Beauty: Bio-Oil - My Body Philosophy


This year, Bio-Oil have been working on their Body Philosophy initiative and it's almost come to an end. Their mission was to inspire a life-time of body confidence and to do this they collected over 10,000 body philosophies from people all over the world. They have been working with the Body Gossip charity who have taken the advice into 20 schools and have hosted body confidence workshops to help inspire teenagers to love their bodies. 

It's such a perfect partnership as bio-oil is all about caring for your skin, and healing it. And I love the whole idea around inspiring body confidence - I think we all remember the awkward teen years where you feel self conscious and uncomfortable most of the time! 

The team have been so overwhelmed with all of the words of wisdom that they decided to create a diary which contains a selection of their favourite pieces of advice - it's really lovely and there are so many great inspiring quotes in there. 

You can read all about the initiative on the My Body Philosophy website and Bio-Oil can be bought from £8.99 here.

Beauty: Trilogy Make-up Be Gone Cleansing Balm


(Features press samples)

Over the summer, Trilogy released a Make-up Cleansing Balm to add to their growing collection of gorgeous and natural skincare products. Described as melting away make-up it contains a rich blend of mango butter, rosehip oil and coconut oil - all combined to give you clean, supple and hydrated skin.

You simply massage 1/4 teaspoon of the balm onto your dry skin and as it melts concentrate it around your eyelashes and areas where you have heavy make-up. Once massaged in, you rinse the organic cloth (or I use a normal flannel) with warm water and gently wipe over your face.

The last cleansing balm I tried was from Emma Hardie and I didn't get on too well with it, which was disappointing after the rave reviews it had in the blogosphere. It was a few years ago so maybe if I tried it now I'd love it as I am a huge fan of the Trilogy cleansing balm! It smells divine and every time I use it I feel like I am in a spa. I usually take my eye makeup off first with Bioderma or the Garnier Micellar Water, and then use the balm for the rest of my face make up. It feels luxurious and hydrating and leaves my skin feeling so soft and moisturised.

I love Trilogy as a brand (really really need to try their Rosehip Oilnext!) and this is a fantastic product of theirs. It's priced at £19.50 and you can buy it here*.

*This post contains affiliate links


Home: Bath & Body Works Candles



When a girl from my team told me she was going to Florida for a week and asked if I wanted anything I got very excited. She had a whole spare suitcase left to fill as her parents live over there so I didn't hold back from requesting a few Christmassy candles from Bath & Body Works.

I bought a few bits and bobs from B&BW when I was last in Florida but as we usually go in the Spring or Summer, I've never had the chance to look at all of their wonderful Autumn/Winter goodies.

I went for four of the 1-wick medium candles and 3 of the mini candles in the following scents, all for £35 which is amazing...

♥ Evergreen - this is a Christmas tree scent with fresh fir balsam infused with sparkling mint and white pine. I am yet to burn this but I am forever on the hunt for a real Christmas tree scent and this smells just like one! 

Sweater Weather - this scent is a blend of eucalyptus, juniper berry and fresh sage. It's such a tricky one to describe but has a real cosy, but fresh smell. Perfect for Autumn time.

Mahogany Teakwood - someone told me that this smelt just like Hollister's SoCal so I had to buy it. It smells incredible and just like a beautiful man (haha). It is a mix of mahogany, oak and frosted lavender but I personally can't smell the lavender- just delicious boy scent. Need to get the shower gel next so Chris can use it every day.

Marshmallow Fireside- this is very delicious and exactly what it says on the tin. It's toasted marshmallows mixed with vanilla, blended into a rich smouldering wood.

Fresh Balsam - this is quite similar to Evergreen and is a mix of snow-dusted balsam, fir trees and eucalyptus. Another very lovely Christmas tree fragrance.

'Tis the Season - this is the only candle that I'm not very keen on. It's described as a mix of red apples, green pine and golden cider but all I can smell is cinnamon  It's a truly festive scent and is very spicy- but not my cup of tea!

Winter - I absolutely LOVE this fragrance. To me it smells exactly like Christmas and I want my house to smell like it for the whole of winter. B&BW describe it as pine needles, icy mandarin & winter woods which capture the magic of glittering icicles and sparkling snow and this is spot on. If you're just going to buy one candle- make it this one.

Which Bath & Body Works scents are your favourites? 


Beauty: Zoeva Rose Golden Vol. 2 Luxury Brush Set



Are these not the most beautiful make-up brushes you have ever seen? I am in so much love. I have been eyeing up this set from Zoeva for some time and last weekend I decided to bite the bullet and treat myself. I've heard lots of good things about Zoeva brushes so thought it was a worthy investment - and worth the money just for how gorgeous they look on my dressing table!

This is their Rose Golden Vol. 2 Luxury Brush Set which contains 8 luxury face and eye brushes - they all come in a gorgeous rose gold bag too. The brushes included are;

♥ 104 Buffer Brush 
♥ 109 Luxe Face Paint Brush 
♥ 126 Luxe Cheek Finish Brush 
♥ 228 Crease Brush 
♥ 226 Smudger Brush 
♥ 234 Luxe Smoky Shader Brush
♥ 317 Wing Liner Brush
♥ 322 Brow Line Brush

It's a great selection of brushes and ones I'll be using most days so I'm really pleased. Have you tried Zoeva brushes before?

You can buy the set for £49.99 here*.

*This post contains affiliate links

Beauty: Too Faced Happily Ever Lasting Lips & Cheek Duo


(Features press samples)

I received this Too Faced Happily Ever Lasting Lips & Cheek Duo* in a package from the lovely people at Debenhams and wanted to share as I really rate it. Strangely, I can't find it to purchase anywhere online but you can buy the products separately. 

I like Too Faced but I've never found a product which has wow-ed me. I really like their Shadow Insurance but have tried a few of their eyeshadows and haven't been overly impressed - this was a few years back though so I imagine the formulation has changed since then as I have heard good things recently.

So onto the products - this is a cute little gift set which comes with the Too Faced Melted Lipstick in Nude and the Too Faced Love Flush long-lasting blush in Love Hangover. The blush comes in cute heart packaging and looking at the individual product online I think there should be a mirror in the compact so may be missing from mine. This is a really pigmented blush which claims to last on your skin for hours and Love Hangover is a gorgeous pink shade. 

The real winner for me however is the Melted Lipstick - this is a liquified long wear lipstick and oh, it is just divine and now I want to buy every shade that they have!  I've tried liquid lipsticks before and have found them effective but really drying- this however feels really light and moisturising on my lips. It applies very glossy and quickly dries to a light finish, but still keeps the glossy look. It also lasts for ages. LOVE.

The lipstick costs £17.10 (RRP £19) and the blush costs £22.50 (RRP £25) from Debenhams.

Life: Five day trips you can do from London



Living in London is great, and you have a million things on your doorstep to see and do. However sometimes it's nice to get out of the city and see some new places. The country is so well connected and you can see some amazing towns and cities by taking a quick train - probably in the same time that it usually takes to cross London! Here are some suggestions from me - do leave comments with your recommendations of places to visit too.

1. Brighton - Brighton is such a brilliant city and full of things to do, without being overwhelmingly big. You can go shopping, eat in a cute little cafe, walk along the pier, visit the beach and go out dancing at the end of the night if you fancy! Brighton is 55 minutes from Victoria or an hour from London Bridge.

2. Cambridge - I adore Cambridge. It is truly beautiful - probably the most beautiful city I've ever seen actually. It feels so British, if that makes sense. Cambridge is obviously home to the famous University and you can't miss the colleges which are pretty breathtaking. If you visit when it's warm you can go punting on the river which I am still yet to do! Cambridge is 50 minutes from London KX.

3. Henley-on-Thames - Henley is a lovely town set by the Thames. It's home to the famous Henley Regatta which is always a very fun day out! I visited in the summer for a hen do and we hired a self-drive boat which I would highly recommend- if only to nosy at the spectacular houses by the river. The Chocolate Cafe is also meant to be a real treat. Henley is 45 minutes from Paddington.

4. Oxford - Oxford is famous for its University colleges which feature in many of the early Harry Potter films and there are many trails you can do to see all of the HP sights. It's also home to a lot of history and countless lovely little pubs and cocktail bars. Oxford is an hour from Paddington.

5. Bath - Bath is a little further afield but well worth it. All of the buildings are gorgeous and it is the only place in the UK where you can bathe in naturally hot spa water - their Roman Style Baths are just amazing. Bath is an hour and a half from Paddington.


Fashion: Outfit of the Day - Autumn Outfit


I am so in love with all of the Autumn fashion that's in the shops at the moment. I just want to buy everything. I've picked up a few items recently, including the jumper and hat featured above. 

I have been wanting a floppy hat for ages, but have resisted because I've just not been sure when I'd wear it. I gave in when I saw it for £8 in Primark. I love it although it isn't the most practical of hats - today it nearly blew off of my head a few times in the wind, and because of the wide brim it's hard to see what is happening around you! Who needs practical when it's so nice to look at though?! Here is a similar hat from Topshop.

The jumper is another new Primark purchase and cost £14. It's super snuggly and perfect for this time of year - it's quite oversized (I bought it in a size 8). My bag and boots are older Primark purchases (I really need to expand my shopping repertoire!) and leggings are from H&M. 



Home: Our Kitchen Before and After

Two years after moving in and we have made a lot of progress on our little London flat! We have finished every room apart from the living room which will be our final project. The hallway has just been redecorated, new oak doors have been hung and we are loving how it looks now.

Our kitchen was actually finished a year ago and I've finally got round to writing a post to share the before and after pictures. 

Before

I couldn't stand the kitchen when we moved in. As you can see from the photo it was old, the layout wasn't very functional and the hob broke a couple of months after moving in so we had to use a camping stove for 6 months! Cooking was not fun and I didn't like being in there one bit! 


In progress


After

 

We went for a Howdens Kitchen with shaker style cupboards (greenwich white) and pewter handles. We sourced our appliances separately from Appliances Online as was about £200 cheaper than going with Howdens own brand- even choosing the more expensive appliances like Bosch. 

I was a bit wary of having wood worktops (we are mucky pups in the kitchen) but Chris convinced me and we do love them. They do need oiling regularly but are worth the upkeep as look so gorgeous and were a lot easier to fit than laminate (I say it like I did this, haha!). We went for a beautiful Belfast sink and also managed to squeeze in a small dishwasher which is a lifesaver. I was torn between an electric and gas hob as electric looks smarter, but gas is so much better for cooking. As you can see we went for a gas hob.

We've kept things simple with white paint - a theme in our flat! Can't get enough white. And also went for metro tiles with white grouting, as we went for in the bathroom (see my before and after post here). I adore metro tiles and they are so cheap too! For flooring we chose the same as we have for our bedrooms, which is a fantastic laminate from Homebase. I love how much it looks like real wood!

I am in so much love with our kitchen and love spending time in there. The layout has really made the most of the space and is a million times better than it was before.

Beauty: Roger & Gallet Gingembre Rouge Fresh Shower Gel


(Features press samples)

I love being introduced to new brands and Roger & Gallet is definitely a brand to know about. They are a French company who have actually been around since 1862. They describe themselves as 'delicately perfuming life' and their creations are made from natural essences which have been extracted for their quality and excellent perfume.

Their Gingembre Rouge range captures the magical allure of the island of Zanzibar and has had two new additions to their offering. First up is the Gingembre Rouge Fresh Shower Gel* which has been expertly developed to pamper and refresh and is enriched with aloe vera, an extract of ginger root, pomegranate seeds oil and coco betaine. It smells absolutely gorgeous - of sweets and fruit.

The other new product is an Energising Sorbet Body Lotion which is a gently shimmering formula that melts into a water-like texture on the skin and is full of nourishing oils and other ingredients such as aloe vera and avocado oil. Both products are paraben and sulfate free and suitable for all skin types. 

The shower gels costs £9.50 and the sorbet body lotion costs £14. They are available from Marks & Spencer and you can find out more info about the brand and their products on their website.

Beauty: Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Body & Hand Wash


I first tried this hand wash at my friend Flora's house. As soon as I used it, I knew I had to have it. It smells absolutely divine and the scent stays on your skin for ages.

This is the Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Body & Hand Wash. We have just been using it in our bathroom as a hand wash as I fear it would last two seconds as a shower gel. Jo Malone describe the fragrance as the essence of autumn; 'the sensuous freshness of just-ripe pears is wrapped in a bouquet of white freesias, and mellowed by amber, patchouli and woods'.

It is a beautiful scent and when you use it, it fills the whole bathroom with its wonderful fragrance. We had friends over recently and they all commented on how lovely it was. It is also lasting us a really long time, making it well worth the price.

It costs £28 and you can buy it here*.

*Post contains affiliate links

Beauty: Neom Perfect Night's Sleep Pillow Mist


(Features press samples)

Getting a good night's sleep is so important and with stress being so prevalent at the moment, it's even more important to have that time to rest and recover from each day.

Neom have embraced all things 'sleep' and have introduced a new range called 'Scent to Sleep' which uses a new blend of their hugely popular Tranquility fragrance. They also have a three step sleep programme and have even collaborated with the Sleep Council to offer a free e-book with more tips for getting the perfect night's sleep.

The Neom Perfect Night's Sleep Pillow Mist utilises the new Tranquility blend to aid sleep. The new blend has been packed with 25 times more chamomile oil which works as a mild sedative due to its ability to calm nerves and reduce anxiety. It also has three times more patchouli which acts as a relaxant and the new formula has a huge 48% of lavender oil as research into insomnia has found that lavender can improve sleep quality.

Neom's sleep expert recommends that you spritz your pillow with three sprays, and then place your head back and inhale in through your nose for 7 seconds, and out through your mouth for 11. This will stimulate the body's natural relaxation mechanism which prepares you for sleep. As you sleep, the oils will continue to release with your natural night-time movements to help ensure that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

I adore the tranquility scent and this pillow spray is just beautiful. It is super relaxing and has really helped send me off to sleep. I also think that by using it each night on your pillow you are training your body to prepare for sleep.

The Neom Perfect Night's Sleep Pillow Mist costs £20 and can be purchased here from www.neomorganics.com.




Life: My New Personal Planner


Meet my new personal planner - completely enabled by Mikhila. She reviewed it on her channel recently and I knew I had to order one straightaway. 

The main attraction for me was how customisable the planner is. You can choose your own cover, or upload your own image - as you can see I uploaded a collage of some of my favourite Instagram photos (created on ipiccy). You can also customise the back of the planner so I uploaded an image of four different inspirational quotes.

You can add text to the inside cover and then in the main planner you can choose the layout for each week which includes picking the colours for the band at the top of the pages (I chose pink with white stars) and fonts etc. There is also space at the bottom of these pages and you can choose three different 'modules' for this section such as a To Do list or graph paper - I just added lines so I can use it for notes. Another great option is to add key dates such as birthdays to the planner- a really handy feature.

At the back of the planner you can choose extra pages for it which include lots of fun options like pages of Sudoku, or even colouring pages. I was pretty boring and just chose the 2016/2017 year overview and lined paper as thought it would be most useful! I also chose to add a monthly overview page which is inserted at the beginning of each month.

A final bonus is that you can start the planner from whichever month you wish - mine runs from September 2015 to September 2016. 

I'm not sure how I'm going to use it yet- whether it be for life planning, or blog planning - or both! You can order yours here.




Life: A Trip to the Science Museum

Chris and I have had a couple of weekends recently where they have been consumed with boring house admin (visits to Screwfix, Homebase and the recycling centre to be precise). We decided last weekend to see some London culture. Our initial plan was to visit the Saatchi Gallery (it's one of my favourites) and so we ventured to Sloane Square to find that it was London Fashion Week and the gallery was closed. We did enjoy watching everyone head into the shows looking very glamorous.

We decided to walk across to the Science Museum instead as hadn't been in a while and we always find it super interesting. I really recommend a visit if you haven't been as there's lots of see, and they have some great rooms. We particularly enjoyed the space exhibition, and an area showing IT through the ages - such geeks! It's always lovely walking around the Chelsea area too as the houses are so beautiful.

I'd love to say that we finished our wander around the museum and had a delicious late lunch somewhere glamorous - however we were starving and ended up in MacDonalds! The triple caramel McFlurry was so worth it.

Beauty: My Favourite Lip Products




These are my favourite lip products - as you can probably tell by how much they have been used. You can really see how heavy handed I am when applying my lip products! These are the ones I use all the time and I am in total love with- as you can see I like to wear a mix of pinks and nudes. 

♥  Revlon Colourburst Lacquer Balm Demure - these chubby lip pencils are so easy to apply and I love this subtle pinky shade. The colour burst lacquers are super moisturising and have a balm like texture, but still give you a great colour. I like to wear this on 'low maintenance' make-up days on its own, or on top of a more matte colour to give it a bit of gloss. Find it here for £7.99.

Seventeen Stay Pout Lipstick Just a Fling - this matte lipstick was recommended as a Kylie Jenner lip colour-a-like and it is great teamed with a nude lip liner - I use it with Rimmel's 1000 Kisses Spice liner. It lasts on your lips for ages and has shea butter in the ingredients so feels very moisturising. Find it here for £4.49.

Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink - I have spoken about this a lot recently on my blog so won't bore you any more but in short, this is a beautiful shade wrapped in the most beautiful packaging. Read my full review here.

NYX Butter Gloss Merengue - I bought this in Florida and love it for three reasons. Firstly, the scent is incredible and is just like diving into a bag of sweets. Secondly, the colour is a beautiful bright pink and perfect for summer and thirdly, the formulation is a gloss but it is so long-lasting. Unfortunately you can't seem to buy this in the UK but is $4.99 from Ulta.

Seventeen Mirror Shine Lipstick Beehive - this has been a favourite for years and years. My taste has changed and I've moved on from MAC's Creme de Nude and St Germain, however Beehive has stayed strong in my make-up bag. It's a very subtle, glossy nude lipstick and I love that you can apply it without a mirror. Find it here for £4.79.

Maybelline Baby Lips Pink Punch - I really like the Baby Lips offering from Maybelline and Pink Punch is my favourite summer lip balm. It's a bright pink which is foolproof to apply as is fairly sheer and it looks fab with a tan! Even better is the price as it's only £2.99 here.




Beauty: Current Favourites



Here are the products that I've been absolutely loving recently - a mix of hair, bath and make-up products which have been making me very happy. So without further ado...

M&S Eastern Escape Cherry Blossom Bath Foam - this bath foam is incredible, I think it's the best bath product I've tried in a long time. It smells so beautiful- I can't describe it but it makes the whole room smell like a luxury spa. The foam creates lots of bubbles too. It's my go-to for whenever I want an indulgent bath (which is basically every day because I just want to use this all the time, haha). Sadly it looks like M&S no longer stock it but hopefully it will return!

Bumble and Bumble Seaweed Shampoo & Conditioner - a few weeks ago, Georgina messaged me to say that she had bought the Bumble and Bumble Seaweed shampoo and conditioner but they just didn't work on her hair and asked if I wanted to give them a try. Of course I said yes and am so glad that she thought of me because I adore them. It completely shows how products are so individual and work differently on everyone as my hair looks so much shinier and sleeker after using. There is a very subtle seaweed scent and it just feels like it's giving my hair a great clean, without stripping it completely. Love! 

Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Penelope Pink - you can read my post all about this lipstick here but safe to say, it's a beautiful lipstick which is very moisturising and I can't stop wearing it. 

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blusher in Blissful - I recently rediscovered this blusher from Tarte. It's a gorgeous shimmering warm peach which looks perfect with post-summer skin and always perks up my look. It's long-lasting (not quite 12 hours as claimed though!) and very pigmented. 

Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara - I bought this purely because I needed a waterproof mascara, and was impressed straightaway. This has had rave reviews and I can see why. It gives you dark, glossy lashes with volume and a great curl. Buy it from Boots here.