Wednesday, September 30

September Empties


This months empties consists of:

- Yes to Cucumber Soothing Hypoallergenic Face Wipes
- The Body Shop Peppermint Soothing Pumice Foot Scrub
- Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
- Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo
- Lush Prince Charming Shower Gel
- Benefit Its Potent Eye Cream
- Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream
- Monu Illuminating Primer
- ESPA Refining Skin Polish
- Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara 
- Oriflame Beauty Wonderlash Mascara 
- ESPA Hydrating Floral Spafresh
- Vichy Idealia Life Serum 

I've been trying to use up as many samples and half empty bottles as I can at the moment because I seem to have products coming out of my ears! When I first started blogging I didn't really use many new products and stuck to what I knew but now I am a lot more experimental and love trying new things so I've been using even more out of my overflowing draws. Out of this little bunch there are a couple of items I have back ups of for when they run out including both ESPA products and the Monu primer! I think the ESPA skin polish is my favourite exfoliator ever as it is quite gentle but leaves my skin feeling brightened and revitalised. The Monu primer creates the perfect base to apply foundation and creates a very dewy, glowy look which I have loved during the summer months and the Oriflame mascara is quite possibly the BEST mascara I have ever used I honestly cannot believe this has been discontinued. My favourite out of this little bunch has to be the Prince Charming Shower gel which smells absolutely divine...I am praying Lush bring this back next year in their Valentines collection...they would be silly not to!


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Friday, September 25

Ibiza Style Diary


Its safe to say holiday blues have well and truly sunk in!! After a week of sunning myself in the beautiful White Isle my gorgeous tan and my high spirits are slowly drifting away: even with the sunshine following me back to dreary England. I planned to take a full lookbook whilst I was away and boy did I pack for such an occasion but once I got there relaxation kicked in and I decided to enjoy the break and not worry about my blog or anything else really and so the explanation for the lack of pictures. I really found my motivation once I was away and now that I'm back I'm more motivated than ever so you can expect to see a lot of me over the next few months. Anyway back to reminiscing here's a few snaps of some of the outfits I wore when I was away..enjoy!

   

Lace up detailing was huge over summer and slowly took over my wardrobe so it's not really a surprise this made an appearance on my holiday. I love this bodysuit from Miss Selfridge it is so easy to style and I can get away with wearing it with just about anything. The paisley Topshop shorts are just so dreamy these were such an impulse buy but the shape and colour really flatter my body-shape. Next up is the bargain of the century £10 H&M dress which I am OBSESSED with! Teamed with my favourite Topshop lace up sandals - which I pretty much lived in - this was my go to beach outfit. 

    

As you can tell crop tops and short is standardly what I wore out every night but I liked how girly I felt in this floral lace number. I've had these shorts for months now and I'm amazed at how good they look when they were only £7 in the New Look sale. I LOVE this hamsa mesh print dress from Missguided and I am so gutted I don't get to wear it more often. Teamed with a plain cut out swimsuit its perfect in the hot weather and I'll definitely be sporting this on a night out with a long cami underneath come Winter. 

   

Another big trend this Summer was elephant print...it was absolutely everywhere and if you don't own anything with a cute little elephant printed on it then you seriously missed out. This was another Missguided bargain which I managed to pick up in their sale and I have worn the death out of it since the day it arrived. Finally a bit of glam for the legendary Ocean Beach Club where I teamed this sunset cut out one-piece with a Missguided tassel kimono with the only downfall being the dodgy tan lines I developed after! 
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Sunday, September 20

Look Fantastic 1st Birthday Beauty Box





I can't quite believe it's been a year since Look Fantastic launched their first beauty box and with each month being full of top brands and generous samples I knew this wasn't one to miss! Each box is priced at £15 including postage and contains a minimum of 6 products with a good mixture of well known brands and newer discoveries. This month the extra special box includes 8 travel size treats and an extra £40 worth of vouchers including a saving of £10 on all ghd stylers. My box contained: 

- Phyto Phytokeratine Extreme Cream Conditioner (30ml)
- Professional Sebastian Shampoo and Conditioner (50ml each)
- Bliss fabulous foaming face wash (30ml)
- Tanworx Tan Maintainer (60ml)
- Codage Paris Scrubbing Cream (25ml)
- Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet (10ml)
- Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum (10ml)

A good mix of brands that I have heard of before and some I've been wanting to try for a while now so I'm pretty smug. Plus the added bonus that this box arrived just before my holiday so all my travel essentials are covered and all for the bargain price of £15. The tan maintainer will be the most used as I plan on tanning a lot and anything to help keep a golden glow is welcome with loving arms. The Professional Sebastian Penetraitt haircare range is strengthening with an active rescue system which gently detangles hair whilst rebuilding any split ends which is right up my street and just what I am looking for at the moment. Another brand I have been wanting to try for ages is Bliss and this gentle foaming wash is a 2-in-1 cleanser and exfoliater which is a perfect combination which will help speed up my routine. The icing on the cake and perhaps the most exciting for me are from French skincare brand Caudalie. I am yet to try a product I do not like from them and I have tried several of their serums before which I absolutely love - these have gone straight in my bathroom and I'll be trying them tonight!

I have to say this is probably the best beauty box Look Fantastic have released and I love the generosity of each sample and the variety of products. The September box is still available here although at the moment Look Fantastic have a promotion where if you spend £55 you receive one of this month's beauty boxes for free...what are you waiting for?
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Tuesday, September 15

Esqido BFF Lashes


False lashes and me have a love hate relationship: sometimes it can take me seconds to apply and they can look so natural and flattering and other times I end up with my eye half glued shut and eyeliner all over the place. Because of this struggle I gave up on false eyelashes a long time ago, and I haven't looked back since until these little beauties dropped through my letterbox. 

Esqido false eyelashes are ethically sourced from the softest and finest naturally shed mink hair. The handcrafted soft cotton band allows for easier application than synthetic lashes and the real mink fur allows for longevity, comfort and a much more natural finish. I opted for the BFF lashes* which are medium volume and retail for $35.  With proper care these lashes can last up to 25 uses which is an absolute steal at that price. Synthetic lashes are designed to be disposable and can become quite expensive when only using a pair once when your paying £10 a pop. I love the idea of a reusable, good quality, natural pair of lashes which I can wear casually during the night and glam up for a night out. 

The first time I tested the lashes was during the #SotonMeetUp and I couldn't quite believe how naturally they looked and how comfortable they were all day. I received compliment after compliment about my lashes and its safe to say I felt a million dollars. Since then I have worn them on nights out, dinner dates and even to business meetings and every time they just give me the little confidence boost I need. For a clutz like me they are so easy to apply and seem to be holding up very well after several uses. 

I would fully recommend trying out Esqido if your a big lashes fan they are perfect for all events, big or small and can be dressed down or ramped up making them suitable for all occasions. They ship free to the UK and postage is super fast usually arriving within five working days. They also have some amazing benefits including their referral programme where you can earn $10 credit for every friend you recommend who makes a purchase, and they receive $10 credit towards their first purchase...a win, win for everyone! Plus who doesn't love rose gold? - The packaging of these lashes is utterly divine and fit for a queen. 

Have you tried Esqido lashes?

*PR Sample

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Thursday, September 10

#SotonMeetUp Revs








[Photo Credit: Jess]

[Photo Credit: Jess]

[Photo Credit: Hairfinity]

As you may have seen if you follow my social media, last month I attended the #SotonMeetUp organised by the lovely Alice and Amy. This is the fourth event organised by the girls and ever since attending their first event last year we have pretty much become inseparable. The venue for the fourth event was the newly refurbished Revolutions in Bedford Place where we made our way up to the second floor where we had the Stoli bar all to ourselves. Slowly but surely all 40 bloggers descended on the bar ordering a mixture of cocktails, mock-tails and 2-4-1 pizzas. I opted for the Superfruit Nojito which as far as mock-tails go is the BEST I have ever tasted!

The reason why I love these meet ups is because they are so laid back and really give everyone a chance to mingle and catch up. There's always a mixture of familiar faces and newbies but everyone is so welcoming and friendly and its always nice to have a good old natter with a like minded bunch of girls. There were 3 brands exhibiting at the event: Out Come the Wolves who were showcasing their gorgeous fashion collection including some fabulous lace bralets, ESPA offering individual skin consultations and skincare advice and Hairfinity who were showcasing their hair vitamins whilst running a competition for who can braid the fastest whilst blindfolded...its safe to say my attempt was a massive fail. 

After making the rounds the nattering continued over mini tubs of Jude's ice cream and the most divine cupcakes from Love Cake Bakery washed down with some more delicious cocktails. Full of sugar and excitement we all gathered as the raffle began. We managed to raise an astounding £350 for the Epilepsy Society which is close to both the girl's hearts and couldn't be more of a deserving cause. The girls really pulled it out the bag when it came to the raffle prizes with a ton of amazing prizes from the likes of Benefit, Clinique, Revolutions, West Quay, Sensationail and Esquido. I managed to pick up some Revolutions vouchers which I am looking forward to using to try out more of their delicious menu with the girls. 

The girls should be extremely proud of what they have achieved as the day was perfect and the best event I have been to by far. I look forward to the next one as I know this will only be bigger and better. If you want to keep updated on any future events in the Southampton area make sure you give them a follow on twitter @sotonbloggers


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Saturday, September 5

Evening Skincare Routine


Most evenings I barely manage to change into my pyjamas before falling into bed and straight into the land of nod, let alone spending 25 minutes on a skincare routine with a trillion long and complicated steps. As with my morning routine I prefer to have a quick and easy evening routine which I can get through in 5 minutes and optimise my sleeping time (if you work random shift patterns you will fully understand).

I prefer to take my eye make-up off prior to cleansing my skin because sometimes I find mascara can be stubborn to remove as I prefer longer-lasting solutions. I love the Sephora Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover which is perfect for my sensitive skin but removes even the most stubborn of make up. Depending on how heavy my makeup is sometimes I will remove the top layer using a micellar water such as the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water however, usually as i'm half asleep I will go straight in with a balm cleanser. My all time favourite cleanser at the moment is the Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm which is so gentle on the skin but leaves no greasy residue and has the most luxurious feel without the high-end price tag attached. The texture of this balm is divine and the smell is so relaxing and comforting during my evening routine. It leaves my skin baby soft ready for the next steps and I am yet to try another cleanser which has given me the same results. 

When it comes to serum, moisturiser and eye cream I prefer to use the same products as my morning routine as I've found using too many different formulas on my skin just causes me to break out and clogs my pores. I've found Lancôme to be the most effective skincare for me so far and I look forward to exploring more products they have to offer. 

Finally as the cold starts setting in I like to exfoliate and moisturise my lips for the morning. I picked up this 5 Night Fix for Lips from Bite Beauty with my last Sephora order which contains a lip scrub and a lip mask. I am not crazy about the scrub as I find the granules to fine and they do not exfoliate as much as I would like so I tend to stick to my trusty Lush lip scrubs, however, I am obsessed with the Agave lip mask. This thick overnight mask leaves my lips soft, nourished and repaired and a little goes a long way with this product so this tiny tube has lasted me ages. I've tried thousands of different lip balms, chap-sticks and lip creams but none of them work as well as this mask so if you suffer from dry or chapped lips I would definitely recommend picking one up next time you can.

What do you use in your evening routine? 

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Tuesday, September 1

Morning Skincare Routine


A year ago my skincare routine pretty much consisted of face wipes and shower gel! I had no idea about cleansers and toners and I moisturised when I felt like, which wasn't all that often. I rarely had the time or the energy to take my makeup off before bed and I never really thought about the damage I was causing to my skin. As a young woman in her 20s, with relatively clear skin, I believed skincare was simply something I would need to invest in later on in life and it wasn't until my skin got really congested and spot prone that I decided a change was needed.  

Fast forward a year and I am in a completely different position and way of thinking. After fussing around with far too many steps in my routine, I've simplified it down to just a handful of quick and easy to use products.  I like to use gentle, mild products on my skin first thing in the morning and I find the Clinique Liquid Facial Soap in extra mild is perfect for this. It doesn't leave my skin dry or tight and I particularly love that its fragrance free and comes with a handy pump dispense. I don't like to overload my skin with too many products so I simply use a toner to remove any remaining impurities and prep my skin ready for serum and moisturiser. I currently use the Tonique Douceur by Lancôme which is a soft, alcohol free toner which is both gentle on my skin and hydrating.

At the moment I am LOVING Lancôme skincare after receiving some generous samples from the Debenhams Beauty Gala. They are now on their last legs and I will be visiting my nearest counter to have a snoop around and check out what else they have to offer. The Advanced Génifique Youth Activate Concentrate is Lancôme's No.1 selling serum and after testing for a few weeks I can see why. This serum has improved the texture of my skin and the appearance and I definitely notice a glow to my complexion after using this. The texture of the serum is so silky and a little goes a long way with this tiny 7ml bottle lasting me just over a month. I then use the Hydra Zen NeuroCalm Day Cream with SPF 15 which is perfect during summer as I don't actually use or own any SPF products so to have this built into my moisturiser is a bonus. This is quite a thick cream to touch however it absorbs effortlessly into the skin leaving a dewy, refreshed and hydrated complexion. I find this evens out my skin-tone and leaves me with a radiant, glowing complexion. 

If my skin is having one of those days where its just feeling a bit dehydrated and stressed I'll use a quick spritz of the Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray to replenish my skin's moisture level and restore balance. I don't tend to use this on a daily basis but its nice for when I need a quick refresh in the morning before applying my make up or even throughout the day when my skin feels thirsty or irritated. Eye cream is a product I have only recently started using in the last few months and after trying several different creams from high end brands this Vitamin E Gentle Eye Cream from Boots is the BEST I have found by miles! 

Lastly, I like to apply a lip balm before I do my make up to give it time to set in and really work its magic. The Dr. PAWPAW* balms are perfect for this as they repair and moisturise my lips leaving them super soft and chap free. I carry one of these around with me at all times as it's a multi-purpose balm which can be used for pretty much everything. The natural ingredients used contain healing qualities making this the perfect all-rounder that I couldn't live without. 

Whats in your morning skincare routine? 

*PR Sample
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