HayFever Tips and Tricks: Treating HeyFever Naturally with HayMax

I’ve mentioned previously that I suffer tremendously with HayFever. My season is typically mid March to end of September, meaning I’m probably allergic to all the different pollen and spore types that are flung into the air during these periods.

You can download various apps to track your symptoms, which also tell you what kind of pollen is about at that time, and as a result can give you more of an insight into which allergens you’re sensitive to.

There are loads of things you can do to help reduce your HayFever symptoms

  • Wash your bedding frequently, especially if your windows are open during high pollen periods.
  • Avoid exposure during peak pollen times of the day
  • Wear wrap-around sunglasses
  • Cover bedding and furniture during the day
  • Wash your face, hair and hands after being outside

Over the years I’ve been through all the different medications for HayFever. I’ve tried all the antihistamines to the point where there’s now only one that continues to work for me without side effects. What I’ve found works for me currently is an antihistamine each day, supplemented with nose spray and eye drops throughout the day. But still, I find once I’m up to my maximum dosage, I’m still suffering.

I also find I’m stuffy when I wake in the morning and if I’m honest I feel like I suffer from allergies throughout the winter too. But who wants to be dosed up all year around?

Enter HayMax. I was asked whether I wanted to try a few of HayMax’s allergy barrier balms. I’d seen them around but never tried them, so I said yes!

LRG_DSC01412

They sent me a whole range of their products. Their award-winning balms are organic, drug free and depending on which one you pick up, contain natural oils.

Since they’re drug-free they can be used instead of or to supplement any other allergy meds you’re taking. Perfect for me when I’m up to dosage. It also means they’re suitable for kids and pregnant or breast-feeding women. You also get no side effects from the balms, so you don’t have to worry about getting drowsy – ideal when you’re driving or taking exams.

LRG_DSC01422

To use HayMax you apply a little of the product around your nostrils and/or your orbital bones first thing in the morning, or whenever you need it, and can re-apply throughout the day. The balm traps allergens before they get into your body so you don’t get itchy or sneezy. Perfect!

LRG_DSC01426

Let’s look at the range.

LRG_DSC01417

Their Pure balm contains organic sunflower oil and beeswax. With no added fragrance or essential oils, this one is perfect for people who are sensitive to smells or have sensitive skin.

LRG_DSC01420

HayMax Kids, which is new to the range, is suitable for children from birth, and is basically the same as the Pure product but the packaging is a little more kid friendly – so your child is more likely to entertain you applying it to their face! Every little helps!

LRG_DSC01419

HayMax Lavender contains organic lavender essential oil. It’s calming properties make it fab for applying just before bedtime (I’ll come back to this in a moment) but it also claims to be helpful for people who snore and acts as an insect repellent.

LRG_DSC01418

HayMax Frankincense contains organic frankincense essential oil, and is helpful for anxiety, coughing and asthma, which means it’s great for those whose asthma peaks at high pollen times.

LRG_DSC01421

HayMax Aloe Vera contains organic aloe vera leaf juice powder and is soothing to the skin – so if you’ve been rubbing and blowing your nose a lot this could be your saviour!

Each of the pots contains 5ml of product and a little goes a LONG way. The pots are plastic and light meaning they’re easy to pop into your bag and use when needed.

I mentioned the lavender balm was great before bed. I’ve found when I apply it this way, I wake up less stuffy in the morning. In the warmer months I sleep with my windows open, and even though I change my sheets regularly, the mix of pollen and dust mites (urgh) which no doubt lurk on my bed sheets can do nothing but add to my congestion. The calming lavender scent and soothing balm is lovely to apply and I do feel like it’s making a difference.

I’ve been using the Pure balm on a daily basis when my HayFever is really bad and my medication isn’t cutting it. I apply it to the outside of my nostrils and also applied it before doing essential work in the garden and it helped reduce the after effects I always experience.

I’m pleased to have these little balms in my tool kit – they’re a saviour when I’m at my maximum dosage and really add a little bit of comfort depending on the scent I pick on that day.

If you’re suffering from HayFever and want to go down the natural route, or you’re needing something to supplement your current HayFever tool kit, look no further.

You can pick up HayMax at pharmacies such as Boots and health stores like Holland and Barrett for around £7 per balm.

HayMax sent me these samples for review, free of charge, in return for an honest review which I have provided. 

Glossier Solution 4 Weeks In; Is it The Solution or The Problem?

I’ve been using Glossier’s Solution chemical exfoliator for 4 weeks now, and I wanted to come back and let you know how I’m getting on with it, on my combination and usually fairly clear skin.

Firstly I’ll explain the different between a chemical and a physical exfoliant. You’ll no doubt be familiar with physical exfoliants – usually cream based and with bit of grit in them designed to slough away the dead skin cells on your face, leaving a clean and clear soft layer of skin behind. I used to use the St Ives Apricot Scrub a few times a week and it gave good results. But then I switched to the Pixi Glow Tonic, which is a chemical exfoliant. Chemical exfoliants use a mixture of different acids, in different strengths, to take away dead skin cells but also manage and maintain the levels of sebum your skin produces (which makes you oily), reduce and manage breakouts, minimise acne scarring and redness and leaves your skin feeling soft and glowy. Or at least that’s what they claim to do.

When Glossier announced their Solution to all of these problems, I took notice. I think everyone took notice. If there’s one thing that Glossier have got right over the last year it’s causing a stir with their marketing and word of mouth hype.

I had some store credit, so thought I’d splurge and give it a try.

Let’s start with describing my skin – I have generally clear skin. I have redness, and I get hormonal breakouts, usually only on my chin. I have an oily t-zone so find benefit to using masks to clear this out. When I get breakouts, my skin will scar for a long time before the marks fade. My pores are fairly large and I have quite sensitive skin. I’m nearing 35 years young now, so I have fine lines, and my skin isn’t as glowy as it once was.

I had seen this formula was meant to clear breakouts and prevent new ones, even the skin tone, reduce acne scarring, exfoliate (of course) and leave a balanced and healthy skin tone ongoing. There have been a lot of articles about the content of chemicals in this product and I won’t pretend to understand any of these. If you’re interested, a simple search will tell you all you need to know.

For this review, I’m going to tell you my experience with this product, as well as including weekly pictures of my skin.

Let’s start with that packaging:

IMG_3608

Solution arrives in a space-age foil wrapped package that you have to rip open at the top to get to the product inside. All the ingredients and such are printed on the front, in a very ‘prescription’ type way.

IMG_4082

The bottle itself costs £19 (when it’s in stock) and contains 130ml (4.4 fl oz) of product. The shiny pink packaging is pleasing to the eye, and I was very excited to try the pump under the cap, as I hadn’t used one of these before.

IMG_4080

Simply push down the disc at the top and product will dispense onto your cotton pad for ease application. In theory. In reality the pump is a little too urgent, and no matter how delicately you pump it, product spurts out and all over the near-by area. (That’s what she said) Not a great start for such an expensive product.

You’re supposed to use this just once a day, due to the chemicals in the product and also use sunscreen if you’re going into the sun after using this. I live in Britain and it’s winter so I’m okay – but my foundation has spf in it anyhow.

I tried this product out, alongside my normal skin routine and didn’t introduce any new products for the duration of this 4 week trial.

Let’s see how my skin looked at the start, before I started using the product:

You can see I have redness on my chin, cheeks, forehead and all around my nose. Naturally this is where I get oily and as such I have breakouts and blocked pores.

The process of using the product is as follows:

  1. Saturate cotton pad (once daily)
  2. Apply to cleansed face
  3. Leave for a minute or so to settle into skin (you’ll feel it start to tingle a little)
  4. Follow with your moisturiser

After the first week I made notes of my thoughts and this is what I wrote:

  • Stings a little
  • Leaves skin sticky
  • Smell – can’t put my finger on it. Maybe Angel Delight, or a My Little Pony I had when I was little?
  • After first 2 days, possible glow?
  • Later in week – skin feels ‘resurfaced’ possibly?
  • No change in red or dark patches yet
  • Break outs in weird places but skin is dealing with it fine

Let’s address a few of these. Yes, the product did sting occasionally in odd places, but the Pixi Glow Tonic does this too. I did notice it left my skin feeling sticky, which was a little alarming. Because of this I decided to only use this at night, ahead of using my night cream, so that in the morning I was able to wash it all off. The smell (which a lot of people can’t work out, and don’t understand why it was added) is unusual. It’s chemical, and sweet, but not off-putting to me. I did notice a smoothness on my forehead, and possible glow after a few days. I was breaking out in strange places, but put this down to starting a new skin product which is normal for me.

There’s no obvious difference between the start pictures and those of 1 week in. Let’s be real, I didn’t expect there to be!

Week 2, still no difference. I actually noticed more breakouts in strange places and my red areas looked a little more angry on occasion.

The Solution had enticed a spot out, which had previously gone away, but here it is again. Enjoy the picture of my hairy chin too – I hadn’t got around to doing anything about it at the point of taking this picture.

Week 3, STILL no difference, other than my red areas were looking redder than ever. Still getting spots in weird places on my cheeks, under my eyes. I noticed other people reporting the same – like, literally spots in the same odd places….

Unfortunately, the sun decided to shine on the day I took these progress photos, and I didn’t realise the marked affect it had on the look of my skin until I came to edit them. The sunshine has given my skin a lovely glow. I promise this wasn’t the case. You can see the scarring from the spot on my chin hasn’t gone down yet. It won’t for a while, but I’d hoped the Solution might speed up this process. It didn’t.

Week 4: I’ll admit – this was a 5 day week for me and the Solution. I gave in at day 5 and decided enough was enough. I used my favourite face mask, which immediately made my skin look less red and cleaner. It felt better and softer, and just nice again.

So these were taken a few days after this mask and after I’d stopped using Solution. You can see my skin’s basically the same as when I started – the main difference I’ve seen is that I actually have MORE scarring from blemishes than when I started. Scarring on my chin, around my mouth, along my top lip (where I found my skin felt stingy and sensitivity when I used Solution too close) My pores felt oily, and looked pronounced. My t-zone became oily again within 2 weeks of using this product. I now have a lovely spot on my cheek which won’t go away.

To compare:

Before I started the process on the left, week 4 on the right.

No change!

The verdict:

I’d say, at £19 this is a pretty expensive product so see NO positive difference. I used this as instructed and there were more cons to it than pros.

IMG_4083

Over the 4 weeks I used this amount of product (I’d say 1/5) – so that’s using around 2 to 3 pumps once daily. I felt this wasn’t enough to saturate the cotton pad, but I have sensitive skin and this amount of product definitely covered my whole face.

I’m actually pleased with myself that I didn’t waste my own money on this product. Some people have said they’ve seen marked results with it, but they usually tend to have very problematic skin already, and I can only assume this will do so much before plateauing and the user requiring to move onto something else.

I’ve moved back onto my Pixi Glow Tonic. I used it last night, and it felt wonderful.

Solution is currently sold out, but I’d say don’t bother. It’s not worth the hype, or the heartbreak. Go get yourself Glow Tonic from Pixi and thank me later.

 

Glossier Generation G vs ColourPop Blotted Lip

The first time I heard of the ColourPop Blotted Lip lipsticks, I was sold. A product that punched a little pigment, without that matte matte finish but something a bit more natural and not glossy. I bought the first 3 of their limited edition range and then a few more when they released some into their staple line.

I’d never heard of Glossier at that point, but when I saw the Generation G lipsticks a few months down the line, I was struck by how similar the packaging was.

Then when Glossier became accessible to me, I decided to put a couple into my basket and give them a go. By that point I was a fan of the Blotted Lips so I wanted to try to compare them.

And now I’m going to compare the two formulas for you, so you can see whether the price difference is worth it and which one I prefer.

36AE6705-3680-4AB4-8D4F-617F2861733F

A2358229-4C55-47AD-8A13-DEAD6FD8A855

Let’s start with the packaging. As you can see they’re very similar.

The ColourPop Blotted Lip gives 1g of product and costs $5 (about £3.60). It comes in 8 shades currently. The tube is plastic and white, and when you take the lid off the product is in a twisty tube. There’s an issue with the packaging in that sometimes when you pull the lid off, the whole product comes out of the bullet and will land (and stain) wherever you don’t want it to. As you can see from the picture above, there is a little mess in the lid and as such it has transferred onto the bullet. This is because the product has come out of my tube and rattled around.

CBBA55C5-785B-4221-AE19-AFA25F1E35E4

This shade Sucker is the closest I could get from my range, to the one I chose from the Glossier collection. I believe there was another, Zuma, which was closer, but I don’t think ColourPop sell that any more.

The packaging of the Glossier Generation G lipsticks is basically the same, just a little shorter. In here you get 2g of product for £14. Obviously there’s a price difference, but you get double the product in here.

41D747E4-1E69-4EBA-AEA4-C658C80A89EC

The shade Zip was my shade of choice for this post. I believe that people have had the same issue with the product falling out of the packaging with these too, so they’re on a parr with each other on that. I haven’t experienced this with these yet, but I’m conscious of how I open the lid due to this.

Let’s talk about the formula.

C261D354-824A-4CDE-8E00-CDD869CA8F7F

On the left we have the Gen G lipstick in Zip, and on the right the Blotted Lip in Sucker.

From the swatches you can see the Blotted Lip is slightly sheerer. You can also see it wasn’t an even swatch and there were a few dry flakes. The Generation G swatch is more strongly pigmented and creamier. The colour is even on my arm and actually was harder to rub off.

On the lips the performance is very similar. The Blotted Lip will glide on but patch. It’s drier on the lips and doesn’t last as long. It doesn’t enjoy balm on top and will wear off to a patchy finish. That being said, you can build it up nicely and if you have scrubbed your lips and balmed them a little while before, you will get a comfortable, pigmented and long-lasting finish.

The Generation G glides on to a more pigmented finish from the start, is comfortable and accepts a tap of lip balm on top when needed. It offers a lovely wash of something to the lips when it’s needed, but can be built up without patchiness.

The verdict:

As you have probably guessed, I’m a bigger fan of the Glossier Generation G lipstick. The formula is creamier, it’s longer lasting, more comfortable and just feels more luxe. Yes, it’s more expensive, but you get more product and a higher quality product. I only own two of the shades so far, but I’ll be buying more, and replacing these when I’m done. This shade, Zip, lives in my bag now. It’s perfect to add a little bit of colour to my lips when I need something but doesn’t look like I’ve put effort in.

22C9DCF7-28AE-497D-9DE5-433A48A570AD

If you’ve been sold on the Generation G lipsticks and want to try them out, you can get 10% off your first order by using this link: http://bff.glossier.com/hCHG5 I wasn’t asked to say that, I just really think you should try them if you’re tempted – I don’t think you’ll be sorry!

I’d love to know what you think, if you’ve used either the ColourPop or Generation G lipsticks (or both) and if you agree with my review or not!

First Impressions: Glossier

first impressions

If you’re into beauty and you’re not living under a rock, then you’ve heard of Glossier make up.

A spin-off from a beauty blog Into The Gloss, Glossier promotes itself as a natural-beauty brand, giving ‘real skin’ looks, for an undone finish. They create products for a dewy complexion, for all skin tones and they’re cruelty free. They’re midrange cost wise (think Nars kind of prices) and towards the end of 2017 they launched shipping to the UK. The beauty community went wild!

I was most interested in them because their Generation G lipsticks looked so similar in the tube to the ColourPop Blotted Lip lipsticks I already use. So I knew I wanted to try those. My main hesitation to their base products is that I have combination skin, and their products tend to lean towards the hydrating and dewy side. But after having read some reviews, spoken with the team on twitter regarding tone selections and checking my bank balance, I decided to take the plunge.

I’ll start with the support team – I had some Royal Mail delivery issues with my order, but the team went above and beyond to make sure I received the products I ordered. They’re honestly the best. And when I was enquiring on shade choices for concealer, they asked me to send them a selfie and they told me what would suit me best (and, spoiler, they were right!)

So my order arrived, and I’m going to give you a first impressions perspective of what I ordered. I’ve used most of the products only a couple of times, so I can’t give a definitive review (that will come later) but for now, here’s what I think!

IMG_3502

I’ll start with the packaging. My order came with a little ‘welcome’ card in a sleeve, a sheet of stickers and another little sticker. I think the idea is you can adorn your white packaged products with the stickers and give them a little bling! I also opted in to get a sample of their new perfume ‘You’. I need to try this out on my skin to see whether it wears nicely. On first smell, it’s not for me. The box arrived with ‘Glossier’ tape on the seal and inside the box is all Pink with text printed on the inside. The loose items I ordered came inside pink zip bags which will come in so useful for travel (You’ll see more of those later).

The first thing I ordered was a set called Phase 2. This contains their stretch concealer, boy brow and one of their Generation G lipsticks. I wanted all 3 of these anyhow, so I bought the set and saved a little cash. You can choose whichever shades you want.

IMG_3503

The packaging of this set is lovely. A magnetic and very luxe box was shrouded in a pink plastic sleeve.

IMG_3504

IMG_3505

Then inside, the products were swaddled in their own pink zip bag.

IMG_3506

I ordered one of their Boy Brow, in clear. This contains a teeny spoolie wand and white/clear cream which dries down invisibly. The wand being so small is great since it means you can really control the brows, and is much easier to use than my current NYX version. It sets the brows to a soft but secure hold. Your brows don’t feel hard when you touch them, but the hold is very good.

IMG_3507

I chose the Stretch Concealer in the shade medium. What I’d read was that this was a light coverage concealer, that was hydrating, non drying and didn’t sit in fine lines. I also read that it wasn’t great for very dark circles (which I have in spades). On trying this I believe all but the last point. I still use my NYX colour corrector underneath this, but I really enjoy the hydrating feel. This barely settles in lines and when it does I can just pat it out (I have a lot of fine lines under my eyes). My dark circles were covered enough. This blends out really well, and though I still set this with a light translucent powder (I prefer the same level of dewy throughout my whole face and didn’t want to leave my under eyes looking greasy) it still looks like real skin and not dry or powdery at all.

IMG_3508

Based on Allana Davison’s recommendation in this set I chose the shade Zip in the Generation G lipstick. This is a ‘sheer matte’ lipstick and the formula is very similar to the ColourPop Blotted Lip line. I’ll do a proper comparison post dedicated to these two, once I’ve had the chance to try these Glossier ones out properly. But on first swipe I’m impressed. A light wash of colour is easy to achieve, and then you can build it up. It doesn’t feel drying, and gives you that lovely low maintenance look of ‘I’ve made an effort’ when you really haven’t. I want to try this out built up a bit more, and see how long it will last with a little powder in between layers. I’ll report back.

Next –

IMG_3510

As a self-confessed lip balm hoarder, I wanted to try the balmdotcom lip balms, of which there are a whole range. I couldn’t choose which flavour I wanted to try, and then noticed you could pick 3 and save a little cash (sucker) so I went for that option. These came in their own plastic sleeve, and then in separate, and beautifully graphic intense, boxes.

IMG_3511

I chose their Rose, Cherry and Mint options, and I can safely safe I am a fan. In fact I haven’t touched my beloved Cherry Chapstick since these arrived. Each of these has a thick, vaseline consistency (but I mean that in a nice way) You’re encouraged to use the non-tinted ones on your lips, cuticles and any dry areas, and due to their consistency I really believe you can! Once applied to the lips the product stays there. I only need to reapply after eating. Another thing I was really impressed with: usually after changing my lip balm, my lips freak out. They swell, blotch and itch. Even with products I’ve used before (yes, that includes the chapstick!). I don’t know why – maybe I’m allergic to something in them. But it happens with lipsticks, glosses and balms. This product hasn’t reacted at all with my lips. My lips LOVE these. Hallelujah.

So let’s talk about each flavour I picked up:

IMG_3512

If you’ve used any mint lip products before, you can expect what this mint balmdotcom does. You wash it over your lips and they feel fresh, tingly, and they definitely feel plump even if they’re not. I like to use this morning and night after I’ve brushed my teeth to extend that fresh feeling.

IMG_3514

I’m a fan of rose scented lip products, and this is no exception. This gives a subtle floral scent and a very very subtle light pink wash to the lips. So subtle that I can also use this on dry patches on my hands and no one would notice. I use this as a fantastic every day balm.

IMG_3513

The cherry balmdotcom is a deep red shade in the tube and you wouldn’t want to use this anywhere but on the lips. It provides a lovely lovely deep red wash over the lip, which is great for days when your lips blend into the rest of your face but you don’t want to put on lipstick. The colour does transfer a little onto cups and glasses. The cherry scent is also delightful.

IMG_3516

Again with the lips, and the final Generation G lipstick I bought which is this dark berry shade Jam. I lusted after this after seeing Allan Davison wearing it so much last year (AND I also recognised the main character in 50 Shades Darker wearing this just by sight [I didn’t pay enough attention to remember her name, but I did notice her lipstick] so I was rather chuffed with myself! – now let’s forget I admitted to watching that film) This is a dark shade on me, but I’m really looking forward to playing around with different ways to wear it.

IMG_3515

And lastly, I picked up the Perfecting Skin Tint in the shade light. This product is the one I’m the most on the fence about, but I’ve only worn it twice and I need to play about with it more, and report back. This product needs shaking to combine for each use, and it’s a very very sheer wash of colour to provide a perfecting layer on top of natural skin. It’s like a veil or real life instagram filter. The first time I used this I squeezed it out on my hand. I was alarmed at how pale it looked on my face but this warmed up and adjusted nicely to my natural skin tone. But then I couldn’t wash the product off my hands – it was too oily. I mentioned I have combination skin and so I started to worry. Both times I’ve worn this it does feel like I have a layer of serum on my face. You get used to it, but it’s not what I expected.

It gives a good enough coverage, for a good skin day, and I find I can lightly powder problem areas to dull down the wet look and just leave a ‘dewy’ finish. I didn’t like the smell. It smells a little ‘off’ is the only way I can put it. Again, I get used to it a few hours later, but I don’t like the idea of putting something ‘off’ on my face. Throughout the day I get more oily. My t-zone struggles and at work last week I had to rush to the bathroom and blot my face with toilet paper – I’m so classy. But this being said, I hadn’t used primer because I wanted to try the tint in different ways. So I’m going to keep trying it, and also mix it in with other foundations and see how I go. And I will, of course, report back. I’d say this is PERFECT for dry skin, if you have oily skin avoid it, and I’ll see how I get on with my combination skin.

So that’s what I picked up in my first Glossier order. They have, in the last week, announced a new skincare product called Solution, which is an exfoliating toner (I’m assuming much like the Pixi Glow tonic which I already use) and it promises to even out your skin tone as well as reducing acne you have, acne you haven’t had yet and spot scars. I’ve been struggling with blemishes a lot in the last few months and have plenty of scars so I’ve ordered one of these and I’m waiting for it to arrive. I’ll definitely keep tabs on my progress and give it a review after about a month’s usage. I’ve also got my eyes on another Generation G lipstick and the Wowder powder, so no doubt those will be added to my collection at some point!

If you’ve been thinking of trying something from Glossier, and you’ve decided to take the plunge, you can get 10% off your first order by using my referral link here! If you use the link I’ll get some Glossier store credit (one more step towards that Wowder!) and you’ll get a link of your own to share once you’ve placed your first order!

Keep an eye out for follow-up reviews of the Generation G lipsticks (and their comparison with the ColourPop Blotted Lips) and what I think of the skin tint! Have you used these products with combination skin? How did you get on? Do you have any tips?

IMG_3509

 

What I Watched in 2017 – TV, Film & Documentary

I know, I know, we’re so over 2017. But I usually write a TV and Film round-up and this time it’s coming a few weeks into the year.

I’m lucky to have a husband who keeps a note of all the things we’ve watched in a year, because it’s interesting to look back on it. This year was full of some fantastic TV and Movies and I’d like to share with you the ones I really enjoyed.

Let’s start with film. There were only a couple of stand out films for me this year, and neither of them came out in 2017, it’s just I only got to see them that year.

lalaland

La La Land was a stand out favourite of mine. I went into this film wanting to hate it, for some reason. I don’t particularly like musical films. I find them awkward and unrealistic. And I think that’s what a lot of people didn’t like about this movie from the start. It’s rather cheesy from the get-go. BUT I adored it. I think it starts off overly cheesy for a reason – to get you immersed in what’s to come, and then it gets way less cheesy and you’re committed to the fact that people might start singing for no reason. But I know a great deal of people didn’t make it this far, and turned the film off. A lot of the things that happen in this film are metaphors (they don’t really start flying in the sky at night, but it’s a metaphor for how they’re feeling about each other) The film is uplifting, frustrating and heart breaking. And despite everyone breaking into song, it’s also an incredibly realistic portrayal of a modern relationship. If you like classic film, you have an open mind, and you haven’t seen this film yet – SEE IT!

חם-משלוח-חינם-כונן-פוסטר-סרט-ריאן-גוסלינג-הדפסה-נדירה-zijde-woondecoratie-פוסטר-12-x-18

 

Drive was another movie I hadn’t seen yet, but everyone kept harping on about the music, and I figured why not carry on with the Ryan Gosling fest. This movie showed me what a truly incredible actor he is. He can achieve such power in such subtle acting, it’s amazing. Anyhow, this movie took my breath away. One particular scene, I realised afterwards, actually had me holding my breath. Another scene was so intense it reminded me of one in Scarface. It’s not a happy film, it’s not a lighthearted one either. If you don’t like guns and blood and fighting, stay clear. The soundtrack is really awesome too – it sticks the whole thing together like glue. Really an awesome film (Dad, if you read this, I think you might really enjoy this one).

Honourable mention to Don’t Think Twice (if you like improv comedy then you’ll like this one), Get Out and The Big Sick. Also Trick ‘r’ Treat, Table 19 and Julie & Julia.

So let’s move on to TV.

Showtime-a-anunțat-data-premierei-sezonului-al-treilea-din-„Twin-Peaks”

Obviously I have to mention the epic return of Twin Peaks. Gary and I watched the entire show ahead of the new season being broadcast. And we weren’t disappointed when the new episodes aired. There were a couple of scenes in this new iteration of the show which still give me chills thinking about them (both consist of someone screaming, funnily enough) I can’t wait to hear whether a new season will be made, since there was so much unexplained!

Other shows we watched and very much enjoyed were

  • Freaks and Geeks
  • The OA
  • Stranger Things
  • Atlanta
  • The Man in the High Castle
  • House of Cards
  • 13 Reasons Why

Bates-Motel-Season-2-Poster

A stand of of the year, I binge watched Bates Motel and really really enjoyed it. It was probably my favourite TV show of the year. And considering I watched some really good TV this year, that’s saying something.

I also watched some pretty bad TV shows – Riverdale being one of them. Pretty Little Liars final season was rather awful, which was a shame. I actually didn’t care whether anyone lived or died.

We re-watched The Night Of, True Detective and the whole series of The Wire. We gave Breaking Bad a first go, and though we enjoyed it, I wouldn’t say it blew my mind.

I also watched some really great documentaries.

careersuicide

I’m a big fan of Chris Gethard, who is an American comedian. I listen to his podcast Beautiful/Anonymous and he recently put out an HBO special of a stand-up show he’d done. Presented by Judd Apatow (who I also love) this covers dark subjects but in a self-deprecating and humorous way. If you are easily triggered by mental health and suicide subjects I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you aren’t and you find a way to get hold of this Special, then I’d recommend giving it a watch.

I’ll also mention Audrie & Daisy, Casting JonBenet and Beware The Slenderman. Some heavy subjects covered in those, but if you’re a fan of true crime you might enjoy them.

I’ve already kicked 2018 off with a bang having watched the whole of the German show Dark and also Big Little Lies (which had been recommended to me last year and for some reason I ignored)

If you have seen something you think I’d enjoy based on these shows I enjoyed last year, then please pop me a comment in the box below. I’m always on the look out for something awesome to watch!

 

Obviously, all imagery are publicity shots and belong to the production companies of the particular shows and films.

2017 Beauty Favourites

It’s been a big year for new releases in the beauty and skincare world, and even though I have mentioned a few products throughout the year, I wanted to post a round-up of those I still consider to be worth the purchase, months down the line!

img_0236

As someone who only wears eye shadow in the winter and autumn, and then only very rarely, I own far too many eye shadow palettes. This one, however, is definitely up there as one of my favourites. Bought early on in 2017, I decided I needed to take the plunge as and when I saw it available. The Anastasia Modern Renaissance isn’t one of the cheapest palettes, but then it’s not one of the most expensive either. At £43 it’s going to be one to think about, but then with shadows as pigmented and blendable as these, you’ll get the right amount of use out of it for the cost. Obviously, these are warm shades so if those aren’t your bag then scroll on. But there’s a great mix of shimmers and mattes, darks and lights. So many complete looks can be made from this palette, AND the double ended brush that comes with it is a pretty decent brush. You could take this palette on a trip with you, and you might just want to take a black single and you’d be fine for the whole trip.

img_0335

I received this seasonal iteration of the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish cleanser (I have linked this year’s seasonal scent as the one I have is no longer available) as a Christmas gift last year, and I still have some left. I’ll mention I have about 50 thousand cleansers so I change between them depending on what my skin’s doing and how much make-up I’m taking off. I have combination skin and was concerned that this cleanser would be too hydrating for me, but it’s not. It is VERY hydrating, and it does take off all your makeup, so I prefer to use this as a second cleanse on occasions when I’ve been wearing a heavier face of slap. It makes my skin feel lovely, and for £22.75 I’d hope so too. I think it’s a little dear to repurchase myself when this finishes – unless down the line I find I can’t live without it. But then, as I mentioned, I have a heap of others to work through.

img_0334

I had to buy backups of this Pinita Colada body scrub when they brought it back this summer. I don’t think I can live without it, even though you can no longer buy it. Obviously it smells like pineapple and coconut, but the nourished feeling I have after using this is beyond compare. My skin feels soft and sloughed for hours afterwards, without needing to moisturise straight afterwards. I think I’m on my last tub though…. Fingers crossed they bring it back next summer!

img_0596

I have been a little on and off with the Pixi Glow Tonic. I’m currently on my second bottle, and for some reason I’m finding the scent a little off-putting this time around. It’s less floral and more resin…. Anyhow, I’m trying to see past this, because I have discovered that after prolonged usage of this toner, my t-zone is a lot less oily and stays more balanced throughout the day. It’s one of those products that’s a slow-burner (and by that I don’t mean literally) and then you don’t realise the difference it’s made until you stop using it. At £18 I’d say it’s priced about right, and is now even easier for me to pick up since they now stock it in M&S. No more trips to Carnaby Street needed for me!

IMG_0812

I received my first bottle of the Davines All in One Milk in my 2016 Liberty advent calendar. That mini bottle was finished fairly fast and I think the one I’m using now is my 2nd full-sized bottle. This is a cream spray (I wish they’d work on the packaging to help get that last inch out) that aids tangles and I spray it onto towel dried hair before I detangle and then blow-dry. It smells quite soapy but it’s a smell you quickly get used it. It coats my hair in a nice way making it less thin, flyaway and feel lovely, but still like real hair (if that makes sense). The price of this keeps increasing (I blame Brexit) and it’s currently £19.40. It’s very expensive and I’d say it’s probably worth about £12, but I keep buying it, so that’s got to say something about both me and Davines.

IMG_0815

I’m a bit naughty including yet another product you can no longer buy, but this is too good not to mention. I received this full-sized face mask in my goody bag at the Glamour Beauty Festival, and I think I have one more use from this tube. I’m genuinely so sad to finish this product because it’s hands-down the best face mask I’ve ever used. It leaves my skin looking and feeling clear and clean, but not tight in the slightest. One 5 minute use of this and my pores are so clean. It calms down breakouts and exfoliates too. As you might know, The Estée Edit is no more so I can no longer purchase this little beauty. If anyone has one of these hanging around that they haven’t used, I’d be happy to take it off your hands!

Body Shop Oils Of Life Sleeping Cream

As I mentioned earlier, I have combination skin, and have been greatly enjoying a more balanced visage lately, thanks to this little beauty. I thought I would only use this occasionally and in the winter, but I have been using this all year and every night, and will definitely repurchase this when it’s empty. When the Body Shop’s Oils of Life sleeping cream was released, I was given the chance to try a sample via Glossybox (who I subscribed to at the time). Once my sample pot had been scraped clean, I knew I should probably buy the full size. It’s £29 so it took a little while to justify the purchase, but as the weeks went on I knew I was missing out. And to be honest, it’s such a large pot and you don’t need a lot so it’s going to last me a lot longer than it probably should be kept, if I’m honest! I put this all over my face at night, on cleansed skin, and it remains sticky-ish. When I wake up my skin is SO soft, and my t-zone feels almost the same as the rest of my face – my skin is being balanced overnight! It also smells very comforting and doesn’t break me out at all. I will also say, there’s something very reassuring about the heavy glass pot and large lid on top. I think they’ve got the packaging right. I just need to find a way to decant this, so I can take it away when I travel.

Skin Laundry Face wash

This Skin Laundry gentle foaming face wash was another product I received a sample of in 2016’s Liberty advent calendar. I had been on the look out for a face wash and something that didn’t describe itself as a cleanser. I don’t know why, as they’re the same thing, but I just wanted something reliable to wash my face with! I loved the sample so much that I purchased the full size once it was finished (which was quite some time, as you only need a small amount). At £20 this is an expensive face wash, but it gets my face so so clean, without stripping it and my face doesn’t feel tight afterwards.

Two tubes of foundation

Back to make-up and I’ll mention the only two foundations I’ve used this year. In fact I’ve taken to mixing these two for my perfect face base.

I’ve used The Balm’s BalmShelter for many years. This tinted moisturiser offers a nice light base, with buildable medium coverage, and offers spf with a dewy finish, but doesn’t always last all day on my combination skin.

I bought the Urban Decay Naked Skin for a little more coverage but found the colour slightly too light (it’s my correct shade but I like to bronze up a little!) and I’m not fond of a totally matte finish.

So, I mixed the two! The Naked Skin lifts the shade of my tinted moisturiser slightly for months when I want to look less glowy, and adds a bit of coverage. The BalmShelter takes some of the matte away from the foundation and keeps my skin looking like my skin. It’s a perfect marriage!

Because I’m mixing the two, I can change the balance depending on how my skin is doing or how much coverage I need, and I simply mix them between my fingers and apply the whole lot with my hands. I’ve really moved away from using applicators to apply my face base. My fingers work just fine!

IMG_0814

I’ve really taken to lip products this year, and had quite the splurge over the months, mainly on ColourPop products. These two are the ones I’ve worn the most.

When ColourPop launched their Blotted Lip range, I was totally intrigued, and I now own 6 of their shades (I think)! Despite the packaging issue (on some, not all, the product comes out of the tube completely on taking off the lid) I have been impressed with this matte wash of colour. My favourite of this range has been Lexi (which was part of a limited edition range), though I love all the shades I’ve picked up.

IMG_0813

Of their liquid lip products, I’m a fan of their satin lip, however I have been very impressed with their high pigmented and long-lasting glosses. My favourite of these is the shade Finders Keepers, which offers a mauve/nude almost opaque gloss that wears down to a lovely natural pink shade. Their blotted lips usually retail for $5 each, and their glosses are $6.

IMG_1096

On the eyes, I’ve stuck to one mascara and one mascara only. The CoverGirl Clump Crusher cannot be bought in the UK so I pick up a few tubes whenever I’m in the states. I don’t know why, but it’s simply the only mascara that works for the type of lashes I have (stubborn!) It’s $7 so doesn’t break the bank either. I use it in conjunction with my Surratt eyelash curlers I picked up a couple of years ago in New York. They fit my face and eye shape well and actually curl my lashes, which is what you want!

dec5

This E.L.F blush, is has been a star for the past two years. The shade is Tickled Pink and every time I wear it I get compliments on how healthy my skin looks. It’s my perfect natural pink shade, so blendable and buildable, and lasts all day! Oh, and it’s only £4.50 so there’s no excuse not to buy one for yourself 🙂

IMG_1323

And last but definitely not least is this blush and highlight pressed powder palette from ColourPop called Double Play. I think this was originally limited edition, but it’s so good I’m glad you can still pick it up. The blush (shade Getting Handsy) is an amazing muted terracotta and looks so natural on my pale skin. It’s like a gorgeous warm bronzer I suppose (but you wouldn’t want to use it as that!), and lasts all day. The highlight (shade Padded Down) is so so pretty. I’ve never gotten the hang of highlight so I don’t use this much, but you can see from the swatch above that it’s stunning!

So those are the products that stood the test. I’ve used them constantly all year and they’re still the products I reach for, which I feel really means I must like them!

I can’t wait to see what comes out in 2018 and whether any of these products get replaced. Only time will tell!

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought! Stay tuned for my first impressions of a brand newly launched to the UK (you know what it is!) coming soon!

Goodbye 2017

And so we’re here again. I can’t quite believe I’m sitting here, preparing to take you through my year, once again.

It’s been a very hard year but also amazing in many ways. I feel like I’ve changed and grown as a person, and also seen those around me change in many ways.

Sadly, I’ve not seen as much of some of the people I love this year, but I’m hoping next year that will change. But I know these people still value me in the same way, as I value them still, despite not seeing them so much. You guys know who you are!

I know a high proportion of my readers head over here purely for the beauty stuff, and I’m going to post up a separate piece about my beauty picks for 2017, so if that’s what you’re after you have my permission to skip this one altogether. Though, if you do decide to carry on you might find there’s more to Musings than just beauty reviews, and I’d like to welcome you into the world of Musings lifestyle articles.

At the end of 2016 I set myself two resolutions (well, more like goals to be fair). By the end of 2017 I wanted to have attended at least one blogger event, and I also wanted to have become less judgemental.

Two very different goals. I achieved the first only this month. I had actually forgotten about my resolution and when I remembered it a couple of weeks ago, I was very pleased to have achieved it.

I also feel I am well on my way with the second goal. A very personal journey, and one that I won’t go deep into here, but I honestly feel like I am much less judgemental now than I was. I just have to work on being more tolerant of those who have not gone on this journey. I can only take control of myself and my own responses, but it’s hard and frustrating when other people appear bitter and judgemental  – I can see now it only hurts themselves.

Anyway, I didn’t mean to get all deep in this post! I’m going to give a month by month run down of what I got up to this year, which is much less intense! Each month title is a clicky link, so if there’s a post you’re interested in reading, click there and you’ll be taken to that month. So here goes :

8722794127_b8abf34390_o

January

  • This year started with the celebration of 50 years of Milton Keynes! My home town since I was born (I may have strayed for a couple of years in the middle somewhere!)
  • Gary and I went for a little bit of culture at the end of this month and saw a play! Gaslight at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. One of my favourite films, it was great to see it on stage. Gary, who didn’t know the story at all, was very pleasantly surprised. It’s nice to do something a little different sometimes!

February

  • I started posting a little more on my YouTube channel, and a few people seemed to be watching!
  • I got taken in by ColourPop’s weekly product releases, and spent probably too much money on lipsticks (that I still love btw)
  • I told you all why I reverse wash my hair, and actually it’s something I still do and feel the benefit of.
  • I wrote my first proper post about mental health and touched on my experiences with struggles I face.
  • I saw La La Land for the first time and wanted to hate it, but fell deeply in love.

IMG_0709

March

  • I told the world why I’d stopped wearing bras, for some reason….
  • I did something that years back I would never have been able to do – I went on a shopping trip to London on my own.
  • I finally met up with Sophie Kate, when she took me as her plus one to the Glamour Beauty Festival.
  • I discovered the music of Childish Gambino and proceeded to not want to listen to anything else ever.
  • I went to Rome!

IMG_0889

April

  • In April I attended Secret Cinema’s presentation of Moulin Rouge – which incidentally I have never written up. I always wait until they put up their event video, so as to not spoil anything, however their video only went up the other day (so many many months later) and now I feel the moment has passed. If you wish to see this post, let me know in the comments, or else I will simply allow the memory to fade in my brain. Anyhow, it was a great night!

IMG_1032

  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer celebrated 20 years since its first airing, and I felt old…
  • I decided YouTube might not be for me, but also decided that the occasional dabble when it felt right was how I would move forward.
  • I went to see Bruno Mars and he was epic!

May

  • Ooh this month I shared my tomato linguine recipe – and boy is it yummy!
  • I watched a LOT of TV
  • I shared a much requested post, about why I decided to get married at a young age.

June

  • I wrote a post about anxiety and my experiences. It was probably the most personal post I’ve written on the subject to date.
  • Our trip to London to see Ariana Grande was amended slightly due to terrorist activity in Manchester, however we decided to press on and continue with the rest of our plans.
  • Musings celebrated its 8th birthday!

IMG_1683

July

  • I was given the chance to see London from one of their amazing Ducks!
  • I spoke about growing up and old and the secret adults never tell you as a child.

August

  • I posted my most viewed YouTube video to date (2.2k views so far!)
  • I spoke about my quest for positivity.
  • I turned 34 years old!
  • I started planning my trip to Orlando

IMG_2178

September

  • I did a little photo shoot with my Niece in the last of the summer sunshine.
  • I moved house! This took up most of my free time!!

October

  • Halloween month. I was all about sharing my favourite Halloween movies, and getting ready to go on holiday to Florida!
  • My Florida holiday was epic
  • I spoke about striving to be more tolerant.

IMG_2750

November

  • And as soon as you can say ‘Halloween is over’ it was Christmas season!
  • I shared a post about my holiday and all of a sudden the weather was crisp and frosty and we were all thinking about the festive season!

December

  • And here we are!
  • December was about sharing meals with family and friends and unexpected snow!
  • I went to my first blogging event, the Blogosphere Christmas Festival.
  • And now here we are – you’re reading the final piece!

So what’s in store for next year then?

Well, I always say this, but I’d like to learn a new skill. I’d like to feel a little less restless in my skin. I’d like to continue on my quest for positivity, in becoming more tolerant and less judgemental.

I’d like to continue to better myself.

So here’s to another year! If you blog and you’ve written an end of year round-up post, I’d love to read it. Pop your link in the comments and I’ll have a read 🙂

 

 

Ciate Glitter Flip Transforming Liquid Lipstick: Review

A few months ago, when Ciate launched their Glitter Flip lipstick, I was definitely one of the ones who took notice. Watching a Kathleen Lights video on the subject, I was super impressed by the formula and the apparent transformation of the product on the lips.

If you haven’t heard about Ciate’s transforming liquid lipstick, Glitter Flip promises to be a metallic liquid lip that transforms to a glittery finish once you press your lips together.

3D39A01C-66A7-46FC-8A43-588A086D10F6

Based on the previously mentioned Kathleen Lights video, I decided my best colour match would be the berry shade ‘Infamous’. I wanted to pick it up when I was in Florida, but the shade was out of stock, so I waited until I got home and saw that the Ciate website had restocked – so I went for it.

As you can see from the photo above, the shade is a pretty raspberry, but on lips it pulls a little darker than that on me – naturally, since I’m so pale!

I wanted to give it a good try, and see whether the product was as good as the YouTubers said it was.

The Test:

I applied the liquid lipstick onto clean lips. The doe-foot applicator has a little well in it, to hold a little more product. The instructions say to apply one even coat and leave 1 minute before pressing your lips together for the glitter effect.

The product didn’t have a scent that I noticed. It applied smoothly and evenly. I waited a full minute and then pressed my lips together.

3523C32F-D057-4E9E-B5AD-03C36567F3A6

Here’s how the product looked in shaded natural light. As you can see it’s an even colour, with some tiny sparkles, but nothing ground breaking.

468FFE3C-C6CA-42C1-8123-EC9CBB2BA943

In direct sunlight you can see more of the sparkles.

I also gave it a test to see whether it would transfer:

E2AC85FF-A7C9-489A-B055-61055A67FD02

Any product that was on the inside of my lips came away, and anything on the line of my lips too – but the product didn’t transfer from the centre of my lips. I also took a drink from a can and the product came off on the can.

First impressions of this product were, that I loved the colour, wasn’t overwhelmed by the sparkles (but they were really pretty) and found the product transferred.

It felt really comfortable on my lips, and wasn’t too matte. This was great for me, because, as you can see, I have a lot of lines on my lips. I actually forgot I was wearing lipstick the longer I wore it.

515ADAB1-28E7-4F21-99FE-EB0756761B75

I went and ate lunch after this, and when I’d finished the lipstick had come off on the inside of my lips, but touching up the colour was seamless. I was able to press my lips together to regain the glitter effect on the areas I’d touched up, with no problem. You honestly couldn’t tell I’d retouched it, which is great for a liquid lipstick.

The Verdict:

Overall I was impressed with this formula. It was really comfortable, the staying power was pretty good, and it was easy to touch up when I needed to. Did it give me the WOW factor that YouTubers implied it would: No. But I did find that in the right lighting, this liquid lipstick is really effective and I’m looking forward to wearing it during the festive season!

I filmed the whole test, so if you’d like to see how I got on, watch the video below!

 

 

First Impressions: Give Me Some Nude Lips Kit

Sephora Nude Lipstick Set

By now you will have seen my post of the beauty products I bought on my recent trip to Florida. One of the products was a Sephora Favorites kit. I love these boxes, because you get to try out brand you probably would never try before.

Sephora is high-end, and to spend the money on something you may not get on with is a risk. So these kits allow you to test out a brand without splurging and potentially wasting your money.

Sephora Nude Lipstick Set

This kit was $28 but with a $70 value. It contains 5 trial size and 1 full-sized lip product, and comes in this cute little lip-shaped box.

As you can probably tell, these are all nude shades, but have different finishes and undertones so you’re not ending up with 5 of the same thing.

Sephora Nude Lipstick Set

This is my first impressions, so I haven’t tried these out for any length of time yet, but I’m really looking forward to doing so!

So let’s go through them all. I’ve swatched them in the same order as the picture above:

Sephora Nude Set Swatches

We start with an Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Ludwig from Kat Von D. I’ve never tried anything from Kat Von D and when I rubbed the swatches off my arm, this one wouldn’t budge. I really had to scrub! This dries down matte and is a warm, terracotta nude.

Next is a Full On Lip Cream in the shade Dolly by the brand Buxom. Buxom have just launched in the UK and I’m very much looking forward to trying this shade out. I also think it will work as a nice topper for some of the shades of liquid lipstick I already have. The pigmentation is nice, but sheer so not as ‘full on’ as some of the ColourPop glosses I have already.

The next is a Color Splash lipstick from Tarte in the shade Rum Punch. Again, this pulls a terracotta shade and looks like a matte, but is fairly creamy and reminds me of a lipstick I had as a teenager. I’m thinking 90s with this one!

Next is a Multistick in the shade Brioche by the brand Bite. I’ve had lipsticks from Bite in the past which I’ve liked. You can actually wear these multisticks on eyes, lips and cheeks and they end up as a powder feel, so I might give that a crack. The texture was slightly more splotchy on swatching and this multi use formula might be why.

The penultimate lipstick is by the brand Make Up For Ever and is a creme lipstick in the shade Artist Rouge. I LOVE this shade. It pulls more berry nude and the fact that it’s a cream rather than a matte is very appealing to me. I can see this being my Christmas shade!

And lastly, is the full-sized product, which is a Liquid Velvet by Ciate London. The shade is called Bitter Sweet and I think this might be slightly too cool-toned for me, but I’m sure I can make it work. The doe-foot applicator has little wells in the centre of both sides, which contain product so you don’t have to keep dipping into the tube too many times, which is a really nice feature.

All in all, I’m excited to try all of these products and brands. I like the fact I can try stuff for the first time in sets like this. Which is probably why I’ve splurged out this year on my advent calendar again (more on that later!) I’ll be trying these out over the next few months, and sharing my thoughts on instagram, so make sure you follow me over there if you want to know what I think!

And if you’ve tried any of these products, I’d love to know how you go on with them.

 

Beauty: What I Bought In Florida

It used to be when I visited another country I got very excited to go around the malls, but there are so many American brands that have come over to the UK now, that the pull isn’t the same. I can’t say the same, however, for makeup.

There are a whole heap of brands you can’t get in the UK, not to mention Sephora doesn’t sell here any more. So, needless to say I had a list (some of which was added to by my American friend Beckie!) and I got almost all of the things I wanted. The one thing I didn’t get was from the brand Ciate London (ironically I cannot find this brand here, easily, even in London). I wanted one of their Glitter Flip lipsticks, and the colour I wanted wasn’t in the Sephora I went to. Doh! So my search continues….

Anyhow, here’s what I picked up on my travels. This is purely cosmetics, but I did buy other things. They’ll be popping up on my instagram no doubt, over the next couple of months, so keep an eye over there.

Bath & Body Works Beach Range

We made a trip to Bath and Body Works, of course. I bought I couple of gifts for family and some car air fresheners, but aside from those I picked up some lovely skin care products. The At The Beach range does what it says on the tin. The website describes the scent as a refreshing, vacation-ready blend of white frangipani, toasted coconut & bergamot waters essenced with a cool, saltwater breeze. And I’d agree with that. I picked up a mini body cream, shower gel and perfume spray. All perfect travel sizes, and big enough for me to get sick of the scent but have long enough to use it!

lotions and sprays

I also picked up a body cream from their autumn range called A Latte Love, which is marshmallow pumpkin latte scented and made with pure honey. This smells INCREDIBLE and I’ve been using it daily. It’s super moisturising and the scent is so long-lasting. As it warms up on your skin it just smells like Main Street at Disney World and all good things to do with autumn. I’m so glad I bought it!. Then from their Christmas range, which was just launching (I’ve just realised I managed to buy something from their Summer, Autumn and Christmas ranges! Go me!) I bought a body spray called Snowflakes and Cashmere. Last time I was in Florida I bought two body sprays I ended up throwing away, mainly because the liquid was coloured (I hadn’t realised it wasn’t the bottle that was coloured when I bought them) so every time I sprayed them I was worried about staining my clothing. It looks as though they’ve stopped that funny business now, so I was pleased to pick one of their sprays up. This one is a warm blend of cashmere cream, shimmering vanilla & frosted clementine. I’ve worn it every day since I’ve been back and it’s really a lovely wintery but cosy smell. As it warms up throughout the day I just wafts of the lovely smell and it’s perfectly reminiscent of this time of year. I’m in love!

I also made sure I picked up some of the things I use on a regular basis, that I can’t easily get in the UK, to stock up! I bought another of my favourite Coconut Passion body spray (a vanilla coconut musk which isn’t too sweet or heavy) from Victoria’s Secret. VS is so so much cheaper in the states and they always have deals on so I picked this up for half the normal price, which is handy as I’m almost out of the one I currently use!

chapstick and face cream

I also bought 2 of the ELF Daily Hydration Moisturiser. I’m just about finishing the last of the 2 I bought a year ago, so these should sort me through to the end of next year, with any luck! And, weirdly, you can never buy cherry chapstick in the UK. I end up buying a bulk of them on Amazon when I need them, but as they’re aplenty in the states, I bought 2 multi packs. So if you’re from America and you think of sending me a care package, chuck in a couple of these would you please? 😀

Clump Crusher by CoverGirl & E.l.f Primer

I bought a backup of my backup of the CoverGirl Clump Crusher mascara. I already have one in my backup drawer but as I was there, it made sense to get another one. You can’t get this for love nor money in the UK, so there you go! I also intended to buy another of my green primer from ELF but accidentally bought the blemish control primer instead (I was jet lagged and didn’t read the box properly). But I used it anyway and it wasn’t too bad. It says it’s got oil-controlling properties and I’m all for that, so ho hum!

From Physician’s Formula I picked up one of their Butter Blushes in the shade Natural Glow. I already have their plum shade and love it so wanted to try this. I’ve used this once, and it didn’t really show up, so I think I need to try it again. I’m wondering if it works more as a highlight or blush topper on my skin tone. And then I picked up a Wet N Wild bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana. This was recommended to me as a good all over face ‘lit from within’ bronzer. It’s honestly the lightest bronzer I’ve ever seen, and it’s got spf in it which I found really interesting. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m eager to give it a go!

3 lipsticks

Also drugstore purchases, I picked up some lip products. For the Halloween party I was attending as Snow White, I knew I wanted red lips so I brought about 5 different lipsticks away with me, but when I arrived I knew I wanted something light and not too bold. It’s too hot in Florida to worry about my lipstick! So I saw NYX had a range called Plump It Up and shade number 5 was this lovely jelly red. It was perfect. It wasn’t long-lasting, but long enough, and gave a cooling tingly feel to the lips.

Next I picked up a Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit, again recommended to me. I picked up the shade Pink Really Hard, which is actually a little too pink for me, but it was the closest to something I would wear from the selection at the time. I did see, in another store, a better and warmer pink shade, but I’m sure I’ll still get use out of this. It’s quite comfortable and I’m interested to see how long it lasts when I do get around to wearing it.

Last from the drugstore products, I saw Flower Beauty in Walmart (Drew Barrymore’s cosmetic line) and I wanted to try one product from the range. So after browsing for a little bit, I settled on this Hydrasilk Ultimate Lip Butter in Rose Petal. It’s a lovely pink nude shade and I’ve worn it a lot since coming home (and I’ve been harping on about it on instagram too!). It’s incredibly comfortable, long-lasting and pigmented. I’m very impressed!

So now we come to my Sephora purchases. As mentioned, I was only unable to pick up the Ciate item I wanted, and the rest of these were on my list.

I’ll start with the items I picked up from Too Faced’s new peach range.

Too Faced Primed & Peachy Primer

As someone who is constantly battling a shiny oily t-zone, I was excited to pick this cooling matte primer up. Primed & Peachy comes in a tube with a pump, and the product is peach toned. I’ve used this a lot since I bought it and can confirm it’s both cooling and matte. I wouldn’t say it’s skin perfecting. It’s a sticky primer so it definitely works best if you press it onto the face. The times in which I’ve smoothed it over my skin, I’m oily again later in the day, but when I press it on, it adheres my foundation a lot better and I stay relatively matte throughout the whole day. My face also smells like peaches for some time afterwards, which is pleasant.

Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes Palette

As a matte eyeshadow fan, I knew I wanted this Just Peachy palette. I already have the Sweet Peach Too Faced palette, but this one was all mattes. As you’ll already know, these shadows don’t have the same peach scent as it’s earlier counterpart, but they still smell peachy. I’ve used this once, and found the shadows a little hard to blend but I persevered, and they blended enough in the end. I’m excited to use this more as we go through Autumn and Winter, since I don’t really wear eye shadow in the Summer.

Sephora Nude Lipstick Set

My last purchase from Sephora was this Sephora Favorites ‘Give Me Some Nude Lip’ lip kit. I’m going to post a full first impressions on this kit with swatches, so look out for that in the next few posts, but basically it includes 6 nude shades from Sephora brands and one of them is full-sized.

I love the Sephora Favorites boxes because you get to try out brands without paying the full price, and they sometimes come with vouchers inside to exchange for one full-sized product once you’ve tried them (I know the perfume boxes usually do). I’m excited to try these lippies out. The colours look amazing, and there’s a good range of finishes and shades.

Since I bought some bits at Sephora and already had some points on my card, I was able to exchange my points for a sample sized product.

Sunday Riley C.E.O

I chose this sample sized C.E.O moisuriser by Sunday Riley. Everyone harps on about this brand, and even though I have no idea what this does, I decided this was my chance to see what the fuss was about! If you’ve tried this, please let me know what you think!

So those are the beauty products I picked up on my recent trip to Florida. It’s amazing just how inexpensive the drugstore products are, which mean I was able to splurge a little when Sephora came around!

If you’ve tried any of these products I’d love to hear what you think of them, and how you used them!