Smelly Witchcraft – The Magic of Scent Memory

We’ve all done it. We’ve opened up a bottle of sunscreen, got a whiff and been transported to a warm holiday destination. We can feel the sun on our skin, the breeze in our hair and almost feel the sand between our toes. It’s an incredible feeling to get from just a small sniff of a fragrance.

I have a very strong sense of smell and taste. It’s a hindrance at times, but wonderful at others. I never really was a fan of perfumes until a few years ago. I always wanted to wear them, but since my sense of smell is so strong I found most of them overpowering. Some even made me sweat because the scent was so acidic.

But yet, I still loved the idea of having a signature fragrance. Something people would smell and know it was me. Friends did this, and I would go out and buy the same perfume and it would never smell the same on me. And it’s scientifically proven that fragrances will meld with a person’s body chemistry and create a new version of that aroma. But I could never find the one that worked best on me.

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That was until I turned 19. One of my friends bought me Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue for my birthday. I have no idea how she managed to find a fragrance that was so me. Light, citrusy but not heavy, overpowering or too sweet. I love it. And at that time I had just started seeing my boyfriend (now husband). I didn’t wear the perfume too much, but every time I wore Light Blue, later on in my life, it instantly transported me to the time in which I was falling in love. Excitement, fun and endless possibility in a bottle. I wore this perfume on my wedding day and even now it reminds both me and my husband of the early days of our relationship. It’ll always be my favourite perfume.

New fragrances are being released all the time. I’ll go through some of my favourites in a little bit, but since there are so many, cosmetics brands are starting to try to stand out from the crowd, using chemical innovation rather than just creating a new smell. Glossier, for example, released their perfume ‘You’ which is supposed to have ‘humany’ notes and smell familiar from the offset. I personally didn’t really like the scent. I’m not even sure I like the idea of a perfume that’s ‘human’ scented…. Byredo is also about to release a perfume called Elevator Music, in collaboration with Off-White, they claim is almost so subtle it disappears even before it reaches contact with the wearer. Ben Gorham of Byredo says “the idea is that its wearer is noticed, and not the perfume”.

I’m not sure about that but I must say I do prefer a subtle scent over a garish cloud of chemical mist. I followed someone through the supermarket the other day who almost brought me out in allergies because her perfume was so strong.

Scent memory is so important to me, that I decided a few years ago I would buy a perfume for each holiday I went on, wear the scent during the trip and then I would forever be transported back to that place each time I wore it. My idea didn’t exactly go to plan since perfume bottles aren’t very travel friendly and I just didn’t wear perfumes when I was away (plus who has that kind of money?!). Instead I moved onto body sprays and scented skin care, and that seemed to work well.

I started off with coconut and pina colada scents since they’re so tropical and remind me of holidays anyway.

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Enter Coconut Passion from Victoria’s Secret. I wore this every day for about a year and a half. It’s so fresh, coconutty and reminds me of summer. But it also reminds me of Christmas in New York since this is where I discovered it. I love this stuff and could swim in it.

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This Body Shop fragrance, I believe, has gone the way of the do-do. Their Polynesian Island Tiaré came in a perfume and body spray option. I went for the body spray and it’s delightfully light but strong enough that you notice it. It smells like tropical islands but with enough floral notes to stop it being too sickly. It’s wonderful.

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I picked up this little glass travel spray of Bath and Body Works’ At The Beach perfume, last year in Florida. It does exactly what it says on the bottle, and transports you to a fresh, salty and tropical beach. I also bought the hand cream and body wash of this and used it whilst I was away. To me, it screams Florida.

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As does Tahiti Island Dream in hand cream form, which I bought the year before in Florida, and I used the shower gel during my trip too. This reminds me of carefree, sunny, hot days in the Disney parks. It’s honestly the most amazing scent, and I’m trying not to finish this since I couldn’t find it on my last trip. I need this scent in my life always!

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Another Bath and Body Works fragrance was this Snowflakes and Cashmere body spray. I didn’t use this until I returned from my trip to the States, and used it all throughout the Christmas season. I then moved onto a different scent (which I’ll come to next) but recently when I went back to use this in the last few weeks I was pleasantly surprised to discover it smells like Christmas to me now! I was instantly transported to Christmas-time and I loved it!

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And last but not least, is this Ariana Grande perfume called Sweet Like Candy. I love sweet fragrances, but not too sweet. And this is perfect. I was given this as a Christmas gift and I wore it pretty much every day until recently (I’ve been giving some of my spring/summer scents a go!) and I adore it. She’s just come out with a new one, Moonlight, too which smells amazing too! Sweet Like Candy isn’t too strong and it lasts beautifully on my skin, all throughout the day. It also mixes really nicely with other scents too.

So as the years went by, and I struggled to find my signature scent, I seem to have realised that I don’t actually want that. I want different scents that remind me of experiences and times in my life, rather than a scent that will remind other people of me. What’s more important to me is that incredible element of instant time travel you can get from smelling something that reminds you of a time past. I’ll always be afraid of over-using a scent and losing that. And I feel I have somewhat lost the power of the memory I received from smelling Light Blue. But at the same time, those memories will change, so if I don’t wear it from fear of losing the original scent memories, I won’t be able to create new ones.

I think I’ll always be amazed at how intricate our senses are. I’ll never understand the chemistry that occurs that allows us to experience scent memory, but I’m not going to knock it. I’m just going to keep sniffing those incredible scents and going on my own little time travel experience for as long as I possibly can.

I Finally Perfected My Skincare Regime… Well, for Now!

Only about a year ago, even though I was into make up, I didn’t really think about skincare. I washed my face, and moisturised, but I have combination/oily skin and what I was doing seemed to work okay.

But as I’m getting older, I had noticed fine lines, dryness under my eyes where there hadn’t previously been, my skin was oily and then dry and who knows what was going on.

When you blog, you get lots of samples, and it must be awful for dedicated beauty bloggers to get through them without totally ravaging their skin and confusing it. I tried a few bits, but nothing really seemed to make a difference. But it opened my eyes to other products out there. My Liberty advent calendar really has been a goldmine for helping me to try new things I wouldn’t have even known about otherwise!

I decided I needed to think a little about my skin, try some things out and find out what regime would work for me. I knew it would be a fairly simple regime, I’m not one for a millions products (I don’t have the time, money or inclination). Some people like to use serums, lotions, potions and tools – I don’t want to make things more difficult than I have to.

So here’s what I found works for me. It’s what my skin likes, for now. As I get older, and probably will try samples out, this might change. But right now, this works, so I’m not going to fiddle with it too much.

Morning

In the morning I like to give myself a nice and simple face wash. I use Skin Laundry’s Gentle Foaming Facial Wash. I find this is leaves a clean and fresh feel to the skin, doesn’t leave my face feeling tight and I like the scent. It’s simple. It foams a little and I like this, and I enjoy the packaging, so I don’t have to unscrew a lid. I just pop the side of the cap and away I go.

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If my skin is feeling at all dry or like it needs a pamper, I’ll use Skin Laundry’s Skin Purifying Cream Cleanser. Again this is a nice clean scent which feels a little more creamy and hydrating. It doesn’t result in a tight feeling on the skin.

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I then follow with E.L.F’s Daily Hydration Moisturiser. I started using this a couple of years ago when I visited the States and since then I’ve repurchased religiously. I like that this is hydrating but light. It sinks into the skin wonderfully and doesn’t make it feel greasy, but takes away any tightness I might get with other moisturisers. It’s just heavy enough. And makeup goes on really nicely on top!

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Evening

To remove makeup, I commit one of the biggest sins going (apparently) and though I double cleanse, my first cleanse is to use a Simple makeup wipe. I know I know – apparently it’s really bad and it forces makeup into your pores, blah blah blah. But it works for me and it’s not doing me any harm. It is a lot of waste though, so that might wean me off them eventually.

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Anyway, until then, I’ll use these. They don’t irritate my eyes, they take off all my eye makeup and leave my skin visibly clean and ready for the next step.

My second cleanse will either be one of the face washes I mentioned in my morning routine, or it’ll be one of these two:

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Once a week I’ll use this Estée Edit White Mud face mask. This is actually discontinued, but I managed to pick up two backups from Bicester Village about a month ago, and I’m using it a little more sparingly to help stretch it out! I love how clean and clear my skin is after using this. It really balances my skin too. It was the only things that saved my skin during the Glossier Solution debacle!

If I don’t use any of the above, I’ll use this Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant.

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It’s a grey powder, that (I won’t lie) smells pretty eggy and a little nasty. You put the powder in your hand, mix a teeny bit of water with it and create a paste. Then work it over your face for about a minute before washing off. I love how clean my face feels after using this. It is quite abrasive, so I’ll only use it when I feel the need (after a heavy makeup day, night out or day in London) but it’s really effective. Plus it has anti-aging properties so bring it to mamma! Because it’s a powder, it’s going to be brilliant for travel too.

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The next step is my Pixi Glow Tonic. I’m actually almost out of this right now, so I need to pick up some more. And I’m tempted to try the new Rose Tonic, as a morning step too. But for now I’ll use this once a day, at night after cleansing. It really helps to exfoliate and balance my skin ahead of moisturising.

If I’m cleansing my skin a while before bed I’ll pop on some of that E.L.F moisturiser as the next step. But if I’m about to get into bed, I’ll use a sleeping cream.

I’d been using the Body Shop Oils of Life sleeping cream over the winter, and as you can see I’m almost out of that too.

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So I went to pick up some more, and actually came out with the Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy sleeping mask.

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Look how bouncy! It’s a strange bouncy texture in the tub, that turns to a water texture when it’s rubbed between the fingers and then melts into the skin. I’ve been loving the results. My skin feels soft and plump in the morning. Just how I want to keep it! I also picked up a sleeping eye mask from the same range.

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I’ve had trouble with eye creams reacting to my skin and creating dry, irritated, patches before so I was a little scared to try this. But I actually love it. My under eyes are no longer feeling thin and crepe-like and it’s actually the only thing that’s fixed some of the dry irritation I sometimes get on my eye lids as a result of allergies. I only use this at night because I didn’t like how it sat under makeup.

So this is what I’m using to keep my skin happy at the moment. I’ll be interested to see how I need to adapt this as the weather gets warmer, and my t-zone gets oilier, but for now it’s working!

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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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 🙂

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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!

August Beauty Favourites!

It’s been a LOOONG time since I posted a monthly favourites, mainly due to the fact that I haven’t really been trying out any new products. But this month I thought I’d get back to it since I’ve been using a few products that have really impressed me!

The first 3 are all from The Body Shop:

Body Shop Oils Of Life Sleeping Cream

This Oils of Life sleeping cream isn’t actually new to me, in fact it probably featured in a past favourites post. I bought it last winter, but since my skin has been so temperamental of late, I thought I’d give it a go during the summer too, and I LOVE it again. I have an oily t-zone which obviously gets oiler during the summer months when it’s warmer. I never liked the idea of adding more oil to my face, but I know that when you have oily skin it’s because you’re hydrated and it’s trying to compensate SOOO I tried it. I popped a thin layer of this on my face before bed, and in the morning my skin felt balanced and soft. AND it smells great too! I don’t use this every night because I’m still figuring out how to balance my t-zone, but so far so good!

Body Shop Skin Defence

Next is The Body Shop’s Skin Defence cream. I asked for this for my birthday and was very happy to receive it. This cream has spf 50++++ and is a lightweight cream to water finish protector for your face. You can apply it alone or under makeup and I’m definitely taking this to Florida next month, because I hate the greasy feeling of sunscreen on my face.

Body Shop Instamatte

Lastly for The Body Shop items, is this Instamatte. I managed to buy this for £2 as I had two £5 gifts on their loyalty card. This is a little lipgloss sized tube of primer type gel. It’s designed to be mixed into foundation or on top of lipsticks to transform into matte finish. I haven’t yet used it for the latter, but I have kept it in my bag at work and when my t-zone starts to look gross I tap a little of the gel onto the areas I need it, and I’m instantly matte. I only wear tinted moisturiser and it taps on top fine, but I don’t know how well it would work tapped on top of higher coverage foundation. I have a feeling it might break it up a little, but for the way I use it and for me, it’s a little lifesaver!

Lipsticks

Speaking of lipsticks, I’ve been loving these two again. I don’t usually like to wear a lot of lipstick in the summer, instead I reach for products with a more sheer finish, but since we were having a rather rubbish and autumnal feeling summer spell, I picked these two out.

The one on the left, in the picture above, is Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ and on the right is Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Stoned Rose’.

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Both are cream finish, and look nice and autumnal. Ex-Girlfriend doesn’t last too long on its own, but lasts much longer if you use the matching lipliner underneath, which I do. I love this Charlotte Tilbury lipstick too and think I’m going to find myself in the market for another one this autumn!

Skin Laundry Face wash

And lastly, I’ve been adoring this foaming facial wash by Skin Laundry. I got a sample size of this in my Liberty London advent calendar last Christmas, and I was totally shocked by how clean this made my skin feel and look. So when I eventually ran out I went and bought the full-size. It’s not the cheapest but you get a massive bottle and it lasts ages. I’m so glad I found it!

And that’s it for my August beauty favourites. Have you tried any of these? I’d love to know what you thought!

Mid Month Beauty Favourites!

I haven’t posted a beauty favourites in a few months, mainly because I haven’t had anything new to write about, but I thought I’d just let you know about a few items I’ve been loving. These items are all perfect for bringing you from the Spring through to the Summer.

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I’ve mentioned this product before, but I’m so glad the weather has picked up so I can use it again:

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This is the Makeup Revolution Radiance Palette. It contains what I would consider to be two bronzers and one highlighter, though you can use them how you like. What I love about this palette is that when I use it I get such a natural tanned look. It’s not heavy or dirty looking, and doesn’t glitter. I use the far right pan mostly as I have never gotten the hang of highlight! I can only use this bronzer when it’s really warm and sunny because it really makes me glow, but I am still in love with this a year on from buying it. And for £8 you can’t go wrong!

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These two body creams were amongst a few I picked up from Bath and Body Works when I was in the US last October. I saved these for the warmer months, and I’m really enjoying using them. Tahiti Island Dream is a fresh summery and fairly heady scent that reminds me of tropical islands (not that I’ve ever been to one!) It’s summer in a tube. Beautiful Day is fresh and also summery with a little fruityness to it. So lovely.

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This fragrance mist from The Body Shop, I understand has just been discontinued amongst the rest of the range featuring this scent. I picked it up because it really compliments their Pinita Colada range (which I have seen back in stores for Summer – whoop!) It’s a fresh, light and slightly tropical scent with floral notes, but not too floral. I’m glad I still have just under half the bottle left. I’ve been enjoying wearing this on warmer days.

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I picked up this ColourPop Ultra Glossy in my last order, and hadn’t dared wear it until the weather picked up. In the tube it’s an intimidating neon orange, but on the lips it’s a subtle orange gloss. I’ve been really loving wearing this, as I prefer juicy lips in the summer, over matte or satin. I love how this wears down to a nice peachy tone and leaves my lips hydrated (almost waxy, but in a nice way and not sticky). I have this in my handbag at all times for those times when my lips need a hit of subtle colour.

And lastly, off the subject of beauty:

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I’ve been really enjoying having the chance to show off the lovely bralettes I to cover up during the Winter. This black jersey tunic has a huge hole in the back, so every time I wear it I get to pick my prettiest bralettes and show them off!

So those are some things I’ve been enjoying using now the weather has picked up. Do you have any products you love to reach for as the summer creeps in?

January Favourites

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And so we move into the second month of the year, in the hope that we can bypass the cold weather and all of a sudden be honoured with Spring-time. I wish!

It’s been crazy cold, icy, some people have had snow; but we have had plenty of lovely winter sun, so it’s not all bad.

This month, as well as upping the frequency of my blog posts a little, I’ve been able to post up a couple of videos to my YouTube channel, which is really exciting.

As well as that there have been some fab things on the TV, great music and I’ve had the chance to try out some of the beauty things I got for Christmas AND splurge a little on the January sales…

Let’s start with some music.

Ed Sheeran announced his new album and released two tracks from it, which went straight to number 1 and 2.

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My favourite of the two is Shape of You which I’ve had on repeat ever since. I can’t get enough of it, and I’m excited to hear the rest!

I mentioned in a past post I wrote about my 2016 in blogging, a planner that I’d picked up from Dot Creates.

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The Ultimate Blog Planner is a spiral bound notebook with sectioned pages designed to allow you to plan out your blogs as and when inspiration hits.

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I’ve actually started to really fill up the pages! Because it’s not dated you can write in it as and when you want, and it means you’ll never forget that glimmer of an idea you have because you can run and write it down when you have it! They come in 3 designs and are really inexpensive, so if you blog – go get one!

On a recent January sale shopping excursion we headed into The White Company, a shop I didn’t really go into, and saw they had a sale on their towels. We really needed to replace our towels since they were a wedding present 10 years ago – they’re still going strong, but they’d been washed and washed and washed… you get the picture. Anyway, we found these amazingly soft and HUGE bath sheets, hand towel and face cloth all in their sale.

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I swear when I wash my face with the face cloth it’s like rubbing my face with a fluffy puppy…. and when I get out of the bath and use my towel – woah mumma!

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Next, I finally took the plunge and bought a Beauty Blender. I’d never actually used a beauty sponge, but thought I’d see if they had any discounts on the Beauty Blender website. I managed to get a gift set which contained a pink and black sponge, a black micro sponge, a black oil blotter sponge and black sponge cleansing soap for £32 which I think is pretty good! They also included a free mini white sponge cleansing soap and mini cleansing liquid bottle too! So I think I got a great deal.

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Anyhow, I used the micro sponge and the pink Beauty Blender this past weekend and I’m really impressed. I’m mostly impressed with the micro sponge, and how it’s improved the look and longevity of my undereye concealer. Win!

Next, I want to talk about cleansing. I’ll admit it, that before Christmas I ONLY used miscellar water makeup wipes. They did me no harm, and they did the job. But since receiving the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish cleanser at Christmas I have seen the error of my ways. It’s amazing.

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Not only does this variation smell amazing, but it’s so soft on my skin. It’s moisturising, gets all of my makeup and mascara off my face without needing to scrub and it leaves my skin feeling amazeballs!

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And last is this incredible body scrub from The Body Shop. I picked this up in their sale for about £6 I think.

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If you were reading my blog last year, you’ll know I’m pretty obsessed with any body products that are coconut and pineapple scented. So when I saw this, I HAD to get it.

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Not only does it smell amazing though, the product is incredible. It’s very soft and has just the right about of exfoliating grit in it. You rub it over your skin and afterwards you feel soft and moisturised for DAYS. I mean it – no need to moisturise afterwards but you’re not feeling greasy or anything. I’m obsessed!

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I’m hoping this is a whole range because I’ll definitely be picking up more scents if it is!

And that’s it for another month! Have you tried any of these? I’d love to hear what you think 🙂

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!

pixi

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!

 

Going Coconutty!

Ever since last summer, and receiving Sugar Baby’s Aloe Sailor body cream in a pass the parcel in Ibiza (click to read more!), I have been obsessed with coconut and pina colada scented body products.

The scent takes me right back to summer holidays and also Las Vegas, where our first visit took us to The Mirage and their Pina Colada scented lobby fountain.

So going into the warmer part of the year has brought an awful lot of coconut scented products to the shelves, and luckily for me I’ve been able to pick up a few bits. Here are my current favourites!

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Of course I have to talk about the aforementioned Aloe Sailor. I’m right at the bottom of the tube, and every time I’m near a TK Maxx I hunt the shelves to see if they’re stocking it. Sugar Baby are an Australian brand and don’t ship internationally. I have yet to find this in the store again, but they did stock the Sugar Baby self-tan range this year, so I am still holding hope! I’ve actually seen a Pacifica body cream that looks like it might work instead, but again this product seems only to be available in the US so I’m going to try to hunt it out in September when I’m there.

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Next is a product I actually picked up in TK Maxx when I was searching for Aloe Sailor. Textured Waves from By Nature is a natural surf spray with coconut scent (they also to a lemon version!). This is a New Zealand brand and to avoid disappointment, I actually picked up two bottles of this. At £4.99 each it didn’t break the bank! I’ve actually run out of my beloved Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray and wanted to see whether this would work instead because I can’t afford to shell out £24 each time I go through a bottle. I’ve been impressed with this. It doesn’t have quite the same volume and hold on my poker straight, fine hair, but it gives a darn good effort. The coconut scent is lovely, and lasts a couple of days. It doesn’t dry my hair out, and the hold is adequate. My hair is matte and somewhat thicker using this. It works better on semi-dry hair, whereas the Bumble and Bumble equivalent works well on towel dried but wet hair. I prefer to put product on straight from towel drying, and have found Textured Waves is weighed down by very wet hair a little more. But I’m still happy with the result and love how it doesn’t build up in the hair.

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On my trip to New York over Christmas I picked up a set of tiny vials of fragrance mist from Victoria’s Secret. I love their scents and thought this would be a great introduction to their fragrance mists. The one I found myself using the most, and have now finished but can’t bring myself to throw away, was Coconut Passion. This smell is heavenly. It’s so good. Light but coconutty enough with a hint of something sweet. I must pick up a full size and a body cream in Florida in September. They do sell this here, but I think it’s a bit more expensive.

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I recently spoke about Treacle Moon in a favourites blog, and their fabulous shower gels. I’m still working my way through the honey tub I bought, but I also picked up a travel sized Coconut Island as I’m travelling a lot in the next few months. I’m yet to use this, but it smells amazing!

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The last product I want to talk about is from Barry M. They’ve just released these lip oils at £4.99 each. I managed to pick mine up during a buy one get one half price offer, which I think might still be on. They look like lip glosses and come in lip gloss packaging but once applied feel a whole lot lighter. I have really dry lips and am constantly applying lip balm but find I don’t have to apply so regularly with this one. The one I want to talk about today is Coco Loco but they also have Berry Good. Coco Loco is made with coconut oil and is really hydrating. It smells coconutty and looks like water on the lips. Yum! It’s not sticky and even though my hair can attach itself to my face when I’m wearing this, it doesn’t leave a gunky mess!

If all this wasn’t enough, I’ve recently found out that The Body Shop have just launched a Pina Colada scented range of body products. So guess which store I’ll be heading to after pay day?

Have you tried something coconut or pina colada scented, recently, that you’d recommend? I’d love to hear about it!