Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Vegan Beauty Gifts | Christmas Gift Guide

Vegan Beauty Gifts | Christmas Gift Guide

Vegan Beauty Gifts For Christmas

As someone who is trying to educate themselves on the vegan lifestyle, and as a start, I've become really interested in vegan beauty products this year. I've got a long way to go but I've lessened my meat consumption considerably and I intend to keep going. I've been making veggie lunches for work this month (well, mainly, I'm trying the Special K diet at the moment, which I have for lunch with soy milk) and my dinners as of late has consisted of Linda McCartney sausages and a big bowl of salad, and I feel better for it.

Towards the end of 2016, I began a vegan beauty section on my blog and I can't wait to build on this in 2018. Naturally, one of my last post of the year had to be a vegan beauty one and naturally, it had to be a gift guide.

Monday, 18 December 2017

My Favourite Independent Businesses This Year

Old English Company Hand-Lettered Goods

Christmas Gifts From Independent Businesses

Being that I used to run my own business (literally all on my own, in my bedroom and then the spare room which I turned in to an office), I feel guilty for not featuring independent businesses more. 

The thing is, I know so many people who either run a fully-fledged business or some who do it as a side hobby - and I'm spreading the word and shouting about it to my real life friends, but I get so side-tracked with things on my blog, I don't get a chance. But that's a really shoddy excuse and I will make it my mission to recommend independent retailers and artists on my blog, or at the very least, on social media. I get more reach on social these days (it's a struggle on all channels at the moment, if I'm being honest) but I will make more of an effort, regardless.

Having said that, I've happily mentioned the three brands featured in this blogpost a lot in the past couple of years. Scroll down and you might recognise them from my past content.

Evermore London Personalised Candle

Evermore London Personalised Coconut Wax Candle* (shop link)

I'm insanely proud of the mega babe behind Evermore London, my previous line-manager and someone who made my short time in London so much easier. For that I will forever be grateful. 

Evermore have grown so much and the brand (and their range of candles) have evolved. They offer luxury hand-poured coconut wax candles with the option for beautiful calligraphy hand-lettered personalisation. It's a really special brand, creating stunning products that sits well in any home. 

Evermore's last Christmas post date is Monday 18th Dec, but the candles make a great all-year-round gift, so make sure you bookmark their website for when you need to buy a unique present for a special someone.

Kiss Air Scented Soy Wax Candles
Kiss Air Scented Soy Wax Candles

Kiss Air Scented Soy Wax Candles* (shop link)

Another regular candle brand that I've featured a lot on my blog (incase you didn't know, I really really like candles!). 

And I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this before but the lovely gal behind Kiss Air is someone who I have known for years - come to think of it, it's coming up to 9 years now. We started off with a professional, business relationship (Louise managed my PR when I used to run my own jewellery business - and a fine job she did too! Some of you might've seen my pieces in the national magazines. Well, that's all down to Louise). But now we have a brand/blogger relationship and again, it's amazing to see this girl boss grow her own business.

Kiss Air have changed their candle packaging from the tins to glass jars (£10 each). They look so cute, don't they? The candles are made of soy wax and there are so many nice scents such as Toasted Marshmallows, Toffee Apple, and Cinnamon (I also recommend the cocktail range, and the tea and cake collection too). 

Old English Company Hand-Lettered Goods

Old English Company Hand-Lettered Goods* (shop link)

The very moment I laid eyes on Old English Company on Instagram, it was love at first sight. Stationery coupled with hand-lettered positive quotes got me double tapping like mad and typing heart-eyed emojis in the comments like an absolute Instagram stalker.

I'm just obsessed, ok?! Well, just look at them. Don't tell me you don't love Old English Co. either? Because you so do, right?! 

The products range from homeware, to prints, to stationery (and I want it all!) They quotes on them are very Pinterest worthy too. There's not enough positive vibes in the world so if you can be reminded by an every day item such as a coffee mug, a coaster, or a notebook, then I'm all for it.

Old English Company Hand-Lettered Goods
Old English Company Hand-Lettered Goods
Old English Company Hand-Lettered Goods

I've just ordered a few things for my sisters Christmas presents, including this super cute personalised Sisters Make The Best Friends print (it's alright, my sisters don't read my blog, haha! The surprise isn't spoiled). And I might treat myself to a couple of the enamel pins in the New Year!


Christmas Gift Guide For Her

Christmas Gift Guide For Her

Christmas Gift Guide For Her

I start my gift shopping on Christmas Eve” is something I say every year at the start of December as a joke. And every year, it ends up being true. 

What can I say, I’m a last minute shopper. 
I like to keep myself on my toes.
I live life on the edge. 
I’m wild… 
And admittedly a little stupid for leaving it until last minute (YES, I’m going delirious and I am getting stressed with how much I have to do in the next seven days - obviously there’s no one to blame but myself! eeeeeeks!)

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Christmas Gift Guide: 13 Best Beauty Stocking Fillers

Best Beauty Stocking Fillers, christmas gift guide

13 Best Beauty Stocking Fillers

We’ve all seen unrealistic stocking filler gift guides floating around this year. Each to their own, I say - I’d buy those kind of lavish gifts if I had the money too, trust me. But before I go any further,  I’m going to warn you now. My stocking filler gift guide isn’t as fancy as that. 

For me though, creating a Christmas stocking filled with nice presents to gift to someone who’s between aged 18-25 would be classed as a main present. Good job I love putting together stockings, goody bags and hampers then. Zipping up and down the high street playing ‘supermarket sweep’ in the beauty departments is one of my favourite past times, don’t you know! I just love it. Give me a budget and a couple of hours, and I’ll gather the best beauty collection in all the land.

Friday, 10 November 2017

My Winter Beauty Routine With Aveeno

Sponsored by iHerb

I was introduced to Aveeno when a friend of mine was recommended one of their body lotions by a healthcare professional to soothe and calm her eczema-prone skin. I had heard of the brand but I didn't know much about them until now.

Aveeno’s brand mission is to use the power of nature to make your skin and hair beautiful. Responsibly sourced and uniquely formulated, their effective beauty products feature high-quality natural ingredients (also known as Aveeno’s ACTIVE NATURALS®) to give the brand it's reputation for effectiveness and results. Coupled with the science behind they put behind every single product, this carves out the unique selling point for Aveeno ever since they were founded in 1945.

As their affordable, nature-driven beauty products are known for their scientifically-proven effectiveness, I thought I’d see how credible they are for myself. As well as the a body lotion that came so highly recommended, I also got a few other Aveeno products from iHerb to try for myself. Turns out they’re pretty great! Here are my staple beauty items for Winter.

ACTIVE NATURALS® Nourish + Moisturise Shampoo

Formulated specifically for dry, damaged hair, the studies and trials conducted for Aveeno’s ACTIVE NATURALS® Nourish + Moisturise Shampoo shows that it brings your hair back to life after just 3 washes (when used alongside the Nourish and Moisturize conditioner). 

I dye my hair so I'm certainly in the 'dry and damaged hair' category, so this is an ideal shampoo for restoring it to back to health. I always panic when I see the first signs of dry and brittle hair because that means I have to make a visit to the salon and I’m not great with getting my haircut. I really don’t like the experience so I avoid it and I only go when I absolutely have to. Even though I’ve made attempts to go more often, the reality is that I only go once a year!

I am careful with what products I use on my hair to prolong the health of my it. The blend of oat protein and wheat complex gives your hair a boost of hydration, replenishes, and gentle cleanses.

ACTIVE NATURALS® Nourish + Shine Conditioner

Similar to the Nourish + Moisturise Shampoo, Aveeno's ACTIVE NATURALS® Nourish + Shine Conditioner puts a healthy shine to dull, lack-lustre hair. As well as adding sheen thanks to it’s shine-enhancing palm extract and Wheat Complex, the conditioner also makes your hair more manageable. Both of the Aveeno shampoo and conditioner that I’ve chosen to try are suitable for coloured-treated hair so I can use it on a daily basis without worrying about the dye fading.

ACTIVE NATURALS® Positively Nourishing Antioxidant Infused Body Wash

I'm fussy when it comes to which body wash I use; from the ingredient to the consistency, how it lathers, and what it smells like. Luckily, Aveeno's Positively Nourishing Antioxidant Infused Body Wash smells really good! The scent of sweet peach is instantly potent once dispensed and the note of ginger comes through as you lather. It's formula is created to uplift your senses - perfect for the morning showers to wake you up and energise you. Plus, I love anything with a peach fragrance, so that’s a bonus!

ACTIVE NATURALS® Soothing Bath Treatment

A box of ACTIVE NATURALS® Soothing Bath Treatment contains 8 single-use, fragrance-free packets for your bath time. The powder is 100% made from natural ingredients and has an active ingredient of finely milled, ultra fine collodial oatmeal which helps to defend, protect, hydrate and gently cleanses the skin. You simply empty one packet in to running water, sit back and relax. This treatment has been given the seal of approval from dermatologists as it's formulated to sooth itchy, irritated skin; this could be from insect bites, rashes, prickly heat, eczema, sunburn, and any other skin irritation problems you may be experiencing. It's a good product to have on stand-by. 

ACTIVE NATURALS® Stress Relief Moisturising Lotion

Along with doctors and skincare experts, I can't recommend Aveeno's lotions enough. If you're prone to skin issues then do check out Aveeno - but chances are, you will have been recommended at one point if you've been to get advice about skin problems. If I don't make the effort to take care of my skin during this time of year, I see the New Year in with problems that will continue until Spring comes round. 

As the product name 'Stress Relief Moisturising Lotion' suggests, this long-lasting lotion provides stress relief to your skin thanks to it's calming formula of lavendar, essential chamomile, ylang-ylang, and ACTIVE NATURALS® Collodial Oatmeal.

ACTIVE NATURALS® Positively Nourishing Cocoa + Shea Butters Whipped Soufflé

I was intrigued by the fact that Aveeno's has called this a whipped soufflé. Basically, if the name resembles a delicious dessert, then I'm sold. Darling, you had me at soufflé. Usually, a lotion that features either cocoa + shea butter (or both!) is a thick, rich, body butter - and even though that's great for skin, I find it too heavy to use on a daily basis (it becomes a chore when it takes ages for the body butter to absorb/dry in to skin).  

This, being a 'soufflé' formula, is as light as a cocoa + shea butter based lotion can be. Fast-absorbing, smells lovely, and keeps your skin soft and hydrated! A beauty product like this is a must-have for Winter! I can even use it in the morning without getting that greasy, slippery feeling!

All of the products featured in this blogpost can be purchased from Google Trusted Store, iHerb, where you will find over 35,000 beauty products (a lot of which you can't buy in the UK). iHerb ships to over 160 countries with a fast delivery and reliable service. My order was shipped within 3 days and I got my parcel within a week! And if you happen to stumble across any issues with your order, their customers can provide support in 10 different languages.

If you’re thinking of placing an order on iHerb for any Aveeno products, new customers can use this special link to get $5 off your Aveeno order of $20 or over.

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Monday, 30 October 2017

My Autumn So Far

How to style a denim mini skirt in Autumn, UK Fashion blogger, north east fashion blogger

I have never felt so disconnected with my blog than I have recently.

Since 2011, I have thought about my blog every single day; what shall I blog about, what is considered good content, how do I become a better blogger, what can I do to increase traffic, why haven’t I been chosen for this campaign, am I not good enough, what am I doing wrong. 

As a blogger, you go through all the feels. Most of us fell into it by accident and it’s still a steep learning curve, everything is changing at a fast pace every day. We’re always striving to do better but we’re also our own worst critic. 

I’m learning to be kinder to myself, to take a step back (or even cut out) from the things that drag me down. It’s liberating, and dare I say, it does wonders in boosting my confidence when I unapologetically put myself first and focus on being the best version of me.

I’m an advocate for self-care and here’s just some of the fun things I’ve been doing lately:

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Halloween Lush Giveaway

halloween little pumpkin lush gift set

Just a really quick one today to let you all know that I am running an impromptu Halloween giveaway! I walked past LUSH last week and I thought it’d be nice to do a giveaway (my first giveaway on Instagram… my first and possibly last time. because Instagram makes things so difficult these days). 😖

But I saw the Little Pumpkin gift sets in the LUSH window display, and whilst I don’t need any more bath bombs at the moment, I couldn’t resist buying a cute little pumpkin to give away as a Halloween treat to one of you guys. I wish I could buy each and every one of you a LUSH Halloween gift set! If you’d like to enter for a chance to win, please head over to my Instagram profile (you can click through to the post here) for all the details.

lush bewitched bubble bar

You will win a gift set which includes a Pumpkin Bath Bomb (smells like toffee), and a pink pumpkin bubble bar (can be broken up in to pieces and get upto 3 baths out of it). As an extra, I also purchased an adorable Bewitched black cat bubble bar - it smells amazing!

To enter, all you have to do is:

  • Follow me on Instagram (username @tempsec).
  • Repost/Regram this image using hashtag #TempSecLush.
  • Comment on what your fave Halloween memory is.

Ends 31st October 2017 midnight. Good luck!


Monday, 23 October 2017

Easy-To-Make Delicious Halloween Recipes

Halloween rice crispy cakes recipe

Easy-To-Make Delicious Halloween Recipes

When I was younger, I wasn’t allowed to go Trick or Treating, so I’m making up for lost times! I never really noticed it before but I love how big Halloween has become in the UK, I am more than ok with seeing Halloween chocolate everywhere I look.

I spend a large portion of the month looking for Halloween themed things to do - I’m too scared for horror films but I'm so down for fancy-dress parties, pumpkin carving, Halloween-themed homeware, and baking. Oh, baking. Something I'm not very good at but will attempt at every given opportunity (check out my easy-to-bake recipes here)

Friday, 1 September 2017

Jurlique Launch New Skincare | Rejuvenate Your Skin’s Youthful Glow

I owe a lot to Jurlique for being one of the skincare brands that has played a big part in improving my skin and therefore improving my confidence. You can't put a price on that!

I’m so happy with how my skin looks at the moment, I can’t quite believe I can finally say that! (Although every time I dare to say out it loud, I fear that I’ll wake up the next day with spots all over my face. So… touch wood!)

Jurlique The NEW Herbal Recovery Advanced Day Cream

As a beauty blogger, I have learned a lot about skincare; what goes in it, which ingredients are best (and which to avoid) and how to use a product to get the best results. 

Jurlique, as a brand, does really well in educating the customers about their various skincare range and I’d like to pass on some of that knowledge. They’re a fantastic brand and I want to shout it from the rooftop!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Birchbox August | Mermaid Vibes

I know we should judge subscription boxes by the content but can we just take a moment to appreciate the theme of this month’s Birchbox*? MAJOR MERMAID VIBES ALERT!

No prizes for guessing that this month, Birchbox are encouraging us to embrace our “inner mermaid” - whatever that means - I think in fashion and beauty terms, that would be tousled hair, shimmering eyelids, and glistening skin. I like the sound of that, wbu? I mean, I’m still mesmerised by the packaging design. It’s so pretty! 

Unlike me, you’re probably more interested with what the beauty samples? It’s a good selection this month!

Birchbox August 2017 | Mermaid Vibes

Birchbox August 2017 - Mermaid Vibes

Number 4 Sugar Texturising Spray

Whoever came up with  the idea of putting sugar cane in a haircare product? A brand called Number 4, that’s who! This Sugar Texturising Spray helps you get the perfect beach waves without leaving a yucky residue or crunch.

LOC One and Done Shadow Stick

LOC is Birchbox’s own brand make-up brand and who better to develop their own make-up range than the beauty expert themselves! The eyeshadow stick promises an impressive wear of 11 hours. My eyelids are really awkward and product never ever stays put for 11 hours but that’s more me than the product. The shadow stick is creamy and easy to blend - great for those who are constantly on-the-go!


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Outfit: Red Floral Off-The-Shoulder Dress

Red Floral Off-The-Shoulder Dress, uk fashion blogger

I haven’t had the chance to wear my new Summer clothes this year which is a shame. Good job I didn’t buy much, just a couple of dresses from Primark and Boohoo… very purse-friendly - but it’s no good if I don’t get the chance to wear them. 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Molton Brown The Seabourn Collection

Molton Brown have done it again. They’ve created an incredible new collection designed to transports you to the very place the collection was inspired by. 

This Summer, Molton Brown are taking us to the high seas to experience the coast and fresh sea air… Honestly, for me, this is as close as it will get to a holiday until next year (probably! But I wouldn’t count on it, I haven’t been abroad for 7 years - who's counting?! I’m not being entitled, by the way, I know how that must come across. I’m the first to admit that I’ve developed a fear of travelling since my last holiday. I try to avoid but I know I'm missing out big time. Meh... I’ll get over it).

No matter how long it has been since I've been on holiday, I still remember the smell of being by the sea. It's just one of those smells that brings back memories.

Molton Brown The Seabourn Collection

Molton Brown The Seabourn Collection

This Summer, Molton Brown have collaborated with award-winning luxury cruise line, Seabourn to launch The Seabourn Collection* which consists of four limited edition products in two bespoke fragrances; Immerse Samphire & Eucalyptus (bath and shower gel, and body lotion) and Inspiring Basil & Vetiver (shampoo and conditioner).

We can all assume that the Inspiring Basil & Vetiver shampoo and conditioner smell aromatic and delicious (because come on, it's Molton Brown!) but I want to draw your attention to Immersive Samphire & Eucalyptus Bath and Body duo. 

I was dubious about Eucalyptus scented bath products; I like it but sometimes it can be too minty to the point of medicinal. There’s no danger of that here. Nothing too minty or too medicinal here.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Making My Own Soy Wax Candles

Just when you thought that apples were just apples, Pink Lady® comes along and proves us wrong! I often have press releases ping in to my email inbox about the Pink Lady®  campaigns, they're creative, positive, and meaningful. I feel very lucky and excited to be involved with their latest campaign.

Making my own candles | Apple scented soy wax candles

Making My Own Soy Wax Candles

Following the success of their Make It Possible campaign which encourages Pink Lady® fans to take some time away from the chaos of daily life to reclaim some important me-time and try something new. 

The latest project, Pass It On has the same elements rooted in and it is me all over. I’m all about self-love, self-care, and embracing a new skill. I love nothing more than pushing myself out of my comfort zone, the sense of achievement is so much more rewarding! It’s what builds my confidence and gives me strength!

Neutrogena Beauty Haul from iHerb

This blogpost is sponsored by iHerb

Affordable Neutrogena Beauty Products

You’ll always see an equal balance of high end and affordable brands on my blog, I like to have a good balance! But, basically, the rule of thumb is that if it’s effective and shows results, then I’m going to recommend it regardless to the brand and what the price point is. 

Affordable beauty is one of the most popular section of my blog (you can see similar posts here) and today I’ve got a really good one for you! Neutrogena is this week’s brand focus; they provide such a wide range of products to help you troubleshoot your skin woes- and I thought I’d have a go and see how I get on. 

I’ve been happy with how my skin has been for the past 6 months or so (it has been hard work!), but every now and then, I will have break-outs. It’s inevitable, it’s just one of those things. I can almost predict when it’s coming to… I’m quite in-sync with my body like that. This tends to be after I’ve applied foundation on with a brush I shouldn’t have used (oops!), environmental factors such as pollution after spending time in a city (yuck!), stress, hormones, or diet (meh, meh, and meh). Nothing out of the ordinary as you can see. Sometimes you just get hit with spots. It’s completely natural and everyone gets them.

For those troublesome phases, I like to have a particular type of products on standby to treat my skin and as a trusted brand, Neutrogena has helped me (and millions of others around the world!) to get clearer looking skin. They’re incredibly effective and super affordable too.


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Kate Spade New York Haul

I don’t collect a lot of things but I do have an enormous collection of stationery that I’ve kept since I was like, 7 years old. I

’ve been hooked since my Grandma bought me a Keroppi writing set from her travels to Hong Kong, I have been growing an impressive stash of stationery ever since that day; Scented erasers, pretty notebooks, pencil cases that had all these gadgety buttons and secret compartments, rolls and rolls (and rolls) of stickers. Hey, it was the 90s and that is the kind of thing we were in to! 

So, if you ever wondered how kids ever managed without the Internet and social media… I can answer that for you right now. Instead of using social media, we’d do stuff like trade items of stationery with each other. Riveting. I know.

My obsession started when I began writing to my Filipino penpal and I sensed that we were secretly trying to out-Sanrio each other with the fanciest Hello Kitty letter paper and the sparkliest stickers (hers was glow-in-the-dark with glitter, and I went one step better with stickers that were made of GLASS). 

Even now, as an adult, I can’t walk in to Paperchase without buying something. It’s uncontrollable. I have accumulated a tall pile of notebooks… and that’s just since January of this year. What is wrong with me, why can’t I stop buying stationery.

Discovering the stationery department at Amara is bad for me, it fuels my obsession and I’ve got a wishlist as long as my arm (and believe me, I have long arms for my height, long time readers will know that it’s an insecurity of mine. Meh. I don’t know who I inherited these long, gangly things from! I mean, not that I’m looking for someone to blame but…)

I celebrated my new (now not-so-new) job with new stationery, what better way to mark the occasion! New job, new stationery. That’s my motto. 

Except it’s no longer Sanrio stationery that I’m interested in, it’s Kate Spade (and now I'm in trouble...). To get my fix, Amara Living offered to send me a bundle of stuff. What a way to make my day! 

Kate Spade Journal 

(shop link)

With the slogan ‘Eat Cake For Breakfast” embossed in gold foil, this cloth-covered journal with a rainbow coloured ribbons for bookmarks is too hard to ignore. This journal is more stylish than me. I can’t deal.

Kate Spade Leaf-Print Notebook 

(shop link)

I confess- I picked this because of how instagrammable it is. I also selected it because I knew it could work as a blog photo prop. That’s a totally justified reason for buying something you don’t need. Yep!

Kate Spade Travel Mug 

(shop here)

I can’t function without a cup of tea first thing in the morning so this keeps my brew cuppa warm for my commute on the train. Plus, it looks SUPER cute! Browse this page and tell me you don't want everything!

Elizabeth Scarlett Washbag 

(shop link)

Most of my washbags are from Primark and all the zips have either broken off or gotten stuck (argh) so I thought a new one was due. I always carry a bag of make-up with me and this palm-tree print wash bag is big enough to store my beauty essentials.

All of these products are available from Amara*. Check them their website if you’re a fan of homeware - everything looks like it’s straight out of Pinterest! *swoon*.


Monday, 31 July 2017

Current Beauty Favourites

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front lately, haven’t I? I’ve been working on a lot of things “behind the scenes” - nothing exciting, it’s just work! - but it has made my put the blog on the backburner. I’ve been feeling mega guilty about it, so I am hoping to get back in to a routine. 

I have been trying lots of beauty products and I’ve been up to a lot of exciting non-worky stuff, I just need to get my butt in gear and blog about them! I thought I’d start with the easiest; my current favourites products. Products I’ve been loving lately and want to recommend.

The warmth of the Summer is doing wonders to my skin, it’s the best it has ever been (touch wood). It has never been so clear but actually, I do have my stash of beauty products to thank for. As I rummage through my rather (embarrassingly) large collection of lotions and potions, I can reach for products that will fix any of my skin woes; whether this be an oily T-zone, dry patches, blemishes, or general dullness.

Looking after my skin has become a top priority for me, especially now that I’m in my 30’s. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing or where I am, I will do my skincare routine twice daily - without fail. I think the results are paying off as I am telling people at work that I’m 22 and they actually believe me. Brilliant! “What’s your secret?” they ask me. A solid skincare routine, I tell them. 

I always incorporate a few extras to my skincare routine, so as well as the basics (cleanse, tone, and moisturise), I also add essence waters, serums, oils, spf, etc etc.

Bio-Essence 24k Bio-Gold Range

The incredibly Instagrammable Miracle Finisher and Gold Water by Bio-Essence have been miracle workers (available at Superdrug). I use the Gold Water (£16.99) in lieu of toner as it gives the similar results; Gold Water tighten pores, plump out fine lines, softens, mattefies, energize, and gives skin a luminous gold. It is a unique fusion of 24k bio gold and herbal extracts to protect skin from free radicals and signs of ageing. 

Bio-Essence Miracle Finisher (£29.99) is applied after face moisturiser as a last step to the routine. The lightweight cream protects your skin from pollutants and potentially harmful cosmetic ingredients by forming a layer over skin. Don’t worry, that isn’t as grim and sci-fi as it sounds. It’s like a light cream that has a matte finish and sinks in straight away. It keeps the shine away and makes my skin feel amazing throughout the day!


Monday, 24 July 2017

Recipe: Blackcurrant Jam Puddle Chocolate Brownies

uk recipe for chocolate brownies

Surprisingly, my most-read blogpost is not a fashion or beauty related one. It’s my recipe for chewy, fudge chocolate brownies!

Since it's been a couple of years since my previous chocolate brownies recipe, I thought it was time to post a new one! This time, I present to you, the richest, yummiest, Blackcurrant Jam Puddle Chocolate Brownies! They are easy to make - anyone at any level of baking skill can make these delicious brownies! The addition of the blackcurrant jam makes it taste like a black forest gateau. The sticky, syrupy sinks in to the brownies and the fruitiness balances out the rich and sweetness.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Cooking Made Easy | How To Make Dinner Time Exciting

hellofresh subscription food box

Well, this isn't my usual type of flatlay, is it?! Today's blogpost is going to be about food. Forget beauty for a moment, food is actually my favourite topic.

I used to be really good at cooking and sticking to a meal plan but for the past 4 months, I've found myself raiding the fridge or cupboard after getting in from work at 7pm. Oven chips, jacket potato, pasta salad, tinned soup and a couple of slices of toast... pretty boring, tbh. 

I don't actually like how convenience food taste, but it is just that. Convenient. It has become habit because there's no one here to judge me but also because I really am pushed for time on the evenings (I know, timing isn't a good enough excuse to eat crap!) but I'm ready to break out of it.

hellofresh subscription food box

Cooking Made Easy | How To Make Dinner Time Exciting

HelloFresh*, a subscription food box, was something I had heard about from other bloggers. This is how I've been getting brand new information for the past 5 years... bloggers are so quick and on-the-ball. HelloFresh was something I was intrigued about; what's not to love... a delivery of fresh produce to make delicious, healthy meals. But I was wary about how fresh HelloFresh fresh produce could be (tongue twister). Turns out... it is very fresh!

Monday, 3 July 2017

Take A Seat On My (Virtual) Sofa & Let’s Have A Catch-Up

Credit: The Design Files

I consider myself an introvert so I’ve come to recognise that I have what I call a ‘social battery’. If you ever catch me at the end of the day being slightly quiet, withdrawn and not as talkative… it’s only because my social battery has drained and it’s likely that I’m dreaming about retreating to a night in front of the TV. My comfort zone. 

Does this sound familiar to you? I love nothing more than settling on the sofa in front of the TV with a nice cup of tea and a copious amount of snacks! Don’t we all?!


Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Lipsticks So Healthy You Could Almost Eat Them

A question that used to weird me out was “what does the lipstick taste like?”. When I first started blogging about beauty products (and in particular lip products), the taste was something I didn’t think I needed to comment on but you’d be surprised how many people ask! 

Antipodes Moisture-Boosting Lipstick

Discover lipsticks so healthy you could almost eat them™

Licking lipstick off my lips isn’t something that I do if I can help it (it kind of freaks me out - it’s not knowing what it is that I’m ingesting but I'm funny about things like parabens anyway!) but it is said that women ingest as much as 7 pounds of lipstick in to her body, either absorbed through the skin of her lips or swallowed when eating. Eeeeks.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Natural Vitamins For Your Skin | A Fruity Range From Award-Winning Nspa

I tried nspa products for the first time a couple of months and as far as first impressions go, nspa made a pretty good one!! Their skincare rivals the likes of Glamglow and Liz Earle, while their body and bath range has a bit of The Body Shop about them.

Still, with their own brand identity, award-winning nspa are designed to treat, care, and de-stress even the busiest of people. I love nothing more than a pamper and bubble bath after a stressful and difficult day at the office, it does wonders in resetting my body and mind. A cliche, I know, but it really does work. You've got remember to take some time to de-stress after a long day.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

The Nude Lipstick Obsession Continues | Green People Damask Rose

I haven’t jumped on the massive beauty trend that is the nude lip trend (you can see from my lipstick collection that I'm more of a pink, coral, and red kinda gal), so it has taken a while to find my perfect nude matte lipstick. My version of the perfect nude is a pink-peach, but then that’s not a true nude, is it?! 

Through phases of experimenting, I kind of gave on my quest for a nude matte lipstick that suited my skin tone. I’ve tried reddish nudes but they are too dark for my complexion and the paler nudes washes me out. Avon’s True Matte Colour in Marvellous Mocha comes close to perfection but it was recently pipped to the post (just about) by Green People’s Damask Rose*, a special edition Velvet Matte Lipstick released in celebration of Green People’s 20th Anniversary. Celebrating a birthday with a new lipstick launch? I am more than ok with this!

Green People's Damask Rose Velvet Matte Lipstick, nude lipstick

The Nude Lipstick Obsession Continues

Green People’s Damask Rose Velvet Matte Lipstick (£15.00) is a universally flattery nude-rose shade that has been compared to MAC Kinda Sexy and NYX Stockholm. The nude-pink is a nice shade for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable wearing a bright lipstick during the day but want a bit of colour on your lips to complete the look. Avon’s Marvellous Mocha, on the other hand, is not as versatile and can only be worn when creating a certain look (the 90s style Andrea Corr look, to be precise!). I love them both but now I have a nude lippy for day time and another one for nights out.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Urban Decay To Launch New Naked Heat Palette | Beauty News

How many of us swear by Urban Decay’s Naked Palettes? If you’ve grown tired of the palettes by now (if that’s even possible) and you’re ready for a new one, you are in for a treat this Summer! Things are about to get HOT in the beauty world. Are you guys ready for brand new Naked Heat Palette from Urban Decay?

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette
Image source: @UltaBeauty

Urban Decay To Launch New Naked Heat Palette This Summer

Urban Decay's Naked Heat Palette is launching a pre-sale in the US on the 12th June and then released nationwide in The States on 30th June, and while there isn’t a confirmed release date for the UK at the time of writing this - word on the street is that the UK release date for Naked Heat Palette is July.

Everyone goes mad for them and this one is going to be no exception. It’s going to be one of the biggest launch of the Summer, as all the Urban Decay Naked Palettes are, so I doubt they’re going to keep us waiting for much longer than our US pals! (eeeep, you won't keep us waiting, will you, UD!?)

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Babe Power | Missguided Launch Debut Fragrance

The rate in which Missguided has grown since they launched their website in 2009 has been phenomenal. As a business in the fast-paced fashion industry based in an even faster digital space, the online retailer is a force to be reckoned with. 

Taking 'industry first' risks and being one step ahead of their competition with the help from numerous celebrity and global influencer collaborations, they have earned well-deserved success as a global leader and multi-platform fashion business.

Babe Power | Missguided Launch Debut Fragrance

Babe Power | Missguided Launch Debut Fragrance

From an outside perspective, I believe that one of the key to their success is that Missguided understand all things digital inside out. From beginning to end, they are a quick-thinking, fast-moving, millenial-attracting super brand that understands what the modern consumer want.

One look at their oh-so “Instagrammable” first, new, physical store based in Westfield Stratford City tells us that digital remains the forefront, and that sharing content and being an advocate for the brand is an important part of the customer's shopping experience. They’re certainly the kind of brand that encourages their customers to take photos of their shop and spread it all over social media, as opposed to the more traditional old-hat retailer that tell people off for it. I know they have their reasons for it, but times are a-changin’. We just wanna show our friends on social media how cool your shop is!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Make Your Mark

fashion blogger, denim jacket, how to wear a denim jacket

Sponsored by Crown Paints (words and imagery are my own).

When Crown Paints challenged me to interpret a colour palette from their Period Collection paint colours, I thought… OMG, this is great! I can combine three of my favourite things; colour story, flat lays, and outfit photos!

fashion colour palette
For the longest time ever, I have felt very distant with fashion blogging but at the same time, I really miss the days when I documented my personal style on my blog. I've been wanting to get those days back but I admit that I grew tired of both the community and my own content, and what I need was someone from the outside to challenge me to take on a different approach.

Crown Paints mission statement is “It’s not just paint. It’s personal” with the aim of inspiring homeowners to embrace colour and make a personal statement. The same could be said about my life, to be honest! You may have recently spotted the latest TV ad campaign for Crown Paints (who are known for their breakthrough Breatheasy Formulation) which encourages their customers to ‘Make Your Mark’.

Monday, 22 May 2017

The Beauty Box You Won't Be Disappointed With

A few weeks ago, I came home to a lovely parcel filled with beauty samples. The commute on that particular day was particularly stressful because of a train strike, but coming home to a parcel from Latest In Beauty* cheered me up no end.

As you've probably gathered from my content archive, I’ve certainly tried and tested my share of beauty boxes, the kind that curates a selection of beauty products for the user in hope that they will repurchase the items. There are so many to choose from but sadly, not all of them succeed in getting it right. A lot of them are becoming quite repetitive now.

Latest In Beauty and The Perfume Society box

Latest In Beauty | The Beauty Box You Won't Be Disappointed With

As I explored the contents of my Latest In Beauty parcel - this edition for April was in collaboration with The Perfume Society - I was excited about every single item inside. Every single one. If you want to treat yourself to something beauty related this month, you want to check out their latest beauty box... TRUST ME. It's a Beauty and The Beast themed one. HURRY UP AND SNAP ONE UP! PRONTO! 

The box that I received was in partnership with The Perfume Society* (£22) which focuses on skincare and bodycare that doesn’t only feel great on you but is a treat for all the senses.

In it, you receive a cosmetic bag filled with 10 deluxe and travel sized beauty samples worth £75. From brands like Balance Me, ThisWorks, Aromatherapy Associates, and Aurelia, every single product is as exciting as the next, I was so ready for a weekend of pampering!

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