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Monthly Summary: August

August 31, 2014

  • Living in chaos whilst our new kitchen has been installed. We had the old one completely taken out and have replaced it with a gorgeous one from Howdens. I will do a before and after when it's painted!
  • Spent the evening at Secret Cinema presents...Back to the Future. It was a fantastic experience - a real 50s bubble. Loved seeing the Doc walking around and interacting with all of the Hill Valley Residents. The film of course was great, and extra special with it being a live cinema experience.
  • Celebrated my friend Lucy's birthday with a picnic on Clapham Common. We enjoyed sitting outside late into the evening. 
  • My Mum came to stay which was lovely. We visited the National and Portrait Galleries and had afternoon tea at The Wolseley which I highly recommend.
  • Met Chris after he completed the Prudential Ride 100
  • Escaped up to Lincoln for the weekend as the kitchen work was still going on and we needed some normality (and for a lot of washing to be done!). We celebrated my Grandma's birthday with lots of delicious food and cake at her house.
  • Spent a lovely weekend with friends in Bury St Edmunds.
  • This one minute tribute to Robin Williams is just beautiful. It had me in tears on the train.
  • Chris and I started watching Aladdin after hearing the sad news about Robin. I haven't watched it in years and am appreciating the Genie even more this time around! Love that most of his lines were improvised.
  • Essie and Aslan have been travelling around Scandanavia and vlogging each day - their vlogs are brilliant and it's great to explore with them! 
  • Taylor Swift's video for Shake It Off - so catchy!
Daisy x


August Favourites: My Top Three

August 28, 2014

Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer - this under eye concealer is my new favourite. I bought it in America and have been using it ever since (alternating with the L'Oreal Paris Lumi Magique Concealer which has now run out and I need to repurchase!). It's super easy to apply and the sponge applicator is strangely satisfying to use. It covers up under eye circles perfectly and I've also been using it as a general concealer too.

Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Foundation - this foundation has had rave reviews and so I was very excited to find that their counters were giving away free 7-day samples. I went along to the Debenhams on Oxford Street, got colour matched (my shade was BR30- it looks far darker in the picture than it actually is) and walked out with my sample. In short, I am in love with this foundation. It glides on so smoothly and makes your skin look like velvet, without feeling like you are covered in foundation. It also lasts all day long- something I rarely find with foundations. I am definitely going to be buying the full size version.

 Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover - after using the CoverGirl Bombshell Curvaceous Mascara (full review here) I was in need of a oil-based eye make-up remover as Bioderma and Garnier's Miscellar Water just wasn't cutting it. This was a bargain buy from Boots (currently half price at £1.79) and is a two-strength formula with both oil and water that you shake up vigorously before using. It does the trick and removes my tough CoverGirl mascara with ease.

What are your favourites this August? 

Daisy x

My Little Sunset Box

August 26, 2014

Yesterday I received my second 'My Little Box' (you can see the July box here) and love it just as much as the first.  'My Little Box'* is a monthly lifestyle box from France which is soon to launch in the UK. As with the first it is beautifully packaged and I will be definitely be finding a way to reuse the box. 

So what is inside? Firstly you get their magazine and although it's in French you can see that it has great content and the images are beautiful. You also receive three sunset themed postcards.

The two lifestyle products this month are a pack of cards and a lovely little bracelet. The beauty products are presented in a cotton drawstring bag (again, will totally be re-using) and you receive a lipbalm from My Little Beauty, Fresh Exfoliating Gel from Laino and a little pot of L'Occitane's Precious Cream. There is also a little book explaining what each product does.

I am very much looking forward to the UK launch of this box! You can view the My Little Box website here.

Daisy x

Things I would love to tell my 16 year old self...

August 24, 2014

This week was GCSE results week and I realised that it has been 11 years since I got my results - this is quite terrifying as it really doesn't feel like that long ago! So I thought to commemorate I would give my sixteen year old self a few pieces of life advice...

1) Don't wear pale blue eyeshadow - it really doesn't look great on you. Neither does the Barry M Dazzle Dust in Fuchsia.

2) Enjoy seeing your friends every day and not having to plan meetings weeks in advance because life is grown up and busy!

3) Buy a super gentle cleanser like Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish and stay away from those harsh face products (ahem, Clearasil and Clinique's facial soap) - they are not the answer for your bad skin.

4) Really really enjoy spending your weekly earnings from working at Topshop. There are not many times in your life when you can spend your cash exactly how you want to. 

5) All you need on your face is a good tinted moisturiser, a volumising mascara and a cream blush.

6) You are going to be so much happier once you get to sixth form college and leave school.

7) Keep loving and obsessing over celebrities - it will end up being part of your job!
8) And finally - start a blog before it grows into a huge phenomenon!

What would you tell your 16 year old self? I'd love to know!

Chill* Ed Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner

August 21, 2014

I am always up for trying a new 'purple' shampoo and conditioner set. I have highlighted blonde hair and so find that these kind of products are very useful for keeping my hair looking bright and not brassy!

The ed blonde shampoo and conditioner are new products from chill* (a brand I've not heard of before) and claim to transform dull, brassy shades of blonde into silky smooth locks. The products are made up of a blend of grape seed oil, proteins and violet pigments and these assist in the toning down of brassy or yellow tones in blonde hair.

Both products are a bright purple and so a little scary to use if you're not a regular purple shampoo user. The shampoo can just be used as normal, and the conditioner is left on for 2-5 minutes before rinsing which allows the violet pigments to release violet tones into the hair instantly giving it a fresher, toned blonde finish.

This duo have been just as good as other purple/silver products that I've tried and I'd definitely use them again. They brightened my hair, made it look like a fresh blonde and also made it feel really silky and nourished.

chill* is available in cool hair salons and the shampoo and conditioner cost £9.99 each. You can find out more on their website here.

Daisy x

Love Me Beauty - August 2014 Box

August 19, 2014

After receiving six products in the July Love Me Beauty box, the August box comes with a more modest four beauty products- however they are all full sized which is great. Here is what you get...

♥ Marsk Mineral Eye Shadow 'You're Toast' (RRP £14.49) - '100% natural, mineral based loose powder that are strictly cruelty free and available in a range of striking shades that offer endless colour possibilities for a professional makeup effect'. This is a golden-brown shade (like toast, shockingly) and can be used both wet or dry. I am yet to try but the shade looks beautiful!

♥ A La Carte Smudge Proof Eyebrow Definer in Blonde (RRP £23) - 'Precision, skinny tip pen for painting in individual hairs. Water-based, smudge-proof for eyebrows, eyeliner or semi-permanent body art.'

♥  Oriflame Ecollagen Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream (£16.95) - 'Powerful, lightweight Ecollagen eye care, the first to be enriched with Plant Stem Cell extract to help stimulate collagen production and re-plump wrinkles from within.'

♥ Mirabella Lip Luster Liner 'Bashful' (£10.50) - 'Sheer, brilliant lip liner is easy to blend and layer. Aloe Vera keeps lips soft and application comfortable.'

So far I have only tried the A La Carte Eyebrow Definer and it was so easy to use. I usually use a powder on my brows so it did look a lot darker than I'm used to and so have actually preferred using it as an eyeliner as it's really subtle and glides on. Great for under my eyes. 

You can subscribe to Love Me Beauty here for £10 a month (plus P&P).

Daisy x

CoverGirl Bombshell Curvaceous Mascara

August 17, 2014
When I was in Florida earlier this year, I bought quite a few mascaras including CoverGirl's Bombshell Curvaceous. It caught my eye straightaway as was one of their new launches and was such a fat, chunky, pink tube. Love!

It was kept safely in its packaging until I saw my brother's girlfriend Georgina (hi G!) and noticed that her lashes were looking super long and lovely. She told me she was wearing the Bombshell mascara (we had both bought it) and so I had to give it a try.

As you can see, this mascara is a two step product and aims to give volume, curl and intense lashes.  Step 1 uses a curved 'push-up' brush and also has a volumising basecoat formula which gives your eyelashes a boost and curve. Step 2 is a dark, intensifying topcoat that seals the look and makes them look very black and glossy. Both brushes are huge.

This mascara has gone straight into my favourites list - I adore it. It gives my lashes volume but still keeps them looking long and seperated. You can also build it up for a more dramatic effect which is good for evenings out.

The main negative is that this mascara is an absolute pain to remove. I tried using Bioderma to take it off and it was just taking forever- I ended up pulling half my eyelashes out! I messaged Georgina to tell her my woes and she agreed that it is a nightmare but that waterproof eye make-up remover is the best thing to use. I went out and bought one and it has literally been an eyelash saver.

Sadly CoverGirl isn't available in the UK but MaxFactor are almost the same brand so hopefully they will launch a similar mascara as this is the Bombshell Curvaceous is ace.

Daisy x

Skin Chemists Instant Facelift

August 14, 2014

Today I am sharing another product from Skin Chemists which was actually sent to my Mum to review - the Skin Chemists Instant Facelift*.

So here's the science bit - the product uses an active ingredient called Eyeseryl® which 'works to inhibit collagen glycation to increase the firmness and elasticity of skin by reducing damaging developments that cause collagen and elastin to break down in ageing skin'. It also contains Vitamins A and E which are great for moistening and nourishing mature, dry and sensitive skins. 

To apply it you simply put a thin layer onto clean skin and allow to dry before applying make-up- a little goes a long way. 

So the verdict - my Mum has been trying it for the past few weeks and is impressed with the results - she is definitely going to continue using it which is quite novel for her as she usually stops using eye creams and other similar lotions and potions.

As a bit of a background to her skin type, she is in her early 50s and her skin is normal with an oily t-zone. She said that the cream makes your skin feel tighter straightaway and that it has really helped the fine lines around her eyes- but not so much the deeper lines around her mouth. She did notice that when you apply it, it leaves a slight white residue so if you don't wear foundation in the day it is best to use at night.

I also have some more thoughts from my Dad as he has also given this product a try (everyone wants to get into the blogging business!). He said that it worked well and 'got rid of all of his wrinkles' (slight exaggeration I believe) however he said you had to be careful with the pump as the product takes a while to pump out and then will suddenly shoot out in one go. He also felt that the packaging could be improved to make it more premium. 

This is another pricy product at £145 for 30ml but I've been given a discount code so you can buy it for £29.99. Simply use the code VITCC. You can buy it here.

Daisy x

My Little Summer Box

August 12, 2014

Today I am sharing a lifestyle box that comes all the way from France. My Little Box is a monthly box which comes filled with a mix of beauty, fashion and lifestyle products. There is a different theme every month and it also comes with their My Little World magazine.

The exciting news is that My Little Box are planning to launch in the UK fairly soon and I will be sharing a preview of that box in the next month or so. 

I absolutely LOVE this box of goodies which carry a summer theme. The box and products are beautifully packaged and I felt like I was receiving a very special gift. After opening the box I first came across the magazine and also a set of stickers which is quite fun - both magazine and stickers are all in French (as this is an example of their French box, of course) but this just adds to the charm of the stickers.

But onto the main event- the contents! The first thing I noticed was 'Le paréo' - after a quick google it seems that this is a wraparound skirt/sarong however I'd be more likely to wear it as a scarf. I was very excited by the pattern of it- pineapples galore!

Alongside this sat a beautiful drawstring bag which contained three products. I quickly spotted the mini Essie nail polish in Cute as a Button so was very pleased with this. There is also a shampoo from HIP (a French brand) and also a coconut scented face scrub (thanks Google Translate).

I am really excited about this brand and to see them launch in the UK - their box is charming with great quality products and it's nice to get a variety of items rather than being focused purely on beauty. A quick look on their website reveals that they have some fantastic brands who have been with a few examples being Benefit, Kiehls, By Terry, Nuxe, Diptyque and Marc Jacobs. Amazing!

You can view the My Little Box website here (it's all in French but you can view it through Google Translate) and I will make sure to update you on their UK launch.

Daisy x

How I Manage My Money

August 10, 2014

This topic is a bit different to my usual type of post but I love reading about how people manage their money and the tips that they have up their sleeves!

I am quite good at managing my money. I've always hated being in my overdraft (although it's been unavoidable at times *ahem, Uni*) and try to budget myself so I'm not having to use it. Here are a few things that I do which seem to help me...

1) Keep a simple budgeting spreadsheet - I do love a spreadsheet and recently I've created one for budgeting and it's working really well. It's a very simple one - all I do is put in how much money is in my account, my known outgoings and then how much is remaining after they all go out. I then divide my remaining amount by the amount of weeks till payday and that gives my weekly budget, which leads me nicely on to...

2) My Weekly Budget (MyWB) app - I mentioned this in my favourite apps post and have to rave about it again as it is just so handy for managing your money. Once I've worked out my weekly budget I put it in the app and then record anything I spend that week. I can then really monitor what I have left and where my money has gone that week (usually all on food). You can also 'carry' money over to the next week if you have some left, or if you went over your budget you can take this out of the next week's budget. It's a really simple and easy to use app - you can find it here.

3) Plan your meals - this is a tip I hear time and time again but it's a really good one! Every week we try (I say try as we have been terrible lately) to plan our meals. Chris and I sit down and decide on some meals - usually using BBC Good Food for inspiration, and then I note all of the extra ingredients we need for these meals. This then forms our shopping list and once we've come back from the supermarket (feeling all smug about our full fridge) we know that we have every meal planned for the week. We don't have a set meal every day- we just pick what we fancy from our 'menu'.

4) Find other ways of earning a little extra - I have a few things that I do to earn some extra pennies with the main thing being focus groups. Focus groups are a brilliant way of earning money - for a two hour group you can get paid around £50 and all you need to do is talk about your opinions on a topic! Some can be quite dull (my friend spend 3 hours discussing chewing gum) but others are actually quite fun. It's really easy money. All you need to do is sign up to a Focus Group website (there are lots of different ones out there) and apply for any groups that you fancy.

I have also recently downloaded an app called VoxPopMe where you get paid to record a short 15-60 second clip answering a question or giving an opinion on something. I only joined a couple of weeks ago and have already made over £5 - you can withdraw the payment every time you reach £10 so it's a nice little extra.

5) Make the most of reward schemes/points - there are so many great reward and cashback schemes out there. We seem to build up our Nectar points very quickly as we have linked them to our British Gas account and get bonus points every time we submit a reading. I only realised the other day that you can use Nectar points on Pizza Express vouchers so we now have £30 to spend on a meal there! You can also use them for breaks away and magazine subscriptions amongst many other things. I also love using my Boots points when I'm low on cash. Again, I build these up quite quickly as I get my contact lenses through the Boots reward scheme and so get points every time my direct debit goes out - the scheme also gives me 10% off all Boots Own products (which includes the Meal Deal!

Do you have any tips for managing your money?

Daisy x

Maybelline Baby Lips

August 07, 2014
From L-R on all images: Peach Kiss, Pink Punch, Melon Mania (I don't think this is sold in the UK yet- I got mine in Florida), Hydrate - I haven't swatched Hydrate as this is a totally clear balm. You can also see that Melon Mania is also only very lightly pigmented.

I am a big fan of the Maybelline Baby Lips. Priced at only £2.99 each they are a beauty bargain and you can get a good set of four for under £10 - winner!

Maybelline Baby Lips are lip balms which claim to moisturise lips for 8 hours (I am a bit dubious about this) and also give SPF20 protection. There are a few varieties that you can buy ranging from their nourishing Hydrate balm to more of a lip balm/colour with Peach Kiss.

My personal favourite is Pink Punch as it provides such a great pink pigment and is so easy to apply. I love wearing this on a summer day.

Are you a fan of the Maybelline Baby Lips?

Introducing...Emily Fruit Crisps

August 05, 2014
Are these not the most beautiful crisp packets you have ever seen? I just want to frame them and put them on my wall! 

Named after one of the co-founders, Emily Fruit Crisps have just launched in Selfridges and so I wanted to share them because as well as being lovely to look at, they are just as lovely to eat!

When travelling in the Far East, Emily and her partner Alex found a new way of making fruit crisps using a vacuum that basically keeps a lot of the good stuff in fruit as well as making it really tasty and crunchy. There are no preservatives, no additives, no added sugars, no e numbers and they're gluten free too. 

After perfecting their fruit crisps, the pair then spoke to the designers of Big Fish (they do the packaging for Dorset Cereals and Yeo Valley) and they came up with the beautiful packs.

These fruit crisps are my new favourite snack for when I get in from work. They taste delicious! I think the pineapple ones have to be my favourite- the crunch is oh so satisfying. 

The crisps are currently available in Selfridges with more stockists to come. You can also buy them from the Emily Fruit Crisps website here.

My Current Skincare Routine - July 2014

August 03, 2014
I haven't posted for a while about my current skincare routine so thought I'd do a little update on what I'm using at the moment so keep my skin in shape!

I am currently using the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water to remove my make-up. I like to use the big cotton wool pads that you can get from Boots to sweep it all off. I do also use Bioderma but tend to save this for when I have lots of make-up on- as it's more expensive I want it to last as long as possible! 

I then do a full cleanse with the Organic Surge Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser*. I massage into my skin and polish off with a flannel or muslin cloth. I absolutely love this cleanser- my skin feels so soft and moisturised after using! After cleansing it's on to toning and I have two that I've been using. The first is the Claudia Louch Botanical Firming Toner* - how beautiful is the packaging? So sleek. This is a natural, alcohol-free toner with aloe vera, chamomile and green tea which you can either use on a cotton pad, or spray on to your face. I'd recommend dabbing it onto a cotton pad as the spray function didn't work too well for me! This feels like a really luxury toner as it's quite a thick consistency and leaves skin feeling great. I also like to use the Organic Surge Orange Flower Toner* which I love because it smells divine. It's light and refreshing so a great toner for summer.

Next step in my routine is serum and I've been using the Skin Chemists Vitamin Serum*. It smells like apples and absorbs really quickly into my skin so it's nice and ready for my next step. Sometimes I give serum a miss and use the Effaclar Duo+* as this helps to keep my skin clear. After using one of those products I like to apply a night moisturiser- Organic Surge's Overnight Sensation Night Cream is one I've used up and re-purchased as it's so thick and moisturising. 

My final step is an eye cream or eye product. At the moment I've been using the Nip + Fab Viper Venom Eye Fix* which came in a Love Me Beauty box a few months ago. This is a roll-on gel and is really cooling.

So that's it! Probably worth pointing out that this is my night-time regime. In the morning I just do a quick cleanse and get going on my make-up- much prefer an extra 5 minutes in bed!

Daisy x