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 If you ever catch me at the end of the day being slightly quiet, withdrawn and not as talkative… it’s only because my social battery has drained and it’s likely that I’m dreaming about retreating to a night in front of the TV.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!


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Benefit Cosmetics Pore Minimizing Make-Up

If you ask a beauty fan what product they use to minimises the appearance of pores, it is likely that they'll mention Benefit's the POREfessional. The ever growing range of the POREfessional products is a best-seller for Benefit, so it makes sense for them to extend this.

Benefit Cosmetics Pore Minimizing Make-Up

Benefit Cosmetics Pore Minimizing Make-Up

Benefit have recently launched another pore minimizing make-up and guess what it's called? the POREfessional Pore Minimizing Make-Up. It does exactly what it says on the tin packaging. No messin' about.

Before I go ahead and talk about the brand new Pore Minimizing Make-Up, let's do a quick recap on the existing the POREfessional products, shall we?

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

30 Days With Perricone MD Skincare

There's a lot of science and years of research that goes into developing each of the unique product in the Perricone MD range. And along with the price tag attached, it's safe to say that Perricone MD are for people who are really serious about skincare. Like, seriously serious.

I've enjoyed every products I've tried from this brand (with the exception of one) and they're always quite interesting to learn about. Due to proven results, it has been one of the best skincare I have ever used, my favourite being Chloro Plasma, a gel-to-clay face mask with mini capsule pearls filled with of chlorophyll. It makes your skin look and feel AMAZING. You can't put a value on the confidence that good skin gives you. 

But I'm not here to talk about Chloro Plasma today (you can find the review here, though).

perricone md skincare

I have introduced three Perricone MD skincare which I have been using every day for the past month; a cleanser, a 'Cold Plasma', and a face cream. 

I was gifted these products as part of a trial and I actually don't usually accept products on the terms that it's in exchange for guaranteed blog coverage but I am genuinely a fan of this brand - anyone who has tried Perricone MD before can vouch for how truly effective their range of skincare is. I know I'm really lucky to be in this position to try such amazing skincare.

As always, gifted or not, this absolutely does not effect my opinions - I write for my readers, not for the brand and I stay true to that. In fact, the other thing that swayed me to take part in this outreach is that the brand has encouraged an honest opinion. Can't say fairer than that.

perricone md skincare Nutritive cleanser

Nutritive Cleanser*, £36.00

What they say:
Scientifically formulated to help treat deep lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, loss of elasticity and sun damage.

What I say:
This is an anti-ageing gel cleanser which lathers up in to a light foam. The foaming is not surprising since it lists SLS as quite high up in the INCI, so I wondered if it would dry my skin out. I personally don't like that SLS is the 3rd ingredient listed, but I know it's not uncommon for gel cleansers. SLS it's known as a drying ingredient that can irritate skin, so I have to be careful with gel cleansers. I'm normally very anxious about trying them because there's a big chance that it would cause dry patches on my face which would lasts for up to a fortnight. I've been opting gel cleansers since the new year, so I felt like I could jump in and use this with a favourable result, especially as the Nutritive Cleanser is made for normal to dry skin.

The Nutritive Cleanser does what it promises; cleanses skin, removes make-up, washes away impurities. It features Alpha Lipoic Acid which lifts impurities without stripping the natural oils of the skin. With it being anti-ageing, it's a massive bonus too. It takes care of reducing fine lines and large pores.

The formula leaves skin smoother and visibly more radiant. But... there's a but... results wise, the cleanser is fine. It's more than fine, it's great. But I'm really unsure of the scent. It smells like a really strong baby powder. Like, really strong and really powdery. It's not bad and it's not enough to put me off as it's not unpleasant, it's just very overpowering which makes it difficult to use in the mornings when my senses haven't quite woken up properly! In the INCI, it just states 'fragrance/parfum' which is a pet hate of mine, so there's no definitive answer to what the scent is (for now).

perricone md skincare cold plasma

Cold Plasma*, £129.00

What they say:
One of their best-sellers, Cold Plasma is a daily nutrition for healthy, glowing skin. It addresses the 10 visible signs of ageing which are: wrinkles, enlarged pores, dryness, loss of smoothness, discolouration, impurities, loss of radiance, uneven skin tones, redness, and loss of firmness.

What I say: 
Cold Plasma. It sounds so sci-fi, doesn't it? Cold Plasma is a best-selling product and now I know why. It's expensive, but like I said, it's for people who are really in to skincare on another level. Granted, this is usually someone of an older demographic as this targets signs of ageing. I tick about half of the visible ageing signs as listed above - mainly enlarged pores, impurities, redness, and loss of radiance. At 32, I'd say that I'm in the right age bracket to start using Cold Plasma.

As this is a treatment product that you'd use before moisturiser, I'd class Cold Plasma as a creamy gel-like serum. It's one of those WOW products that you get rather attached to and I love using this because I know it works. If my skin feels haggard and dull after a long day, Cold Plasma is designed to target those concerns. It's almost like it gives you a shot of nutrition to your skin.

One of the things that is starting to bug me are the enlarged pores on my face. As soon as I hit my 30's, BOOM, HELLO PORES. WTF. That's probably down to years of not using a toner. Probably.

I've noticed that this is the biggest difference and although it's not the worst thing in the world, it's kind of getting me down. I don't know how to prevent them, I guess that's just one of those things you get with age (ugh). Thank goodness for primers and foundation!

Using Cold Plasma for this past month hasn't shrunken my pores but I think my expectations are too high. I'm expecting for enlarged pores to disappear completely and for my skin to revert back to how it was when I was in my late teens and early 20s but the reality is that that's not going to happen! All I can do is trust that products like Cold Plasma are tightening, firming, and smoothing in all the right places.

perricone md skincare nourishing moisturizer

Nourishing Moisturiser*, £62.00

What they say:
Hypoallergenic and scientifically formulated to deliver anti-ageing solutions for sensitive skin. Features olive polyphenols to deeply moisturise and hydrate.

What I say:
This moisturiser hits all the right notes; hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic (doesn't block pores), paraben-free, fragrance-free, and contains no mineral oils. The rich but gentle cream keeps the skin looking plump, hydrated, youthful, and healthy. 

The formula includes olive polyphenols (an antioxidants from the olive fruit and olive leaf), neuropeptides which restores elasticity to firm sagging skin, and a powerful form of vitamin E to protect from environmental factors. 

The Nourishing Moisturiser preps your skin for the day and a thin layer of it is suffice. Any more than a thin layer and my skin becomes too oily by the end of the working day. That shine isn't a good look for anyone! But it goes to show how hydrating this face cream is.

This is the second face moisturiser I have tried from Perricone MD, the first being Photo Plasma, and Nourishing Moisturiser is definitely better suited to my normal-to-sensitive skin type. If it had SPF in it, it would be the most perfect face cream.

perricone md skincare

Out of all the Perricone MD products I've tested in the time that I've been blogging, the two the I recommend are Chloro Plasma and Cold Plasma for it's effectiveness.

Have you tried Perricone MD before?


Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Current Beauty Favourites

I am terrible at remembering to round up my currently favourites on a monthly basis but I feel like such a sense of achievement when I can finally tick it off my to-do list! It's something that I put off, not because I don't want to write it up, but because it gets shifted down the list of my priorities. I think to myself 'well, I've always get next month'...

Time to tackle the Monthly Favourites selection, though! Let's go...

Monday, 24 April 2017

PÜR Vanity Palettes

PÜR is a cruelty-free, with part of their collection stuiable for vegans, the beauty brand describes themselves as an innovative. They are committed to an eco-friendly and waste-minimising ethos, and have produced some products that are even gluten free! PÜR believes in celebrating women of all ages and all skin tones.

Any brand that introduces themselves with such a strong statement is most definitely worth our attention. 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Too Faced Sweet Peach: Worth The Hype?

Those of you who read beauty blogs on a regular basis will have definitely spotted Too Faced Sweet Peach Collection causing a fuzz on social media at the beginning of the year. 

I am very late to the peach party but I managed to get my hands on the product I wanted to try most from one of this year's most talked about beauty collection so far.

Too Faced Sweet Peach: Is It Worth The Hype?

As you may have noticed by the strong presence of Too Faced gracing the pages of my blog at the moment, I have fallen for the Sweet Peach Collection. 

The eyeshadow palette was first launched last year and it made a happy comeback, along with a few other peachy treats! 

Being Chinese, I think the packaging immediately appeals to me. There is a MASSIVE market for cute and kitchy things in the Far East, one look at Korean beauty products and you will totally get where I'm coming from; the cuter, the better. There's a huge customer base for brands who market themselves in the way that Too Faced does.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

An Introduction To Tropic Skincare

Tropic Skincare is a brand that I’ve been very excited to tell you about. I’ve built a small (but precious!) collection of products since the back end of last year that have definitely made my skin look healthier. 

It’s another fantastic skincare brand that I discovered as of late and they really deserve all the love and hype they’re receiving at the moment. It’s no wonder that Tropic Skincare is the fastest growing beauty brand in the UK. 

An Introduction To Tropic Skincare

An Introduction To Tropic Skincare

There is a bit of a cult following, I’ve noticed that people who already use Tropic Skincare are true advocates for the brand and it’s down to how effective the products are. It’s an exciting vegan-friendly beauty brand that develops their formula using naturally derived ingredients is founded by Susan Ma, a candidate from The Apprentice in 2010-11 and I remember rooting for Susan that year purely for the fact that she is Chinese! 

Friday, 21 April 2017

Love Me Beauty | Ecotools Brand Focus

Love Me Beauty April 2017

This has been my favourite Love Me Beauty* edition for quite some time and reminds me of what Love Me Beauty used to be like. 

This month, the main brand they're putting in the limelight is 100% vegan friendly Ecotools. It looks like that Ecotools have gone through a bit of a re-brand and I can see that they've caught on to the beauty blender trend which is great!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Hello Rose Make Up Set | Pixi By Petra

Hello Rose Make Up Set | Pixi By Petra

This 3-piece beauty kit sets you up for a simple, fresh look this Spring. I can't exactly get away with just using these three products (oh, I wish I could!) but it does remind me that I can keep things basic and that these three gorgeous Pixi By Petra can help!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Birchbox x Boden

Birchbox x Boden april edition

Birchbox collaborates with Boden in April

For April 2017, Birchbox* has collaborated with British clothing brand Boden. The theme of this month's edition is 'Be Bold and Beautiful' - encouraging everyone to be bold and beautiful on our own terms. 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Beginning Of Spring

The beginning of Spring has been good to me.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter this year! The week running up to Easter was rather busy so the 4 day weekend couldn’t come any quicker. I think we all needed it! 

Usually, Bank Holidays never have any effect on me, I work through it and I’m sure anyone who is self-employed will relate to this, but I took 2 out of the 4 days off over Easter - to do nothing but watch TV, eat, and sleep. I am a workaholic so doing nothing for two days made me feel antsy and guilty, but sometimes we need to step back and let the ideas come at ya. Which is exactly what happened.


Monday, 10 April 2017

A Liquid Lipstick That's As Good As Kylie Lip Kits

Lord & Berry’s Timeless Kissproof Lipstick are the most underrated liquid lipsticks ever. 

Liquid lipsticks have really taken off in the past couple of years and the trend is only set to get bigger! Back when I first tried Lord & Berry’s Timeless Kissproof Lipstick over a year ago, I could claim that the were the best liquid lipsticks I had ever tried, and I actually still stand by that. (With Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipsticks coming a very close second!) 

Lord & Berry Timeless Kissproof Lipstick

A Liquid Lipstick That's As Good As Kylie Lip Kits

They’re long-wearing, non-drying, and budge-proof. Plus, you won’t ever be met with the annoying ‘sold out’ label because there isn’t that hype over these like there are with the Kylie Lip Kits, you’ll always be able to buy them without clambering over each other.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Soaper Duper - An Honest Beauty Brand

Soaper Duper might seem like the most normal looking body care, but what if I told you that this is the new beauty range from the creator of Soap & Glory? Have I got your attention now? Let me tell you more!

Soaper Duper

Soaper Duper - An Honest Beauty Brand

I should point out that Soap & Glory was bought by Boots in 2014 and that Soaper Duper is not a sister brand of Soap & Glory nor is it connected in any way other than they were both started by Marcia Kilgore.

Marcia Kilgore founded Soap & Glory in 2006, built it into a super brand before it was acquired by Boots. She is a strong business woman who has many other beauty related businesses to her name. And one of her new ventures is the fabulous Soaper Duper!

Upon first impression, the design of Soaper Duper* packaging is usually not my thing and if I saw it on the shelves of Tesco, I wouldn’t look twice at it. But knowing that it’s Marcia Kilgore’s latest venture, my ears have pricked up. Soaper Duper has my full undivided attention!

Knowing how inspirational of a woman Marcia Kilgore is, I am fascinated by all the brands that she has created which includes Fit Flop, Bliss Spa, and most recently, Beauty Pie.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Body Fantasties Launch 4 New Fragrances

Body Fantasties body mists launched in the UK last year, and ever since then, I’ve been keeping an eye on their Instagram to see when they’re releasing new fragrances. Their US account has all the scents and I was hoping that Cotton Candy would be one of them.

body fantasies body mists

Body Fantasties Launch 4 New Fragrances

My dreams have come true because Body Fantasies have launched Cotton Candy n the UK, along with 3 others - Kissing In The Rain, Vanilla, and Pink Sweet Pea Fantasy. This is in addition to their first UK launch. What’s even better is that the new range comes in a larger 236ml bottle!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Rimmel Brow The Way Shake Filling Powders

Rimmel Brow The Way Shake Filling Powders review

Rimmel Brow The Way Shake Filling Powders Review

I can’t keep up with all the new brow product releases, it is definitely something the beauty brands are focussing all their efforts on right now!

The new offering from Rimmel promises easy application for thick, full brows with their Brow This Way Shake Filling Powder. Available in four shades (Blonde, Medium Brown, Dark Brown, and Soft Black), the small pots contain loose soft powder. To apply, you simply shake to disperse the powder and ensure it sticks to the applicator.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Victor&Rolf Flowerbomb Bloom Perfume

Victor&Rolf Flowerbomb Bloom Perfume

Victor&Rolf Flowerbomb Bloom Perfume

Victor&Rolf launched their first perfume, Flowerbomb, in 2005 and this Spring, they have released Flowerbomb Bloom, an updated version of the iconic fragrance. It has blossomed and there is finally a “new chapter” of the Flowerbomb story.

Monday, 3 April 2017

YSL Beauty Volupte Tint-In-Balm | Two Formulas, Double The Benefits

YSL Beauty Volupte Tint-In-Balm review

YSL Beauty Volupte Tint-In-Balm | Two Formulas, Double The Benefits

The amount I bang on about YSL Beauty Rouge Volupte Shine lipsticks on my Instagram, it’s no secret that I adore them. I’ve passed on the obsession to my Mum who has a bigger collection of YSL Beauty lipsticks than me… which makes her really easy to gift on special occasions like birthdays and Mother’s Day! 

YSL Beauty Volupte Tint-In-Balm review

It was this very recent trip to the YSL Beauty counter, a few days before Mother’s Day, when I spotted the new “double hybrid” Volupte Tint-In-Balm*. It has the same dreamy outer packaging as Volupte Rouge except it’s silver instead of gold. I had wondered what else was different about it.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Love Me Beauty - The Best Bits

I receive complementary Love Me Beauty* boxes on a monthly basis, but believe me when I say that nothing in blogging is ever free. When it’s busier than usual, beauty boxes are bumped down in my list of things to do and I feel guilty for omitting LMB from my blog - which is exactly what I’ve done recently. Not that any blogger should guarantee coverage in exchange for “free” gifts but I have loved this brand of beauty box in the past, and I want to continue supporting them.

Love Me Beauty - The Best Bits

I have combined my favourite samples that I have received in the past three months in to one single post. As with most beauty sample boxes, there are some products that I love and some that I know I won’t ever use. So consider this a highlight of the last three Love Me Beauty boxes to give you a taster of what their recent editions have been like. 


Thursday, 30 March 2017

Look Fresh With KIKO's Less Is Better Collection

For their 20th Anniversary, Italian cosmetics brand, KIKO MILANO have launched a new collection in collaboration with Superduper Handmade Hats. Celebrating their milestone, Less Is Better is a capsule collection of nude shades in a beautiful pastel blue and pink packaging. 

spring beauty trends, KIKO's Less Is Better Collection, no make up make up look

Look Fresh With KIKO's Less Is Better Collection

I am soooo ready to pack away my A/W berry shades in replacement for fresh and lighter shades this Spring - even if it doesn’t look like we’ll get the weather to match (which is standard, really! Not gonna hold my breath!)

It’s more difficult than you think to achieve the flawless no make-up make-up look. It’s like when you shoot a video or photos in black and white and you’d think that it’d be easier than shooting in full colour, but you have to put double the work in to the looks and make-up just for it to show up on screen. I feel that way about nude make-up and the ‘invisible’ look. It’s double the effort (well, it is for me because I don’t have the best of make-up skills!) but when you get it right, it is a beautiful look for the day time.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Ciate Pretty Stix | Moisturising & Conditioning Lip Colour

Ciate Pretty Stix

Ciate Pretty Stix | Moisturising & Conditioning Lip Colour

With my lips being so annoyingly dry over the past few months, it has been a right ‘mare to find a lipstick that I can wear constantly without irritation. It hasn’t stopped me wearing lipstick but it’s always preferable to have one at hand that’s not only highly moisturising but low maintenance too - one that I can apply very quickly and without using a lip liner.

Sounds like I’m being picky, but I have found that highly moisturising lipstick that’s also low maintenance to apply in the form of Ciate London Pretty Stix*. 

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Body Mists That Would Transport You Back To The 90's

Unlike yesterday's blogpost (SJP Stash), I have something a that's a little easier on the purse strings. But first - the title; The body mists won't actually going to transport you back to the 90's. For £3.99 per bottle, it can't make you smell nice AND give you a free ride back to the 1990's (unfortch). Not physically, anyway, but it might take you back in memory, though. In fact, I know it will.

It has been absolutely yonks since I have used So…? Body Mists! Not because I don’t like them but they don’t seem to be in the aisle that I go to when I’m shopping. Teenagers nowadays are using expensive brands (lucky them!) but back when I was a teen, all I knew was So…? and Impulse body sprays. 

Every month, I was excited to get a brand new scent and it was a beauty product that my friends and I were using. A spritz in-between lessons, at lunch times, and after PE... I think it’s safe to say that ladies my age will remember how trendy it was to have a bottle of So…? in their school bag!

so...? fragrance body mists

Body Mists That Would Transport You Back To The 90's

So…? have recently launched a new collection of scents for Spring which includes: Rose Petals, Sparkling Tea, Pink Grapefruit, Iced Melon, Musk, Vanilla, Floriental, White Petals, Fresh Musk, Vanilla Milkshake, Watermelon, and Fruity. There’s one for everyone! At at £3.99 for a 100ml bottle, that’s not bad at all!

I picked a few fragrances that I wanted to try, I wondered if it would take me back to Year 7 — circa 1997. It evokes nostalgic memories of a time when I was listened to The Spice Girls on a walkman, read Smash Hits Magazine, AOL IM, ying and yang choker necklaces, hair mascara, and all that good stuff, but the scent of the new body mists are more modern, more fresh. Thank God for that.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Stash by Sarah Jessica Parker | A Genderless Perfume

Out of the three SJP perfumes that I have tried recently (NYC and Lovely), the newest fragrance, Stash*, is the most unique. It’s different to me because it isn’t an obvious choice of perfume that I’d normally go for but after researching some information about Stash, I’ve come to appreciate it on a whole new level.

Stash by Sarah Jessica Parker | A Genderless Perfume

Stash by Sarah Jessica Parker | A Genderless Perfume

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I prefer something with a floral aroma blended with a hint of zing and sweetness. Having said that, YSL Black Opium has been my go-to perfume since I got it in December (and it’s almost half gone!! I’ve never gone through a bottle of perfume as quickly as that!). But I also adore the likes of Roses De Chloe and Miss Dior.

But SJP’s Stash is different. It’s unusual. It’s grown up, and I like it. I saw a lot of promotional activity on social media at end of last year and I (wrongly) made the assumption that SJP’s new launch would be as feminine as the others within her brand but it has taken me by surprise. 

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Outfit: Dressing For Work

It’s finally Spring but I don’t quite trust the weather yet. I’m still very attached to my scarf and I’m not willing to part with it. I always find the Winter/Spring transition the most difficult in terms of style, I feel like I’ve been stuck in dark colours for so long that I’ve forgotten how to dress with more colours and less fabric. 

But I do love this time of year and in many ways, I find it easier to dress for the warmer season… when I’ve got my mind used to the fact that it’s actually warm again and it’s ok to not wear thick tights and a scarf for comfort. 

fashion blogger uk, outfit of the day, style blogger

I was recently sent a huge parcel of handbags from Avon, 7 in total, in fact. I LOVE bags so this was the best day ever, each of the 7 bags are really nice too! I am wearing my favourite one here in this outfit post, a bag designed by British designer, Tabitha Webb.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Budget-Friendly Skincare That's Definitely Worth A Try

There’s a lot of mumble about how unrelatable bloggers are these days with the designer this and designer that. Maybe that’s the way that blogging was supposed to evolve, but I will always try to have a steady mix of both high-end and budget-friendly. 

If you dig around my blogging archive, you will find a mixture of all brands, especially in skincare, from Charlotte Tilbury to Lidl! In fact, my blogpost on Lidl’s Best 5 Affordable Beauty Products is my most viewed content ever, so by the looks of it, you’re all keen to know more about affordable beauty products than the designer ones, so I’m going to take that and run with it!

budget friendly skincare, affordable skincare, nspa skincare, skincare from asda

A Budget-Friendly Skincare That's Definitely Worth A Try

Since I began beauty blogger 6 years ago, I have learned not to be a brand snob when it comes to skincare, which is a good job otherwise I would’ve missed out this beauty of a brand! Today, I’m recommending another fantastic, affordable, and effective skincare range, nspa which is from Asda! Who knew that a supermarket beauty brand can be just as good as those from the swanky ’beauty department’! 

Although I’m a sucker for beautiful packaging, I’m more about the substance. There’s been times when I’ve picked something up from the beauty counters only to be disappointed to realise that it’s contains parabens, that’s a no go for me. I’m pleased to tell you that nspa doesn’t use parabens in their products and more importantly, they don’t test on animals and have a selection of products that are suitable for vegans (this will be labelled on the packaging).

So, how did I get on with the products and how to they match up to the more expensive skincare that I’ve previously used? Well, I’M IMPRESSED. Like, really really impressed! The Skin Glow Mud Mask is a dupe for Glam Glow and the Hot Cloth Polish is equally as good as Liz Earle’s.

nspa skincare, skincare from asda, budget friendly skincare, affordable beauty

nspa Hot Cloth Polish* - £6.40 (currently £3.00)

Every hot cloth cleanser will always be compared to Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish. This one by nspa is formulated with cocoa butter, avocado, apricot, and Neroli essential oils, and works in the exact same way, it’s a cream cleanser which you remove with a soft muslin cloth. It has a nicer scent than Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish, it’s not a strong - but whilst you can use the Liz Earle version on the eyes to remove eye make-up, nspa advises you to avoid the eye area, so it’s best to use an eye make-up remover beforehand.

nspa Skin Glow Mud Mask* - £4.00

This is a deep cleansing mud mask with clay and charcoal. I would consider it a budget-friendly dupe to Glam Glow’s Supermud. The kaolin clay and charcoal works in extracting impurities and leaves your skin clean and radiant! You can also use it on spots as they appear which stops them from getting angry. Can’t cope with angry looking spots.

nspa Radiant Flash Serum* - £6.40

I love a good serum but I’m also very picky about them too. I don’t particularly have a preference in formula - I like creams, gels, watery, thick, all kinds. But sometimes they add a pearlescent finish to it to give skin a luminous glow and in this case, they’ve added a little too much shimmer for my liking - it’s not a big problem as such because I would normally apply foundation on top of it but it would be perfect if it had less mica in it. However, the serum itself (which features ginseng and grapeseed oil) feels lovely on skin, it sinks in and dries quickly. I will reserve this to use in the evenings.

nspa skincare, skincare from asda, budget friendly skincare, affordable beauty

Individually Packed Face Masks* - £2.00 (per pack)

These are so great if you want to sample the product, or if you have a girly night in planned. A face mask is such a treat, I use one every once or twice a week.

I received a packet of Warming Detox Mask, Radiance Boosting Mask, and Professional Peeling Mask. My favourite is definitely the warming masks, if you get a chance to try it, I highly recommend it! Even though I was hesitant when I first tried it a couple of years ago, I am now completely converted. 

I love warming masks, they’re amazing and it’s so strange how they work but basically, when you rub the mask on to skin, it gets warm in heat! This one had a strong ginger scent which was lovely! If you have dry skin, this one would sort you out.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

10 Vegan-Friendly Beauty Recommendations

As mentioned in a recent blogpost, I have made the decision to lessen the consumption of meat and although I am not a vegan or vegetarian (yet), I am keen on continuing to educate myself on minimising the impact our lifestyle, as a society, have on animals and the environment. 

10 Vegan-Friendly Beauty Recommendations

10 Vegan-Friendly Beauty Recommendations

Diet aside, I’ve also been thinking more and more about vegan friendly beauty products - something that we can all do. I've even found a website which lets you double check if the ingredients are vegan friendly.

With the help from other people, I have been recommended many vegan friendly beauty brands (that contains no animal byproduct as well as being cruelty free). I’ve even found an ingredient’s checker which checks whether a product is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, which is a really useful website. 

I’m building up my vegan friendly beauty product section which will be an ongoing thing, and I have many more amazing product recommendations to add to it, so please do come back and check.


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey Collection For Dry, Sensitive Skin

The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey Collection For Dry, Sensitive Skin

The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey Collection For Dry, Sensitive Skin

The Body Shop has launched a new range that’s specially formulated for dry and sensitive skin. I’m lucky that I don't suffer from dry, sensitive skin all year round but I know close friends and family members who have the constant battle of this, and searching for the right products to use so that skin problems don't flare up is a bit of a nightmare; the itchiness, tightness, and all around uncomfortableness.


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Better Together Collection by Too Faced x Kat Von D

There’s been a lot of noise about Too Faced Cosmetics in the past 6 months. Since January alone, there has been at least 3 exciting launches, one of which has got everyone talking (The Sweet Peach collection… which I will blog about soon). 

For now, lets talk about Too Faced collaboration with Kat Von D for the Better Together Collection.

Better Together Collection by Too Faced x Kat Von D

Better Together Collection by Too Faced x Kat Von D

I'd say that both of them are pretty ‘out there’ compared other high end beauty brands. It’s unusual for two make-up brands (and essentially, competitors) to team up and especially two that don’t particularly share the same style. Too Faced is colourful, kitsch, and fun, whereas Kat Von D is gothic, dark, and moody - but they have done (marketing) wonders to make this work (after all, opposites attracts!). I guess that it also helps tremendously that the founders of both brands are real life BFFs. Or so we are lead to believe. Not that I don’t believe them… but clever marketing and all that…

Whatever their friendship status is, they have paired up and have sent the message out that we are BETTER TOGETHER. As people who are there for one and another, cheering and supporting and celebrating success together. I think that’s a fantastic and positive message to put out there. 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Molton Brown Release The Patisserie Parlour Gourmand Collection For Mother's Day

Oh, I just love this time of year because all of my favourite beauty brands launch new collections and new scents that are right up my street. I’ve always got an eye on Molton Brown and what they’re up to, so when I heard that there were releasing a limited edition Gourmand Collection, The Patisserie Parlour, I was like YAY! And just in time for Mother’s Day too.

Molton Brown Comice Pear & Wild Honey

Molton Brown Comice Pear & Wild Honey

London via Gloucestershire 

Molton Brown’s The Patisserie Parlour consist of three gourmand scents; Comice Pear & Wild Honey*, Exquisite Vanilla and Violet Flower, and Delicious Rhubarb and Rose. I love sweet, dessert-like, foodie scents so this may be my favourite Molton Brown collection to date. I hope they bring is back year on year or extend the collection with new scents.

What draws me to Molton Brown is the way they market each of the scents. Through this, they are able to set the scene with a story about their products and it always evokes a certain memory from my past. Tapping in to the emotional side of the customer and doing it well is a successful formula and Molton Brown does this incredibly well. I fall for it every single time.

Molton Brown Comice Pear & Wild Honey

“An orchard of pear trees, ripe with plump fruit. Rambling wildflowers scattered in the grass. The charming hum of honey bees. Melt into the warm of a sun-drenched English meadow.”

And from that, it draws my mind to my childhood, growing up in the Yorkshire Dales and visiting farm shops, going on Summer picnics with my family, and enjoying the fresh air of the countryside. We haven’t done that in many years so it’s a memory I love to revisit.

Molton Brown Comice Pear & Wild Honey

As described by Molton Brown’s master perfumer, “The fragrance opens with crunchy green leaves, refreshed with subtle hints of bergamot and layered with light petals of gardenia”. The star of the show, of course, is the pear and honey. This fragrance reveals juicy, plump pears with jasmine and lily of the valley. The base notes are honey, caramel, and biscuit to give it that unique gourmand deliciousness.

The stunning Comice Pear & Wild Honey and other scents in the Gourmand Collection includes the Fine Liquid Hand Wash (£18), Hand Lotion (£23), Hand Cream (£10) and gift sets are available from Molton Brown now.

Check out my other blogposts which features Molton Brown.

© Temporary:Secretary | UK Fashion & Beauty Blogger | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig