would make me feel super disorganised. I was actually surprised to find out that it inspired me to get organised and opened my eyes to a whole new way of journalling. If you haven't heard of Boho Berry then take a look at her Youtube channel where you can find everything you need to know about bullet journalling. Love pens? you will be in your element, and you will most definitely be raiding the kids pencil cases after watching a few videos. essentially it is pimping up your to do list to be creative, to reach goals and to shed light on habit patterns that may be working against you. I have already started to prep my September journal, its simple but I have to start somewhere to get into the swing of it, planet organised here I come.



Following on from bullet journalling, I now have a shed load of pens, paper (Que vision of me rolling on the floor throwing pens and paper in the air in stationery bliss) It has also triggered my doodle head. Y'know the extra swirl here, a flower there, then a full on mandala which I was pretty darn chuffed with. I find it quite relaxing to have a little doodle, a good way to switch off from other things that you have on your mind! and if you are bullet journalling, it is a good way to personalise your journal, I find the more personalised it is the more you want to do to stick with your organisation. I found a book in the charity shop that teaches you how to draw letters, quite satisfying to write out fancy letters!


While I was at a comicon with my husband (yes we do that) I came across this guy selling some prints. I have a large wall that is empty and screaming out for art, I have lived here two years and it screams at me daily yet I "Have not got round to it" so now when I see pics I like, I am actually going to buy them, with at least the intention of framing them to put on the wall. So far I have the prints and the frames, yes they are still sat separately on the side but its a start.
The website you can find them on is here he mainly does characters and animals, but I believe he takes commissions to (totally thinking about doing this with a pic of my two dogs Maggie and Moji)

Yellow cushions

I think I may have a thing for this yellow colour that's in the shops at the mo, yellow/mustard/saffron - I am not really to sure what you would call it, but I like it! my living room is very grey so hits of yellow look really nice against the grey back drop. They have a soft/velvety feel so gives a nice cosy vibe too. These cushions were £5 each from Primark,


Sunday, 20 August 2017

Ways to wear / style a leather jacket

Rub your hands together, get them nice and warmed up ready for an applause, because frankly I deserve one. I made an awesome purchase, that actually also needs fanfare and a red carpet, it's THAT GOOD. I am not a stranger to the shopping mall, in fact if there were a members scheme I would have earnt platinum status. This however does not mean I always make the best decisions when buying, I have made many a hormonal purchase that should never be discussed...ever.
This time I actually did good, I added (what I now consider to be) an essential item into my wardrobe. A black leather jacket, one that fits my list of requirements perfectly: short arm length, good body length, classic but not too simple, goes with most of my wardrobe.....

The jacket is from Claudie Pierlot, a brand that I had not looked at before, but one that I would now regularly check in on - the clothes are gorgeous! you can find their items on the website here or in Selfridges. I managed to bag this in the sale almost half price! pretty chuffed that I managed to bag it at the right time. Seeing as it was in the sale, it is not available anymore (sad face) however there are many options on the market at the mo, and some great faux ones too (I feel another blog post coming on)

So here it is:

There is a combination of smooth leather and suede, silver studs and silver hardware. One that I felt I could dress up or down and most importantly it fits nicely. I always find it tricky with arm length on a leather jacket, seeing as you can't roll up leather, the length needs to be just right!

Underneath, I tend to keep it simple with black or white t-shirts/vests - as far as I am concerned it is all about the jacket for the top half so simple is key here (until the colder weather hits and then its blanket scarves ahoy!) The bottom half however - there's so many options! here is how I have been wearing it and also how I plan to wear it in autumn.

Over a dress

A good way to transition from summer to autumn - I like to wear them with boots/tights


I love wearing the jacket with pleated skirts, I think it is a nice combo of feminine and edgy! going into autumn I will pair it with mini skirts/tights/boots like this tweed mini here.

Brights/metallic trousers

I think it works well with blocks of bright colour/metallics - one of my fave combos is the jacket with these silver trousers, I think it compliments the silver hardware well.

Cropped wide leg trousers - I love the casual vibe these trousers give
Velvet skirt - velvet is a must in the colder months in my opinion! I think it compliments the suede pieces well


Then of course there is denim - it goes with pretty much all of my jeans! obviously works well with black but I have been enjoying wearing it with these H&M ripped jeans with trainers or boots. The only problem now is deciding on the handbag!!!

You can find he corresponding YouTube video below where you can see me in "strut your stuff" action - you know you want to, even if it is for a laugh #mumdance. If you head over to YouTube, I have a channel called If The Baby Allows, If you fancy subscribing I would really appreciate it!


Monday, 14 August 2017

Erborian BB Creme / cream Nude review - Korean Skincare

Are you a full coverage kinda gal when it comes to foundation? yeah me too, and to be honest it is a hard habit to break. I like to feel fully masked up when applying make up, y'know - war paint and all that.

I'm actually enjoying wearing make up on most days now, it makes me feel more ready and with it. What I don't like is how much foundation I am using, although I am past the "save it for best" phase, it still grates a little to use expensive high coverage foundation on days where I do not venture out much (or to the wonderful world of soft play - however war paint is definitely needed on that occasion....and gin)
 So I was on the look out for something a bit lighter for the in between days, I still want to feel ready but I do not want to reach to high coverage every time.

While watching a few beauty vlogs I noticed a few had started using Erborian BB cream and were really pleased with the results. Not really being one for BB creams I had not looked at this one before, but thought now was the time to give it a try.

Having only tried Korean sheet masks before, I was actually quite keen to try something else Korean as I hear so many good things about their skincare in general (and would love to have the patience/money to be able to do the recommended 12 step skincare routine promoted by Korean skincare specialists every night)

What's the blurb?

The true secret of the Korean skin perfection: Enriched with SPF 20, BB CRÈME NUDE transforms the appearance of your skin with a velvety, ultra-soft finish. BB CRÈME NUDE is the mid-shade in the BB Cream Collection, and contains an association of traditional herbs, used in traditional Korean skincare.

1. Even out and mattifies the complexion
2. Moisturise and "plump" the skin
3. Refine skin's texture 
4. Reduce the appearance of blemishes.
5. Give a non-oily, velvety finish. Your skin is visibly softer, smooth and beautiful with a silky feel, just like "baby skin".

*blurb from Erborian website 

BB Creme Nude is the shade that I went for - this is the middle of the range colour wise.

There are three other shades Clair (fair) Cream Caramel (deep tan shade) Dore (bronze - shades as described by Erborian) but these three all have Au Ginseng on the packaging where as the Nude doesn't.

The difference between the NUDE and the other three shades with AU GINSENG on the packaging is...nothing. I contacted Erborian to ask what the difference was and they said that all have the ginseng extract in, however the Nude shade is in the old style packaging and it is soon to be updated.

I am quite pale and occasionally uses fake tans  (in a mild/take the edge off kinda way) so the nude works pretty well for me and truth be told, it was the only option in the shop at the time (Selfridges). However, this nude shade is actually considered to be a universal shade as it matches the pigment of your own skin (according to the sales guy in Selfridges) - which from my experience it does really well. I would normally opt for the paler shade but the middle of the range shade (Nude) suits me fine.

So most importantly, is it the 5 in 1 product that it claims to be? in my opinion YES. From first application I was really impressed with how it blurred out the skin and made imperfections a lot less visible, even with my XL pores. It does mattify the complexion but only in a softening kinda way, there is no dry matte finish here (which personally I hate) it has a lovely balance between matte and sheer. Not too dry, not too sheer and as Goldilocks said - its just right.
I think the "sheerness" of BB creams have put me off in the past, being to greasy for my oily skin type, which is why I have stirred clear in the past. However this has now changed my opinion.

I use this with my Nars Soft Matte concealer, I first apply the BB cream all over my face and then add a touch of concealer where I need it. A great alternative to wearing foundation for the days when I am going for the no makeup makeup look (aka just make me look human)

I would consider it to be a mid-high priced BB creme at £15.00 for 15ml, but then if it works well it's worth paying for isn't it! the larger size works out to be better value at £36.00 for 45ml so next time I will go for the larger size. However at the moment, Erborian have a 3 for 2 offer on their 15ml sizes - you can find it here

This has left me feeling quite positive about the Erborian brand and I think I will give some of their skincare a try now too - I have my eye on the Charcoal Black Scrub mask!


Sunday, 6 August 2017

How to make yourself feel better when you are low // fed up // hormonal

"Feelings are just visitors, let them come and go."

You wake up and instantly you know it's one of those days, or the first in a mini series of shitty days. There is no reason for it, not one you can identify anyway - you try to source the problem but actually things are pretty good and really there is no logical reason to feel this way - yet you do. There is a general feeling of being pissed off at everything and nothing at the same time. I have of course analysed this a lot, still with no solid conclusion other than it must be hormone related, it has to be.

So on these days what do I do to make myself feel a bit more with it? read on my friend, read on.

Let yourself feel crap

OK so this might seem a bit counter productive but keep reading and I will tell you why this works. Sometimes, it can take me a good day or two to realise that I am indeed in a shitty mood, when I do finally realise this I surrender to it.

"OK shitty mood you got me, take me, take me now to the depths of darkness"

A bit extreme but essentially you have to admit to yourself that you are not having a good few days, there's no "Put your finger on it problem" So the best thing to do is climb on the saddle and ride the mother. Once you surrender to the bad feelings allowing yourself to wallow in self pity, it actually feels like a weight has been lifted. I am no longer in denial and just riding it out, until it passes, which it will. I allow the crap feelings into my being and accept it for what it is, just a bad head day(s)

Do not try to be positive until you have admitted you feel crappy

Whatever you do, do not try and be all happy/positive to try and lift your mood - it doesn't work. Wow that doesn't sound encouraging does it! Save your positive pants for later, right now you need to embrace the foul mood. I am sure you have tried to lift your own mood before with positive statements etc, if you are like me it actually makes you more angry, here is an example of my thought process trying to be positive:

Positive affirmation: "I am full of joy and love......... I AM TRYING TO FEEL GOOD BUT IT'S NOT F*CKING WORKING! why isn't it working? According to the books it works, that Sarah is always bloody happy, bet she does loads of affirmations and it works great for her, well I am just a failure, like that awful dinner I made for the kids earlier that they hated, I am a crap mum...."


See, positivity doesn't quite work yet, and it even spurs on the mood even more, save it for when you are coming out the other side.

Pass the baton

Try and take it easy, anything that can wait until later, leave it until later. Curl up on the sofa, cuppa in hand, and relax. Sounds heavenly, until the high pitched squeal of baby no2 fills the room. The reality is it can be hard to get chill out time, but where you can just take it easy and look after yourself a bit. I reach out to hubby and family to help with the kids, leave that urgent/not really that urgent errand until later etc. It is OK to get help, you can't do it all all of the time. Of course you do not have to tell everyone that you are not feeling great, that can open up a whole world of questions that quite frankly you can do without ("Are you depressed?") just give the required information for you to be able to pass the baton whilst you sort your head out.

Leave your goals for a while

I am practising the law of attraction at the moment, y'know set your goal, believe it is happening, see it manifesting etc. Now is not the time to practice the law of attraction, you could be doing more harm then good when you are in a bad mood. If you have bad feelings when you are trying to create/work towards your goal, you are just putting it out there that you have bad vibes about your goal (referring to step two trying to be positive - can end up with negative thoughts) take a break from working on your goals and instead work on yourself.

Clean the house

Tidy house tidy mind - FACT, well it is in my opinion anyway. If I have a thorough clean when I am not feeling too good it never fails to lift my spirits, I ALWAYS feel much better once I have a organised/clean house. Hence why my house represents a pit around these wallowing days coming up to the big clean. I feel like the house has a different energy once it has been attacked with the marigolds, out with the old and in with the new. It also gets you a bit more active which leads me on to my next one.....


I know, tell me to sod off right now why don't you. I get it, I struggle to get motivated on these days but it does help. We all know it. Have you ever regretted working out? don't answer that, the question should be, generally on the whole exercising makes you feel better right? the answer is yes.

Talk to your inner child

Pretend your bad head is like a toddler. Toddlers do not yet have the capability to reason with things and they need an adult to break it down to them to explain why something is right/wrong (unless you are in the middle of a supermarket and they kick off big style - just give them the Peppa Pig lolly) So step outside yourself and try to explain to yourself the situation, it goes a little like this:

I feel weird/edgy/angry/general aura of crapdom - I have established there is no reason for this, could be hormones but I don't really know, don't get angry about not knowing the reason because that doesn't change anything, searching for an answer just make it worse. When you are feeling better you can read up on it.
There is nothing wrong with feeling crap - no one is happy 24/7 (if they say they are then they are lying) so why put pressure on yourself to be that non existent person? just accept there are good feeling days and bad feeling days.
You are not weak for surrendering or passing the baton, it actually makes you a stronger person to admit where you are at and to ask for help.
No one has to know anything you don't want them to know!

Sleep it off

9 times out of 10 I will go to sleep feeling meh and waking up feeling a bit better. I am one of those people that can sleep, a lot - don't hate me, it's my thing, one of my strong points as a human being. In fact I am so good at it I could include it on my CV. It is a form of therapy for me, and once I have had a good sleep I always feel a bit more together. Get an early night where you can because I believe it does a lot for your mental wellbeing.

Be more conscious of what goes in your mouth

I am not talking about being a toddler on this occasion (step away from the Liquitabs) I am talking about good old grub. I am not saying to go on a mega health kick, nor am I saying to pig out on cake, I am saying to be more conscious of it. For me it can go either way, I can either be calorie counting too much and need to step back and just relax about things. On the other hand I could be having a binge few days on wine and cake and really need to rein it in a bit. It is all about balance, if it swings more one way than the other it can affect your mental wellbeing. So if you have been denying yourself certain foods because they are seen as "bad" then have that little treat. If you have been over indulging, then maybe its time to step back and go back to basics with good natural food. I swing between both points, I just need to identify which camp I am in at that point and try to get myself back to balance.

Get the positive pants on

Now is the time for positivity, once you have accepted and experienced the crappy-ness, it is time to let it go and move on. Once I have done the above steps I am ready to put a new stance on things, pull myself together (cringe) and get shit done. I get to the point where actually I am getting a bit bored of the woe is me and I am ready to  move on to the next phase. I find positive affirmations to work well, I listen to YouTube videos where they read out affirmations like THIS ONE - try and listen to this and not feel even a tad pumped up, you can't.

I hope these tips have helped! if you have any tips then please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

You can also see the corresponding YouTube video below:


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Evening skincare routine

"I regret taking such good care of my skin."
- Said no one ever 

I've changed things up a bit since the last time I wrote an evening skincare routine post, so I thought it was about time to run through an updated routine. If you fancy watching a YouTube vid on my routine, you can find it in the sidebar and linked below!

First cleanse 

If I've been wearing makeup (which at the moment is most days) then I will do a first cleanse to remove all of the make up. My go to first cleanse at the mo is a toss up between Clinique's Take the Day Off and Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse with Pixi. Both of these are great for removing all traces of make up (even stubborn eye make up) leaving the skin clear of all make up. I apply and massage all over the face and eyes, remove with a flannel, then I am ready for the next step. If you have not used a balm before, you may be a bit concerned with the texture, it feels a bit greasy and possibly worrying for oily skin types - however, there is no need for worry as it attracts all the filth off your skin and once wiped away, leaves the skin feeling smooth and clean. See a review of these here

Clinique Take The Day Off Balm- here  // Pixi Double Cleanse Caroline Hirons - here

Second cleanse 

Once all of the make up has been removed, I second cleanse to clean out pores and remove excess oil. I alternate between something fairly gentle like the Fresh Soy Cleanser and an exfoliator like Formula 10.0.6 One Smooth Operator (that's if I am not using the second step in the Pixi Double Cleanse) The exfoliator is quite abrasive which personally I like, but it is a bit too much for every day use (I tried and I went way too dry) but seeing as I have large pores that tend to hold on to everything, I like to use a regular abrasive scrub. I massage the cleanser all over my face, this time leaving out the eyes, and then remove again with the same flannel. After that my skin is clean and ready to go for the next step.

Fresh Soy Cleanser - here // Formula10.0.6 One Smooth Operator - here

Acid toner

This is one of my favourite steps because I feel it makes such a difference to skin tone. It really does make my skin have more of a glow and it removes the old skin ready to make it more receptive to further products. My ultimate favorite is Lotion P50W by Biologique Recherche, it is the best I have tried and does add the wow factor when you look in the mirror the next morning (review here) It is however a bit on the pricey side at £52.00 a pop, so I am trying a few cheaper alternatives to see if I can find anything else. I am currently using the Nip & Fab Extreme night pads which I am finding quite good, they are pads impregnated with acid to give an acid exfoliation. At £9.95 they have turned out to be a good alternative to P50W (until I inevitably end up buying it again!) I would alternate this with the Formula 10.0.6 exfoliator so that one night I will get a abrasive exfoliation and the next an acid one, the balance between the two seems to work quite well.

Biologique Recherche P50W - Link // Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix Extreme Pads - Link


My usual mask of choice is something clay based to really clean out pores. I have been using the L'oreal Pure Clay Detox mask which I find good for a deep clean without drying, at around £5.00 (usually there's an offer on) its a good staple to have in your bathroom, I also really like the red clay wash in this range too! If I need a hit of hydration then I usually reach for a sheet mask which I find to leave the skin plump and refreshed. My usual choice is the Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb tissue mask - again this is always on offer somewhere and usually cost around £1.99. I was a bit cautious to use this at first because of my oily skin type, but I find it helps to put back the good hydration into the skin leaving it nice and plump/fresh.

L'oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask - Link // Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Tissue mask - Link


After the exfoliation, I would then spray my face with La Roche-Posay Serozinc to give a hit of moisture. It is actually quite a nice refreshing step to have a spritz on super clean skin! as it contains Zinc, It also helps to combat oil and blemishes - win.

La Roche-Posay Serozinc - Link


This is the latest addition to the routine, one inspired by Caroline Hirons/Trinny Woodall. The general advice is that it is a good idea to start using a retinol when you hit your 30's , and with me being 32 I was well into that category. Retinol is a vitamin A that helps with the signs of aging, actively helping to improve the skin, including fine lines and enlarged pores. There are different levels of retinol, I have started with one of the more milder versons with Indeed Labs Retinol Reface Skin Resurfacer Serum. I apply this of an evening a few times a week (again I started out doing more, however that was too much for my skin so took it down a notch) remembering to use a full SPF the morning after as it creates skin sensitivity. I am not too sure what the results are yet as I have only been using it a few weeks, there are definately general improvements but I am not quite ready to give an overall verdict just quite yet. If you are thinking of introducing a retinol then this is a good place to start.

Indeed Labs Retinol Reface Skin Resurfacer Serum - Link

Empty space // Treatment oil

So this is where I am looking to add a treatment/oil/serum into my routine. I have had a dabble with a few options but I am yet to find something that I am happy with. The last one I tried (not whole heartedly) is the UFO Clarifying Oil from Sunday Riley, however, for whatever reason, I have never stuck with it, not really feeling I was getting anything from it. I am going to give it a proper go and keep an eye out at the same time for something else. This oil is supposed to help regulate excess oil, minimise pores and tackles fine lines, so really this should be ideal for me. Must try harder.

Sunday Riley UFO Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil - Link


There's still only one for me, and that is Clinique's Moisture Surge. To be honest I am a bit nervous to try anything else as this works so well on my oily skin. It sinks straight in without clogging pores, I have spoken about this a lot! I am considering using vitamin C in my routine so may well try a vitamin C moisturiser instead. However, I am going to get used to the retinol and the extra treatment I am going to add/UFO oil, then look at switching up my moisturiser.

Clinique Moisture Surge - Link


Sunday, 30 July 2017

July Favourites

Well didn't July wizz by! such a blogger cliche to say it, but it's quickly come round to that time where I talk about my favourite items of the month. A bit of a mixed bag including, home ware, books, beauty and jewellery.

TKMaxx home wear mini haul

I have bought a few new items to go in my dressing area, seeing as it is now clear of clutter it is time to fill it back up with new clutter! that of course is a joke, I am now only buying items that spark joy/essential items, starting with some essential candles.....


I suppose essential oils count, so that is where these candles come in. Frosted glass, one white and the other lilac, both with gold lids and faux crystals on the top. It would have been nice if the crystals were actually crystal, but still nice nevertheless. The white is x and the lilac is lavender and herbs, both smell lovely but I am still at the "bought a new candle, don't want to actually use it" stage with these. So they will sit nicely on my shelf until I have got over newness, then i'm going to let the mothers burn. (that sounds harsh, but remember they are candles and I will be fulfilling their life's purpose) just being careful not to get burn marks on the glass so I can reuse them - not sure how I will achieve that, but I am sure google will have the answer. Both from TKmaxx for £7.99 each - they also had a turquoise and a purple, not encouraging you by giving more colour options, just saying.....

Marble slate

Another addition to my new dressing area is this slab of marble, I think this is supposed to be used in the bathroom as an epic soap dish but that is way to dangerous to have around my little ones. Grabby hands and little toes - not a great combination to throw a bit of marble into the mix. So unfortunately (smirky face) it had to go in my dressing area as a little pedestal for my perfume bottles, what a shame! I have them all lined up, stood to attention on the marble step, all willing and ready to serve. It is such a simple way to dress up your perfume bottles, and it doesn't cost the earth either, for £12.00 it has made my perfume collection seem like just that, a collection! rather than a messy pile of bottles in my drawer. It is also making me use more a variety, picking a different one to wear each day.

Amethyst crystal

I have never owned a big piece of crystal, I tend to stick with small palm sized stones that I can carry around with me or have on my bedside table. However I decided it was time to up my mineral content and go for a large piece of amethyst. Strangely enough I was thinking about acquiring a large piece of amethyst and a few days later in TKMaxx I found it sat on an empty shelf all on its own - OBVS for me! thanks universe. So I bought it, went home and cleansed it and left it in the sunlight. Hubby asked what it was doing sat on the steps outside - I explained that I was charging it - he laughed and then realised I was serious. He then said I had been ripped off for paying £12.00 for a rock "You paid that for a bit of rock?" - no my friend, it's not just rock.

If you are into crystals you will know that you have to cleanse a crystal and then charge it with sun/moon light for it to recharge its energy (although I believe amethyst is also self cleansing?) I am not too sure why I picked amethyst, I obviously need a bit of it. FYI - I was told recently not to put amethyst by my bed as it would interrupt sleep and can make you restless - so if you do have some leave it in a area where you need inspiration/an uplift

If however, you are more inclined to think like my husband - well its a pretty rock that looks nice on my shelf. just let me have my witchy ways, win win.

Clarins lip oil

I found it!!! yippee! if you saw last months favourites vid, I mentioned I had lost this, turns out it was hiding in a different handbag! teach me for my bad un-bagging habits. On to the oil, it is a fruity scented lip oil with a tint of colour, that leaves the lips super soft. Now at £19.00 I was a but dubious about this over glorified lip balm working well enough to justify the price, but it does, My cherry Carmex has taken a back seat and this beaut is now my go too lip conditioner. My first impressions of this was that it's a bit sticky (think Lancome Juicy Tubes) and I didn't think we were going to get on well at all. However, my lips are left in fabulous condition, the smell is lovely and the colour is a nice wash of orangy/pink. A great one for the summer heat (when we get it) but I am looking forward to testing this out in the winter months too - if it lasts that long. Overall, a bit of a splurge but it does what it says it does.


I recently got my ears pierced again (now have two at bottom one at top on one side) and I have been enjoying wearing small hoops and danglys, think TH style. I bought a few new pairs, again from TKmaxx, two silver gem hoops, and a small gold gem pair with a dangling chain - easier to look at the pic below than for me to describe them! As much as I love a good statement earring, this months I have taken it down a notch to the less is more approach.

I also got these two tone studs from H&M, a mix of silver, gold and black - simple design but still eye-catching.

Rimmel nail varnishes

I took advantage of a recent 3 for 2 offer on at Boots with Rimmel, I fancied a nude shade and ended up walking away with three different tones. All similar but oh so different at the same time (thats the beauty blogger coming out of me) I have short nails at the mo and actually prefer nude shades on longer nails but I am still enjoying wearing these whilst my natural nails sort themselves out (they are very weak at the mo)

The Miracle Morning - Hal Elrod

I mentioned this in my last post/vid as one of my current top reads (read here) this book really has been a game changer for me, so much so that I am currently filming a vlog of my morning routine, implementing what I have learnt from this book. If you are looking to get yourself organised and get into a new routine then this is a good place to start - it talks you through six different steps you should take first thing in the morning in order to reach your goals. Love it! more coming soon.



Sunday, 23 July 2017

My current top 5 self-help books

"Ultimately the greatest help is self-help"
Bruce Lee

Do you wince at the thought of a "Self-help" book? yeah, me too. But I have a confession to make, I have finally come to terms with it and I need to declare, that actually.....I love them! When entering a book shop, I head straight for the self help section to get my fill of guru. Standing there eyeing up the latest titles to guarantee happiness, I am a bit nervous to reach for a flick through, I mean, I am a happy/self assured woman, I do not need a self help book! Maybe on the surface it would appear that way, but inside there's always some pesky issue niggling away in my mind, I just don't want anyone to know that.

So what do I do to lessen the embarrassment whilst in the bookshop? I apply the LGS method.
L - Lunge in towards the book shelf, G - Grab the book, S - Side-step to the cookery section (That always seems to be next to it) That way people will think you are looking to perfect your victoria sponge rather than perfect your perspective.

Another method could be the double whammy - LGS, then book inside a book option. Y'know, hide your "Why don't people like me?" book inside a Jamie Oliver. With this method however, there is the risk of a book flap panic situation, where you get in all of a dither trying to be speedy. This could cause more anxiety than just plain ole nerve sweats from standing in front of the "Sort your shit out/get a grip" Self help isle.

Don't even get me started on spiritual books, that one shelf hidden at the bottom with a few select titles, where you have to stay in squat position to see them. Chakras, Crystals, Angels, Tarot - LOVE IT ALL, call me crazy if you like, but I always say it takes one to know one.

 If I do get a funny look whilst looking at this select shelf, I simply pick up a Wicca book and give them the warning eyes - y'know, like back off sista I know voodoo, type look (I totally don't but I like to have my pretend witchy moment)

The answer to all this palava? Amazon Prime. Even with all the exercise gained in the book shop, lunges and squats, shopping in private may actually be better for your health.

All of this got me thinking, what's really so bad with wanting to develop and introduce myself to new ways of thinking? Is there really a need to make myself feel like a but of a saddo because I want to be better? nope, there is no need, and like most things the worry is in my head - no one else is actually that bothered.

So to embrace my new stance on self help books, I have picked out my top 5 current self help reads:

Eat Pretty - Jolene Hart

I bought this from Urban Outfitters a few years ago now, it was amongst their small seasonal selection. I like to pick this up throughout the year to give me ideas as to what foods to eat in a particular season. It gives ideas as to what to shop for in each season, tells you how your body would benefit from eating those foods and also recipe ideas. I don't know about you, but I generally have a good idea as to what is healthy and what isn't, but I don't always know why they are good for you and what they do. This book gives more info on just that without being overwhelming - I just need the basics thanks!

The life changing magic of not giving a f**k  - Sarah Knight

I have already written a separate review on this book which you can find here. But to give a quick over view, it makes you realise that you don't have the time and energy to waste on worrying about lots of things and you have to spend your energy wisely. Only spend energy on things that you do care about, and the rest of it? no f**ks given. It details activities such as the "not sorry" method to help you on your, don't give a f**k quest.

The Miracle Morning - Hal Elrod

I am not a morning person. I like sleep. I need coffee. I need three hours to open my eyelids.

Then I read this book and it all changed. I now get up early in the morning and get stuff done (If I were texting this on my phone, I would insert a fist pump/explosion emoji here)

In a nutshell, this book suggests to get up an hour earlier then usual and complete six steps (S.A.V.E.R.S) before you start your day. This includes Silence, Affirmations, Visualisations, Exercise, Reading and Scribing. Getting into this routine of a morning has really helped me to get focused, achieve goals and it also sets the tone for the day. If you need a bit of a push start to get into a routine of a morning then this is a great place to start. A full review of this is coming soon because it has helped me a lot! it is post worthy!

Raise your Vibration - Kyle Gray

In comes the first "out there" spiritual book for you. This book details 111 activities to raise your vibration and become more in tune with the universe. Say what? yep you read it right.
If you are into Chakras, law of attraction and looking for inspiration as to how to increase your spiritual connection then this is a great read. If you don't have a clue what I am talking about and it worries you a bit, all I have to say is don't be scared! read it and you may gain some inspiration from it, you never know until you try!

Creative Visualisation - Shakti Gawain

This is the first book I ever bought that comes under the "Spiritual self help" category. I actually believe I attracted this to me as it appeared in a small selection of second hand books in the shop I was working in at the time. If you have read or heard of The Secret then it is along the same lines - detailing the law of attraction* and how to implement it into your life. Only this version is not the over commercialised machine that The Secret has become, it is more raw, taking it back to basics. It is one of the first books in the LOA field, and even though its my oldest book it still inspires me.

So that's my little current go to selection, I like to dip in and out of these books from time to time. I have been building my collection, and after my recent clear out, I have rediscovered a lot of old faves (like Creative Visualisation) but I am always looking for new inspiration so I will write new posts as and when I come across great reads (starting with The Miracle Morning)

Now that I have written this post it's not so bad, I have now outed myself as a self help book reader, stigma be gone! I have also have a video relating to this post on my YouTube channel which you can find below, feel free to subscribe if you fancy it!


*The law of attraction is the belief that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, a person brings positive or negative experiences into their life 

Blogger Template Created by pipdig