June Favourites

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June was a busy month! It was the month that this blog turned 7! Whoo. It was the month that the UK chose to exit the EU (I’m not commenting on this, it’s a massive can of worms). It was the month my friend Sarah got married and I got to be a bridesmaid (yay!) and it was the month that Pretty Little Liars made its season 7 return!

It was also the month where I fell in love with some new beauty products and continued to love some products I already had.

So let’s go for it!

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I bought the Pixi Glow Tonic (£18) from Liberty about two months ago, and have been using it a few times a week (not every day) after I take off my makeup. At first I didn’t think it was making any difference to my skin, but after about a month I realised I haven’t needed to exfoliate my face at all since I started using it. I usually need to exfoliate once or twice a week but now – never! I have also found the redness in my face has reduced quite a bit, and when I don’t use it the redness is more prominent. It smells nice, doesn’t feel harsh on my skin and I’m always shocked at how much comes off on the cotton wool pad even when I think I’ve removed all my make-up. Gross! The Pixi Glow Tonic isn’t cheap at £18 but I think it’s worth it. I have also found my local M&S stocks this, so I don’t need to treck to London every time I want it. And Pixi have just launched ready-soaked pads in the US which are perfect for travel, so I’ll be picking those up from Sephora in Florida when I’m there in September, instead of packing this big bottle!

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I’m still on my pina colada kick, so when I found out Body Shop had a range in that scent, I was all over it! This body sorbet is light, refreshing and not heavy on the skin. I layer it with the next product I’m going to talk about and smell amazing all day! I’m going to take this on holiday with me, because it also has soothing properties and no doubt I’ll burn in the sun. If I run out I’ll be hitting up a Body Shop in Florida for a new one!

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Also launched at the same time as the Pinita Colada range, was this Polynesian Island Tiare body mist. This is light, and fresh and as I said layers perfectly with the body sorbet. Unfortunately it comes in a glass bottle so I won’t be travelling with this.

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On a similar note, I picked up this nspa body scrub from Asda whilst on holiday in St Ives. I really felt like I needed a body scrub and this one was inexpensive and smelled lovely. It’s making my skin feel lovely!

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As part of a recent E.L.F haul (I’ll be doing a first impressions soon!) I picked up this blusher in Tickled Pink. I thought it was a dupe for Nars Orgasm, but have since found out that’s the ELF Twinkled Pink – who named these so similarly?! But I’m still really loving this shade. It comes out as a really natural colour on my cheeks and it’s lovely to be able to layer this so I can get as pigmented a tone as I’d like. Plus I’m enjoying the mirror in the packaging.

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And lastly, this bad boy – The Balm BalmShelter tinted moisturiser. I’ve had this for months, and I wear it every day, but it really came into its own for the recent wedding I was bridesmaid at. I intend to post a feature on the makeup I wore for the wedding, but need to rave about this now. When I get sunburn, due to my oily t-zone, I get burn on my forehead and my nose. And I mean Rudolph style burn on my nose. This tinted moisturiser not only controlled my t-zone, with only a light dusting of mineral veil powder when first applied, but since it has spf 18 it prevented any facial burn. My chest, shoulders and back burned, but my face stayed perfect ALL DAY. Seriously I am so impressed with this product. I love it!

June Faves

So that’s my June favourites! Let me know if you’d tried any of these and what you thought!

 

Music You Don’t Know, For the Warmer Months

As the weather picks up, my taste in music changes. I don’t know whether other people experience the same change. I have specific albums I can’t listen to unless it’s sunny… maybe that’s strange? (And apparently, today I’m writing in rhyme)

Strange or not, here are a few albums I have been or will be listening to more as the weather brightens and the temperature soars:

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Static and Silence by The Sundays

This album screams of hot summer nights to me. Totally 90s, light and wonderful. I love this album so much I sometimes can’t bring myself to listen to it. Does that make any sense? It’s my favourite of all The Sundays’ albums and none of their others quite seemed to hit the same mark. It’s perfect from start to end.

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Pocketknife by Mr Little Jeans

I first listened to this album a couple of years ago, on the train from Bletchley to Euston on the way to cheer on at the London Marathon. Ever since it’s had that kind of bright motivation in my mind, and a few of the songs even featured in my running playlist when I was heavily training for my half marathon. The music is electronic pop with song-writer skill and enough twinkly notes to keep you interested. She never tours in the UK but I’m hoping she might one day… though I kind of like the feeling that, at least in this country, she’s my little secret.

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Eveningland by Hem

This New York based, folk-type band, dominated my summers for a few years around 12/13 years ago. Their music isn’t taxing, and could be described as perfect for the balmy/lazy summer’s day we all hope to experience. It evokes thoughts of dry dusty grass and hoping for cool breezes. That being said, this music is nowhere near thoughtless or empty. Full of deep and thought-provoking lyrics, you end this album with a calm, satisfied yet emotion-pregnant sigh.

Lastly, an album that you *will* know

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Days Are Gone by Haim

I don’t need to describe this album to you, because you know all about it, I’m sure. But I really love it – the whole thing. And it reminds me of when I accidentally saw them play at The Bowl in Milton Keynes when I accidentally went to see Kings of Leon there. And they were all kinds of awesome. They’re releasing a new album this summer apparently, and I can’t wait to hear it!

What do you like to fill your ears with as the weather gets warmer? Are you a fan of any of the above? I’d love to know!

 

February Favourites

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Despite February being a short month it’s been a great month for new things for me! This month’s favourites blog contains beauty, body, tech and tv so hold on tight – there’s a lot to get through!

I’m going to start with body products I’m loving this month.

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Starting with Nayobay’s Protective Hair Mask Volume Conditioner. This came in my February GlossyBox and I’ve used it once a week since I received it. The website says “This mask contains natural triglycerides that add density and volume to hair and features organically grown Shea Butter and Argan oil.” I’m not really sure what that means to be honest, but I know I love what it does to my hair. You leave it on for 3 minutes after shampooing and then rinse it off. Afterwards my hair and scalp feel cleansed for at least 4 days after, my hair feels manageable and not too soft. The only way to describe how my hair looks after using it, and drying naturally, is 70s hair. And I mean this in a good way. My hair has volume, but isn’t frizzy. It’s matte, but looks conditioned. I just love it. Oh and it smells kind of subtly orangey – love it.

The next body favourite was a Valentine’s gift from G-Man. Laura Mercier’s almond coconut milk honey bath. I’d been lusting over one of these for a while, and was delighted to be given this. The cute little honey dipper holds just enough product to then drizzle under running water. The quality of the bubbles you get is like nothing else, and when you’re in the bath it’s like you’re bathing in silk. It makes for a wonderful, luxurious bath and I can see this jar lasting for a long long time. Worth the cost? Definitely!

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Last for body products is this bath and shower gel I picked up in Tesco. I’m always a little put off by brands which market their products in a similar vein to other higher end brands. I had been wary of buying this as it looks at first glance like a Philosophy rip off. But I liked the scent and there was nothing else I fancied, so buy it I did. Honeycomb Secret by Treacle Moon feels luxurious enough for a drugstore price. Not as fancy as the Laura Mercier, I hasten to add, however this bath and shower gel feels nourishing on my skin and produces lovely bubbles.

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Moving onto beauty products now, and you guys know my love for Gwen Stefani’s Urban Decay collaboration – I tried and then had to buy Ex-Girlfriend, a sheer nude in her lip range. It appears to be my perfect nude shade, feels wonderful on and lasts fairly well on the lips considering I’m a serial lip smoosher. I also picked up a tube of Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Hibiscus, which leaves a lovely subtle tint on the lips and again feels really moisturising and lasts really really well. It doesn’t look to much when you add to it either which is great. Both of these are great every day colours for a not-too-done-up look when I don’t want my lips to be bare.

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Another huge favourite of mine this month is the Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay blush palette. This palette is *amazing*. The shades you get are all usable, and I’ve been loving blending OC and Hush, then highlighting with Angel. You can see from the photo that the palette’s a bit messy, and that’s because I’ve been using it pretty much every day! Plus the palette itself is massively gorgeous!

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Next in beauty, well it’s kind of body but let’s talk about it anyway, is Lemony Flutter cuticle butter from Lush. This should have been in my holy grails post, but I haven’t bought it for years and decided last weekend I needed it back in my life. My cuticles have been a nightmare lately, and I have a bad habit of picking at them when they’re drying out. This stuff totally fixes it every time, so much more effectively than all the other creams and oils I’ve been trying. And it smells so good!

Next I picked up the Bare Minerals Bare Skin Perfecting Veil. I needed something to set my under eyes and help to control my t-zone throughout the day. I’ve liked this powder so far, however it does still settle into the fine lines under my eyes, and I find I need to smooth those areas out throughout the day.

Now I’m going to talk about TheBalm’s Balm Shelter tinted moisturiser. TheBalm are fairly new to the UK and you can only really pick them up in very select London Debenhams stores and online. I visited the Debenham’s counter on Oxford Street so I could ensure I picked the correct shade. I love this product. It gives a really lovely natural finish, light coverage and doesn’t feel like I’ve got any product on when I’m wearing it. It’s a lovely satin feel to the skin and I love that it’s a sqiushy tube because I’ll be able to get every last bit of product out of it. I think this will be lovely in the summer too – plus it has SPF18! Win win! I really want to go and check out their Meet Matte Hughes liquid lipsticks, because I think they might be perfect for a couple of weddings I’m going to this year. I’m loving TheBalm!

Whilst I was at the TheBalm counter, I was chatting to the girl about brushes. I’d been looking at Sigma but they’re so expensive that I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to take the plunge. She recommended I head to Boots and check out Real Techniques brushes. So I did and boy am I glad! These brushes, I am told, are being picked up by professional make-up artists and I can see why. They’re soft, just dense enough, the bristles pick up the product (but not too much) and… they look so pretty! I’ve picked up the retractable kabuki and their foundation brush (which I actually use for contour and highlighting because I like the shape!). I intend on buying more….. eek!

And lastly, if you read my last beauty blogs you’ll remember I mentioned I’d never found my perfect mascara. Well this might have changed. Last birthday my bestie gave me a Lancôme 24hr Artliner and when she bought it, she got a free Lancôme Hypnose Volume which she passed onto me. I loved it so much that a few weeks ago I went and bought a full size. It’s lovely on my lashes, and even though I still need to curl them every time, it’s easy to build on, isn’t chunky and doesn’t make spider legs out of my lashes. Whoop!

Out of the world of beauty and onto tech now. I’d got some Tesco Clubcard points expiring so I had a look at their website and there wasn’t really much I fancied, but then I spotted I had enough points for a pair of Beats on-ear Solo headphones. So I redeemed my points and two days later I had these bad boys in my grubby little mitts!

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Look how pretty! They’re a great replacement for the red Skullcandy headphones that broke many years ago – and they were FREE! The sounds good enough on them, and now I can look like a loon with massive red headphones on once more 🙂

And lastly in my February favourites we move over to TV. My week’s holiday at the start of the month was scuppered by contracting a cold which did a very good job of mimicking the plague. As a result, much of the week was spent flat on my back watching Netflix. This is when I discovered Pretty Little Liars.

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I am addicted. I’ve managed to watch 4 whole seasons in about 3 weeks and I’m well into the 5th. I love the clothes, make up and the characters – it’s not the most intelligent of shows – it’s no West Wing – but it’s perfect for eye candy and passing the time. I won’t lie – there have been many times I’ve been screaming at the TV and sat bolt upright because I can’t believe what’s happening. In fact, what am I doing writing this?…… I could be watching Pretty Little Liars…

Just joking! So those are my (many) February favourites. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these yourself and what you thought of them – I’d love to read your comments!

What’s Rocking My Socks

As I have some free time on my hands at the moment, I have been trying to keep myself busy. Here’s what’s rocking my socks at the moment:

Sunshine and Blue Skies

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Gary enjoying the sun

It’s so good to see the sun shine without a cloud in the sky. It’s still a little chilly at the moment, but next week is promising to be better!

Seeing Family

I don’t often get the chance to spend time with Gary’s side of the family but in the last few weeks I’ve been able to see them much more. My Sister-In-Law and I are going to Thorpe Park next week too! I’ve never been and I can’t wait to get on the rides!

Listening to my iPod

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I hadn’t used my iPod in ages because I never have the chance. The speakers on my laptop are über quiet and the walls in our house are so thin I can’t play my radio. So since the weather has improved I’ve been listening to my iPod in the garden when doing the lawn, and I intend on buying an arm strap for it for when I start running. (Incidentally: has anyone got any tips on ear buds that will stay in for when I run?) It’s been so nice to listen to my choice of music again!

Healthy Eating

Since Christmas my eating habits have been off kilter. I’ve had at least one box of chocolates in the house and I’d gotten used to just popping a choccie in my mouth when I got peckish or bored. I’m really not a chocolate lover but I seem to have gotten myself into a rut. So I’ve put on a little weight around the hips and my jeans are feeling a tad tighter than usual. At least I’m aware of it and thankfully my go to treats are normally something like fruit or yogurt. I’m loving The Collective Dairy yogurt. I found them ages ago in Sainsbury and bought their Russian Fudge flavour. It’s a tad on the expensive side, but amazing and like nothing else. They only sell it in Sainsbury, Waitrose and now selected Morrisons and Tesco – though not in my Tesco so I’m a little grumpy about that. They do seasonal flavours too. I recommend you try it if you see it! They knew how much I loved their yogurt that they send me a voucher at Christmas. Aren’t they lovely?!

My Kindle

I’m so pleased I got a Kindle for my birthday last year. It really has changed the way I read and also my choice of books. I also love that you can see how long until the end of the chapter or book based on my reading speed, since the last software update.  G Man wondered whether I needed one of the newer ones but I love the one I have. It’s just technical enough 😀

Incidentally, on one of my recent trips out, my Sis-In-Law and I discovered a store called Tiger, which sells some amazing things at super cheap prices. I went onto their website and found that they have an off shoot called Tiger Camera. They’re currently running a competition for a place in their latest photo book and a chance for a trip to Africa. Their theme this year is ‘Connection’ and I’ve entered! If you are so inclined, I’d love it if my readers could pop over there and vote for my photo, if you like! I’d really appreciate it 🙂 (P.s. There is a really annoying spelling error in the description I wrote for it, but I can’t edit it now it’s submitted… argh!)

I can’t wait for the Bank Holiday with Gary – and it looks like the weather could be good for at least 2 of the 3 days. Whoop! Enjoy it, whatever you do!

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