Saturday, 31 August 2013

August 2013 Favourites

I'm almost in shock, this is a monthly favourites post that isn't a week late! Goodness me, miracles do happen!

This month has mostly been about things being as simple and easy as possible - Following my accident I didn't want to mess around much but I still wanted to look nice so a few, simple, products have made this month much easier. As well as these products some of the ones from my last favourites have been fantastic, notably the Soap & Glory 'Glow all out' powder and the Maybelline 'Dream Pure BB Cream'.

As you may know if you've read my posts about it I've been doing the Your Tea, Tiny Teatox this month and that. most definitely, has to be one of my favourites. It's not the tastiest tea ever but it was drinkable and it's made a massive difference for me - I'll definitely want to do a teatox again in the future. 

As well as the teatox I've been trying to improve some aspects of my diet. I haven't been able to do much about my daily meals as it's mostly about convenience when we're living here and trying to feed lots of different people at different times, so what I've focused on is replacing snacks with better snacks. I can't cut snacks out due to the low blood sugars I deal with so I've stocked up on cereal bars and things - These granola bars from Tesco are Delicious. They've got a hefty amount of sugar in so they're not exactly health food but they're better than chocolate and icecream and they've been great to snack on whilst walking back from dropping Ethan off at nursery.

These are two haircare items that have been fantastic this month. The Bastiste dry shampoo is something I use every month but this month it's been totally invaluable. Due to my head being glued I wasn't able to wash my hair too often so (whilst shielding the actual wound so that the spray wouldn't touch it) I used this a lot to keep my hair looking better. 

I picked these pop bands up when they were 20% off on the website so they were a total bargain. My hair is just getting to a length, now, where I can tie it back but when I hurt my head I wasn't able to tie it back as it pulled on the wound too much. After it had mostly healed, though, the pop bands became fantastic as they don't pull on the hair as much as a normal hair band and so they didn't cause the discomfort that others would have done. Also, look at those lovely colours!

This month I've had the best skin month I've had in as long as I can remember and I think that a lot of it is to do with these two products!

You can see my review of the Amie Morning clear cleanser HERE so I won't say too much about it but I Love it. I use this in the mornings and I'm loving my morning skin care routine at the moment. 

In the evenings I've been using the Soap & Glory 'Peaches and Clean' to replace my 'Clean Mary' and I can see why people class this as an improvement upon the older product. I Love this stuff, it smells delicious and makes my skin feel wonderful. Expect a proper review on this in the future.

I've been keeping my make-up pretty simple for most of the month (though obviously that's been mixed up a bit since I got my big competition win, expect to see more about these products in the future!)

For most of the month my nails haven't been all pretty and colourful as they've been adorned by the Rimmel Nail Nurse Nail rescue treatment instead. You can see my review for that tomorrow!

I've mostly been focusing on keeping my lips hydrated and smooth this month though an extra wash of sheer colour doesn't go amiss. I have found, though, that the natural pigmentation of my lips improves loads just from rubbing a good balm in. I have been Loving the Nivea Honey and Milk balm as I'm obsessed with anything honey scented and this is heavenly. 

For colour I've been reaching for the Maybelline Baby lips in 'Cherry Me' and the Yes To Carrots in 'Rosy Bloom' these have covered me for most looks that I've gone for this month.

Lastly for cosmetics I've been using the Rimmel Scandaleyes shadow paint in 'Rich 'Russet' as it's been lovely for a soft hint of colour on the eyes without much effort at all.

Lastly, this month, the entertainment has been a big help in feeling better!

My lovely man picked up a couple of our favourite series' on boxset so we've been really enjoying watching them. I can really, really recomment both 'Extras' and 'The Big Bang Theory' for a good laugh!

I've also been glued to my kindle this month and that's because of the 'Codex Alera' series by the wonderful Jim Butcher. I have read both of his series' this past couple of months and I love them both very very much. The 'Dresden Files' has a more modern feel to it and is more typical of the urban paranormal genre whereas the 'Codex Alera' is a more epic fantasy that is very otherworldly. Both are flipping amazing, though and I'm gutted that I've finished the Codex Alera books and can't wait until the next Harry Dresden book is out. 

Friday, 30 August 2013

The end of my Your Tea, Tiny Tea, 14 day teatox

I had planned on writing up this post the moment that my teatox was over but as you'll have seen if you saw my update post it's been a tough week. But I've been really looking forward to getting this post up for you all as I know there's been a lot of you looking to know how I got on with the Your Yea 14 day teatox*. 

I don't want to go in to massive detail about the background for this as I've written plenty about it in previous posts so, instead, I'm going to link you up to those earlier posts - My introduction post is HERE, and my day one post is HERE.

I am so glad I was given the opportunity to try this teatox out as it's been fantastic and has made a big difference to my body. I haven't had a massive change in weight but for my digestion it's done wonders - Not being bloated 100% of the time is just one of the best feelings ever and for that, alone, this teatox was Well worth it. From the first day I noticed a difference in bloating, that's how quickly this stuff gets to work and as the two weeks went by it became clear that my digestion was working a lot better than normal.

Another thing that the tea did was to help me stop craving sugar as much and that's made a big help, long term. I find that craving sugar is something that I can get past if I can manage a couple of weeks, and even since I've stopped the teatox I've managed to keep those cravings really in control. 

I think that if I was in a position to have exercised more and improved my diet more then I'd have been able to lose some weight, but I do think that the lifestyle changes that I've made, and continued, with the teatox Will have a bigger impact on my weight. Although I didn't just suddenly lose weight I do feel happier with my body now that the bloating isn't such an issue, it's amazing how much of a difference it makes and how much easier it is to hold a better posture when your stomach isn't all swollen.

Left is my before photo and the right is my after photo - Keep in mind that the left photo was a day after I'd begun so I'd already lost some of the bloating, so that was already an improvement. (also, forgive the arms in the air on the after photos - I just Could not get my arms in the right position but I did make sure that it didn't make any difference to my shape)

Again, left before, right after. 

I'm not suddenly back to the way I was in my earlier 20's but there's an improvement, even if a lot of it is because I can hold myself better than I could before without the battle of the bloating.

Do I recommend this stuff? Yeah - I think for someone with a more fitting lifestyle than mine this stuff could make a massive difference but even if you're in a position like me it can make some difference. Fibro sufferers? It has made my ibs so much more managable! But keep in mind that if you're on meds then it might affect you differently, and keep in mind that with fibro it might do more to some of us than others.

I definitely want to do a Your Tea teatox again, I may even do it once or twice a year if I can put the money aside. Anyone interested in trying it out remember that international deliveries won't be sent until the 9th September but you can make pre-orders now.

*This product was sent to me for the purpose of review

General update - Blog, life, health etc

I can't believe I've not posted since Monday; I'm pretty sure that that's the longest I've gone without posting since I started blogging more seriously - It feels very very wrong.

The main reason behind it is my stupid health. Stupid, stupid health. The fibro has been really making things difficult and so I've had to keep off the laptop; not to mention being so exhausted that I fell asleep on the sofa last night and couldn't even stay awake long enough to take myself up to bed, Very uncomfortable night sleep.

I'm really planning on doing some more fibro posts in the recent future but I find it hard to know what direction to take - I did my intro post which explained a variety of the symptoms and beyond that it's hard to decide where else to take it. I want to write posts that will help people newly diagnosed and to help others understand more about it but I also don't want to just talk about it and sound like I'm whinging... If there's anything that any of you would like to know about it, or any sufferers who think there's things I could cover then please do let me know!

The beautiful pretend rose my lovely fiancé got me, just to make me smile
The head wound from my injury isn't really helping, either, as it's Still hurting after a month (pretty sure it should be better by now, grr) so I still wake up in the night with it hurting etc. Stupid thing. Not too happy about having a bald patch either but thankfully my hair covers it most of the time.

Another reason I've not been online as much is because we've been going through a bit of a testing patch with Ethan - He's been quite a monkey behaviour wise so I've been pretty mentally exhausted by the end of most days as well as physically.

More exciting  news is that Azii and I are off to the registry office on Monday to register our intent to marry - Bit exciting, bit scary, bit grown up! Less than a year until we get married now and we have a venue, food, evening do sorted but everything else needs doing... oh we do have a photographer but only sort of as she's not sorted out enough to give us a price to confirm the booking yet.

Blog wise I'm over the moon to have reached 400 followers, thank you all so much for joining me on my bloggy journey. I really am loving blogging and plan on keeping it up long term so watch this space!

I'm working on sorting out the layout of my page as I  just can't get it quite as I like it so if you see things looking a bit out of place then that's why. Also those tabs with no info at the top? They will contain info at some point, honest!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Essie - Summer 2013 Mini collection - Swatches on nail wheel

It's been just under two weeks since I last painted my nails (I've been trying to improve the quality and strength of my nails using Rimmel's Nail Nurse, Nail rescue treatment - HERE) which would be really hard for me at the best of times, considering I paint my nails 4 or 5 times a week, but since I won some Gorgeous nail polishes in the fantastic Beauty Bay competition that I won (HERE) it's been Even harder! 

I did, though, find a way to make it a little easier and that's by painting up a nail wheel to show you lovely people how beautiful the Essie Summer Collection, that I got, is. 

This is the 2013 Summer collection and I Absolutely love all four of the colours in it.

As you can see from the picture above they're called 'Full steam Ahead', 'The More the Merrier', 'Naughty Nautical' and 'Sunday Funday'

Sorry about the iffy light but these are the polishes in their bottles from left to right we have 'More the Merrier', 'Sunday Funday', 'Full Steam Ahead' and 'Naughty Naughtical'.
More the Merrier is a normal cream formula but the other three all have tiny particles of shimmer in - These aren't really obvious like bigger glitter would be but they just add a gorgeous radiance to the polishes as I've Tried to show you in the wheel swatches.

Slightly better light here and I think, if you look closer, you can see the shimmer in the three polishes on the right (Might help if you click the photo to enlarge it) - They're all such lovely shades though, so fun and bright, the absolute essence of summer; even if the actual weather hasn't been! All that said, I'm not one for sticking to rules so I'm pretty sure I'll be rocking these throughout any seasons that they take my fancy.

I am absolutely itching to get these on my actual nails... Only a few more days to go!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Another giveaway! Want to win a beauty box? Get an August, Instyle edit, Birchbox - ENDED

I really wasn't planning on running two giveaways at the same time but I am going to be getting a duplicate of the August birchbox due to Azii taking up a special offer and giving it away as a giveaway prize seems like the Perfect thing to do with it!

I'm not going to tell you what's in the box before I send it because half the fun of getting a beauty box is the surprise! If you want to know one of the possible combinations then you can check out what I got in my August box HERE or you could go on to the Birchbox website and see what the whole selection of things is (if you're not familiar with Birchbox, they'll send 4 or 5 items out of the whole selection from that month)

I don't know when I'll be getting the box but I believe it'll be within the next two weeks so that's how long I'm going to run the giveaway for. Once it arrives I'm going to check that it's all ok (as sometimes people get missing items etc) and then I'll re-package it and send it right on to the winner.

As with all of my giveaways this is going to be run via rafflecopter - The only mandatory thing will be to follow me via the Google Friend connect widget to the right but there'll be a few other optional entries which will be totally up to you.

But most of all, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
- The giveaway us UK only due to p+p costs.
- If you're under 18 you'll need permission from your parents to enter.
- I'll be sending it via second class recorded delivery.
- When the giveaway ends I'll email the winner and they'll need to reply within 48 hours.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Urban Decay - Super Saturated gloss pencil in Naked and 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Sin - Swatches

Time for the first of the swatches of some of the items from my #EssentialBeauty wishlist competition win from BeautyBay (HERE)!

These were two of the easiest items to chose to put on to my wishlist because I've really wanted to try out more Urban Decay items for a while and these really leapt out at me. I got the Super Saturated gloss in the shade 'Naked' and the 24/7 Shadow pencil in the shade 'Sin'. 

From the moment I tried them out I really, really loved them and wished I could afford to buy more expensive cosmetics more often! (I may be looking in to a way to do this in the future but we'll see!) Both of them are of such wonderful quality, are so beautiful to apply and just look fantastic.

Here's the swatch for the gloss pencil first: 

This is a lovely natural looking colour (as the name sort of suggests) which applies really smoothly to the lips and isn't at all sticky - Love it. 

The 24/7 shadow pencil in 'Sin' is a stunning pinky champagne colour with a lot of shimmer in it. It applies really softly and sets really quickly to a super long lasting product.

This is how it looks without the light on it. 

I love both of these products and Really want more Urban Decay things now haha!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Helping Grandma in the garden

My Mum and Ethan spent some time out in the garden together the other day, my mum was trying to get the garden cleared up and I anticipated that Ethan wasn't going to be particularly helpful in that. Turns out I was wrong. 

Lovely little boy was actually really, really helpful and with the help of a dust pan and brush he was able to clear away lots of weeds for Grandma.

When he was done he brushed his hands together, put his hands on his hips and announced he was going inside now. It was a proper 'job well done'.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

My beautiful bookmark from Coco Vintage

I read a lot, this is a fact that's pretty undeniable. Even when I go through a phase when I don't read as much I make up for it in the following weeks or months by going in to overdrive! My beloved kindle means that I don't read actual books as often as I used to but I do still have plenty that I only have in paper form. 

Scrolling down my Facebook news feed a while ago I saw that one of my friends had liked someone called 'Coco Vintage' who was a seller of some really, really beautiful items. Check them out here, really worth a look -

The items that I was drawn to were these beautiful metal bookmarks with charms attached and I bought this beauty, at a sale price, for £2.50 with 90p p+p, but they're not, much more when full price. Just take a look, it's worth every penny and more - Now my books can look pretty as well as being as awesome as they already are.

I often see lovely items popping up from the page and I'm pretty sure that some of their jewellery bits will make their way in to my collection at some point, it'd just be wrong not to!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

MUA: Make up academy - Colour Blast first impressions and swatches

Yay, my Colour Blasts by MUA arrived! I've been hoping they'd come quickly and, considering I wasn't able to order them until early evening on Friday, they've come in pretty good time!

MUA have released a set of 6 Colour Blast eye tint pencils in a nice selection of colours; there's the three neutrals that I have to show you today and then there's also a dark charcoal colour, a dark purple and a light pink which add a nice extra dimension to the range.

Being a bit of a fan of neutrals it was an easy choice as to the first three for me to purchase; though I'd definitely like to add the other three to my collection in the future.

These three are called (l-r) 'Stay', 'A girl like Me' and 'Bring it Back'.

As you can see we have a nice light, champagne colour, a nice medium taupey shade and then a darker, chocolatey shade with a hint of bronze. A pretty nice range of neutrals considering it's only a collection of 6 shades. 

And to the swatches! The colours are really nicely pigmented and very buildable plus they're very nice, rich colours. I think they'll give options for a large range of possible looks which is nice for something so affordable and considering we're only looking at three shades.

And I thought you'd like to see how much shimmer they have - The champagne shade is the most shimmery, and then they get less shimmery the darker you get. I do like the amount of shimmer, though, I think it's quite fitting to each shade and the darkest shade is nice in that it looks like a nice chocolate'y brown until the shimmer shows that bronzey tint.

These pencils are Uber affordable, as you'd expect from MUA, and at £3 each it's really easy to build up a nice collection. 

I am yet to see what their longevity is like so I can't comment on that, really, but I can say that they don't have that instant solidity that some other shadow pencils offer - But this is a good thing in terms of blendability, I think that these will be lovely to blend. It's how they stand up in terms of their lasting ability that I will be keeping an eye on once I've worn them a few times. I'll be sure to let you know once I have a better idea!

All in all, as far as first impressions go, I'm very pleased and really looking forward to trying this out!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Rimmel Nail Nurse - Nail Rescue - Initial Reactions

I, naturally, have really weak nails which bend, break and flake at any given opportunity. The fact that I have them painted 99% of the time probably doesn't help and the fact that fibro can cause these same issues as well means that I have really, really difficult nails which sucks as they're something I put a lot of work in to.

I try to keep them trimmed but despite that they often end up snapping off so I'll have some longer and some shorter. The weird thing, too, is that my nails grow Really fast so, even though I try to keep them trimmed, they'll often grown and then snap before I realise that they need trimming again! Along side that is the issue that I've got certain faults in the nail that always grow back in the same place so they'll break, again, in exactly the same way as they have done for a really long time. 

As such I've been thinking about using some sort of treatment on them. My first thoughts were to try and get hold of OPI's nail envy but I just couldn't justify the cost. Thankfully the lovely Kate at Sparkle Dust mentioned that Rimmel do a nail rescue polish and I set out looking for that but, in true form, I couldn't find it. I, now, think that that's because Rimmel have recently released their 'Nail Nurse' range. I picked up the Nail Nurse Nail Rescue from Superdrug for £4.49 just over a week ago and it has the same claims as the original nail rescue that I was looking for. 

The treatment is supposed to last for 14 days and you apply the polish on the first day, a second coat on the second day and then you remove it and do the same again when you reach the seventh day. I've had it on my nails for four days now and I'm already noticing a difference in the strength - They're not bending or snapping and the flakey bits aren't being a nuisance either; they just feel so much better.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this has worked on my nails once I reach the end of the two week course, partly because I am really impressed so far and partly because I'm already itching to paint my nails again! I'm going to update when it's finished as I'm really interested to see if the improvements last past the polish being removed or if it's only going to work whilst it's actually applied.

Please forgive my disgusting, discoloured nails. I'm hoping that that's going to improve lots during the time that I have my nails unpainted! You can't see a lot of the faults in my nails here but you can see how some of them have snapped off and some are longer, plus if you look at the nail on the far left of the bottom one you can see a patch of discolouration where polish has been ingrained in some of the flaked parts of the nail. 

I know you can't see that much from these and, if I'm honest I don't think you'll be able to see much physical difference even when I've finished using this product but just in case you can I thought it'd be good to document!

I'll be back in another week or so to let you know how this has gone! 

Monday, 19 August 2013

Soap and Glory - Glow All Out Powder - Review

I've been meaning to write up this post for a while but it's kept getting put back which is totally daft as this is one of those products I'd not want to be without. I have, of course, featured it in a couple of favourites of the month but it's, most definitely, about time that I dedicate a whole post to this beauty. 

This is actually one of the products that I was in love with even before I became as obsessed with beauty as I am now, and my first one has lasted me a really good amount of time even though I'll go through phases of using it for weeks and weeks in a row. I love this so much that I have had a back-up ready ever since I could even glimpse the pan through the base of it, not wanting to have to be without it between one ending and getting another. 

In typical Soap & Glory style the packaging is cute, vintage themed with a hint of glitz. The actual compact is card and closes with a magnetic mechanism which has a really nice feel to it, though when you've had it for a long time it will start to show some wear and tear.

That said, I've had this for over a year, it's been in and out of various make-up bags and it's been very very loved and, although it's looking a bit tatty, it's actually holding together just fine; there's no problem with it breaking or with it not holding closed, it's purely aesthetically that it's suffered over time. 

The powder, itself, is a beautiful peachy, pinky shimmer and, when it's new, it's emblazoned with the beautiful Soap&Glory logo which gives it a really well made, high quality appearance. 

The texture of the product is so light and soft that it's an absolute dream to use; it applies and blends with almost no effort at all - I've used it with a variety of brushes but the one I use, the most, now is my Real Techniques blush brush as it picks up just enough product but isn't so harsh that it digs too much in to the powder. 

As you can see, from the swatch, although this powder looks like a bit much in the pan it's actually really soft and subtle when you apply it. Rather than being glittery as some highlighting/luminizing powders are this adds a sheen or a glow to the skin. The only thing I've found difficult is that my camera seems intent on taking all of the colour out of the photo; this shimmer looks lovely enough but to the naked eye it's actually got a gorgeous hint of peachy/pink to it. 

I find that this powder works in a variety of ways. The packaging suggests that you wear it on the cheekbones and jawline as you would a highlighter, but it also lists that you can wear it all over the face. I don't tend to wear it as a full face product as I think it Would be a bit too much but I do sometimes wear it as I would wear a highlighter as it complements pretty much every blush that I own. Most often, though, I wear this on its own, instead of a blush, as it adds a real luminosity to the skin as well as that subtle hint of colour showing through. Quite a few times, when I've been wearing it, people have said I look so much more healthy than normal - Yup, that's how good this product is! Though, of course, different skin tones will want to use this product in different ways, I do think that this would be beautiful on many tones though.

As I said before, this first one of mine is on its way out. Thankfully it isn't the sort of product that crumbles once you reach the pan, it's held together really well and as long as you're careful with it it shouldn't pose any problem at all. 

I really do love this powder and, especially in the warmer weather, it's been such a fantastic low maintenance product to make a bright, natural look with very very little effort. 

As with other Soap&Glory products you can get this from Boots stores and the Boots website. It retails at £11 which is a decent price, though Boots very regularly have a whole host of offers so it's well worth keeping an eye on those. 

I'm so glad to see more posts of this popping up as it definitely deserves lots of recognition and for lots of people to use it! One of my favourite Soap&Glory products!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

My #EssentialBeauty wishlist win from Beauty Bay

In all honesty I couldn't believe it when I popped on to twitter and saw this:

The shock was massive. I have won competitions before and they've been fantastic and I've been so so pleased but this one was to win my entire wishlist from Beauty Bay up to the value of £350! After my accident a few weeks ago I've definitely needed cheering up and this definitely helps towards that! (Along with the love and support of my friends and family, of course!)

The lovely team were so amazing and managed to get my package of goodies sent out That day and they arrived the very next morning, much to my surprise! Opening the package was like two years worth of Christmas and Birthdays come at once, I just couldn't believe how lucky I'd been.

I thought I'd do a first post just showing you all what I got and then I'm going to do some swatch posts of various items throughout the next couple of weeks. And reviews will happen in the future, as and when I've used things for long enough etc. 

So here goes!

I tried to get a mix of skin care and make-up along with some hair care, lip care, nail polish and an extra little luxury in the shape of my first ever Neom candle. 

Here's the skin care that I got:

Alpha H - Balancing and pore refining mask
Alpha H - Liquid gold
RMK - Green Tea herb mist
Jurlique - Intense recovery mask
Sophyto - PH optimizing restorative toner

Nail polishes:

Nails Inc - Sprinkles in 'Pudding Lane'
Essie - Summer 2013 mini collection

The palettes I got:

Stila - In the light palette
Too Faced - The Secret to No makeup makeup palette
Too Faced - Matte Eyeshadow collection

Lip products:

Dr Lipp - Original Nipple balm for lips
Sara Happ - Brown Sugar lip scrub
Yes to Carrots - Color balm in 'Rosy Bloom'
Urban Decay - Super-Saturated High gloss lip colour in 'Naked' 
Pixi - Tinted Brilliance Balm in 'Craving Coral'

Eye products:

Art Deco - Tribal Baked Eyeshadow in '18 Marbled Brown'
Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide on Shadow pencil in 'Sin'

Last two bits - 

Macademia Natural Oil - Deep Repair mask
Neom - Candle in 'Tranquility' 

Soo, yes, just a few little bits and bobs (yes, sarcasm) - I managed to get things from brands that I've never tried before that I've really, really wanted to try. This is just the most amazing win for me and I'm so grateful to BeautyBay for running the competition because I am just over the moon with the things that I've won!

The competition is running for another three weeks, I believe, so it's worth checking out!

Good luck to everyone else who enters.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Amie Skincare - Morning Clear facial wash and Morning dew moisturiser - Review

The Amie skincare range is one that's been popping up more and more within the blogsphere and it's really easy to see why. Their products are made with, on average, 95% natural ingredients as well as being free from the harsh chemicals such as parabens, sulphates, mineral oils and other nasites that we so often hear about and despite this they are Still sold at a really affordable price!

The product that I've heard the most about is the Spring Clean Cooling Clay mask which is raved about by soo many people and is always really, really hard to get hold of. As it happens I was able to get hold of a tube, thanks to a link from the lovely Kate at 'Sparkle Dust' but I've still not been able to use it as I've been avoiding head bands since my head injury. I do think I'll be using it, really, really soon.

I do also have their New Leaf skin exfoliating polish which I got in a Beauteco box which smells almost edible but I don't use too often as I don't use exfoliators with particles in on my face very often (When I do use one it is that one, though)

Soo, when the opportunity to test and review two of their other products from the range became available I snapped up the chance!

With packaging similar to the rest of the range these two products look cute, natural and fun which adds an extra level of appeal. I have been using both the Morning Clear purifying facial wash and the Morning Dew matte-finish moisturiser every morning for a week now, so that I can give them a good go and tell you what I think about them. 

The face wash claims to give you clean skin which feels soft and smooth and the moisturiser says it offers soft, dewy and shine-free skin. And, being honest, I feel that both of those claims are totally accurate. 

The morning clear wash is a lovely soft pink colour with a really subtle smell which can only really be described as creamy and sweet; though I think that if you have a problem with smells this shouldn't be too bad for you as it really is a very gentle scent. I absolutely love the texture of this product, though, it's so very, very creamy and luxurious feeling.

When I use it I massage it into my face and neck and then I leave it for a minute or two before I get a flannel as hot as I can stand without being too hot and I press it onto my face and hold it there for a while. Then with a second hot flannel I wipe the product away. I find that if I wipe it away the first time it leaves a bit of a residue but with the way I described above it leaves the skin really clean and so so soft and smooth. My skin has been amazing this past week - I can't say that it's totally down to this as I've changed a couple of other things, too, but I think that this is a big part of it.

The moisturiser is a really nice product as well. It has a nice, fresh scent but again it's incredibly subtle, and it is very light and sinks into the skin really quickly. I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw that it is meant to be a matte-finish moisturiser but now that I've been using it I really like what it does for my skin. Weirdly, the way I was going to describe this actually fits really well with the claims on the tube and at that point I hadn't read that part. I don't think that this cream makes my skin matte in the sense that it's flat and lifeless, it does help reduce any areas with a shine but it really does still leave my skin looking really dewy. It really does make my skin look so much more radiant than normal and that's not what I expected from a matte-finish moisturiser.

My skin isn't super oily so I don't know how it would work for someone who does struggle with that but I do think it might be worth a try.

All in all, I really recommend both these products and I am so glad I was able to try them. I will definitely be keeping them as part of my skincare routine and unless something even more amazing comes along I think they might even make the cut as re-purchase items which facial washes and moisturisers don't tend to be, for me.

(These products retail at £4.95 each from the Amie site, HERE)

This post contains PR samples - See disclaimer here

MUA have released their Colour Blast eye tints!

This is one of the announcements that I've been looking forward to from MUA for a while now and they're finally here! The Colour Blasts are an eye tint in the shape of a pencil and I've been wanting to try something in this form for a while but haven't got my hands on any of the current offerings as most of them are from higher end brands that I can't afford. 

These come in 6 shades and promise to be really nice and pigmented. I'd quite like to try all of the shades as I think they're all quite wearable, even the more colourful ones. I have, though, only ordered three of them as I am being sensible and well behaved!

The three I ordered are the one on the far left, the fourth one in and the one on the far right. They're called 'Stay', 'A Girl like me' and 'Bring it back' - Yup, I played it safe with the neutrals! 

So, yes, keep your eyes peeled for swatches and first impressions of these beauties. They're available on the MUA site now, at £3, and will be in Superdrug stores from 28th August. 

Now it's time to look forward to the Matte palette and the Smokey eye palette from MUA, plus the promise of an MUA style beauty box? Exciting times to come for MUA fans me thinks!

(This photo has been used with permission from MUA)

Friday, 16 August 2013

Kids are flippin' Funny #43

The television in our living room is, most definitely, on its last legs. It's taken to just turning itself off sometimes and then sometimes it'll turn back on straight away but sometimes it won't for hours and hours. As it happens this isn't all bad as it gives me a reason to have some extra no telly time for monkey boy. He's not a fan, though, as it happens.

Yesterday, when the tv was in a phase of not going on at all Ethan came over to me and told me that 'Grandma needs to get the ball from upstairs to put in the telly'. He then went in to the other room and told Grandma the same thing.

Neither of us had a clue what he meant.

About 15 minutes later it just suddenly struck me... he didn't mean a ball, he meant 'the portable'. He'd heard my mum say that if the tv broke entirely she'd get the portable from upstairs. Ethan, clearly, only heard the ball part.

It gets better, though. Today the telly had another episode (yup, it's really on its last legs) and he wandered down the hallway jabbering about pokeballs... mhmm pokeballs like pokemon.

Again, it took me quite a while to realise that pokeball was meant to be portable... hehehe

Admittedly I'm quite pleased by it, when he mishears portable he hears pokeball - That's my boy!

Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream - Review

BB creams are something which have eluded me for quite some time. I've tried a few, from the obvious brands; rimmel, garnier and others but, thus far, I've been stumped by the fact that I'm too darn pale or that my skin is too cool toned whereas the products are more warm toned. 

When I was browsing in Superdrug a while ago, trying to kill some time, I saw testers for this new, Maybelline Dream Pure BB cream and I also saw that it has 2% salicylic acid in it. As someone with blemish prone skin I am instantly drawn to things with this miracle ingredient in them, but I was still expecting the shade to be too dark/yellow for my skin. 

But, yay, I was wrong! 

This BB cream, in the shade Light, is a really really good shade for pale skin. It's not too pinky or too yellow though I'd say it errs closer to cooler toned skin; that said, it's so pale that most tones would Probably manage with it but I'd definitely recommend trying out a tester first. 

I've wanted a BB cream for the days when I cannot be bothered with a brush, and with buffing and with the full coverage of a foundation. But I've still wanted Some coverage and something to even out my skin tone. 

And This is the product. Just look at how nicely this blended in to the back of my hand, how you can see less of my blue veins and how, even my hand, looks so much smoother!

It is light coverage, but it does a really good job of covering the lighter blemishes or discolouration and smooths out the complexion really nicely . If I have really red blemishes I'll need concealer too but if I've just got some paler discolouration, for whatever reason, then this base is just fine on its own (with concealer under the eyes of course!)

I, honestly, don't know how much the salicylic acid does as I've been trying out all sorts of different skin care over the past few months and my skin has improved Drastically; I just need to work out which elements have done it and which are duds. One thing I'm pretty sure about, though, is that this stuff doesn't definitely doesn't make it worse.

I don't have overly oily skin but I do get it sometimes. I bought this without noticing the oily skin part, but I don't think it's detrimental to my skin despite the fact that I only get oily from time-to-time. I do suffer from dry patches when I have a healing blemish but I don't find that this stuff makes it worse at all.

Honestly - I love it. So much so that when superdrug had a two for £10 going on Maybelline products I bought Two back-ups, though the £6.99 regular price really isn't bad either. 

I can't recommend this enough and I think the fact that I bought two back-ups says more than anything else I can write.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Blog is a re-vamping

If things are looking a bit out of place, weird, boring, odd or just wrong over the next few days/weeks/however long it takes me, please be patient, I'm trying to get my blog looking better, more pulled together and just, generally better so things might not look quite right but that's only for now!

Teaching little ones what to do in an emergency

This isn't a post I want to write. This is a post I wish I hadn't had to even consider, but after my scary experience a couple of weeks ago I realised quite how important it is and quite how much we don't realise that fact.

As you may know if you read my post (HERE) a couple of weeks ago I ended up in hospital after having fainted on the way to taking Ethan to nursery. I'm still no closer to knowing why it happened (but working with dr to work it out) but knowing that it followed an off feeling that I've had before I know that it is possible that it could happen again.

And that's why I've been having to talk to Ethan about what he needs to do if 'Mummy falls over again'.

When we were out he was in his buggy - He's three but he still goes in his buggy a lot, partly just because he'd get too tired after running around at nursery to then walk home, but also because I worry as the fibro means I have painful legs and sometimes get muscle weakness in my legs so I like the added security of knowing he's safe in his buggy in case I have a problem.

And, of course, that worry was quite justified when I passed out. I hate to think about what would have happened if he wasn't in his buggy. In theory, and quite probably, he'd have just stayed with me, he wouldn't want to leave Mummy behind and he knew something was wrong. But he's also a three year old who gets distracted and excited about bikes, cards, traffic lights and cats.

We were in quite a quiet area in a village which is near where we live so people didn't find us straight away but thankfully some people did after a short while and they called an ambulance and stayed with Ethan and I. One of the ladies that stayed with us was absolutely taken with Ethan, she thought he was so fantastic, such a  lovely little boy and that he was going to grow up to be a really special person - When my Mum told me that it brought tears to my eyes, that my wonderful little boy was so good and so well behaved even though he was worried about Mummy and confused about what was happening.

But, I digress, due to the worry of it happening again one day I've talked to Ethan about what he should do if 'Mummy falls over again' when we're out for a walk and he's not in his buggy. I've told him that the most important thing is that he stays with me, that he holds on to Mummy's hand and doesn't go off on his own. I've also said he can call for help (He doesn't like not talking, ever, so he'd feel better if he was making noise and it might attract attention)

Now he's only three, I don't want him to have to think about these things or to even have to worry about him knowing these things but I HAVE to know that I've done what I can to keep him safe in case anything scary happens again.

And it really did make me think, we don't really talk about these things with our little ones until they're older because we don't think we'll need to. But what happened with me the other day proves that we Do need to, it really is better to be safe than sorry.

I've not talked to him about what to do if something happens to Mummy and we're home alone because he'd just use it as an excuse to press 999 on the telephone, but when he's older I think I'll have a real talk to him about it.

I really hope it doesn't happen again, as scary as it was for me, I woke up on that pavement most worried about my little boy. Turns out he was fantastic but I am glad that I've talked to him now and will do so again, so that he knows what to do in these situations.

Book Club Review - The Buddah in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

When it comes to books I've stopped myself posting about them because I struggle to write about books in a way that I feel comfortable unless it's to people that I know have read the book. I hate spoilers, I really really hate spoilers but in the same breath it's difficult to really talk about a book without slipping up and revealing too much.

But guess what? I'm fed up of that cop-out, I love books and I love talking to other people about books so, even if I can't give some full, in depth analysis of the book without telling you too much, I'd like to post about books more often and I'm going to start with this beauty.

I got 'The Buddah in the Attic' as part of the Britmums book club and I was really excited to be getting something which was totally new to me, something that wasn't from my normal comfort zone of go-to genres and that I, ordinarily, may not have come across if it weren't for the group. And, thank goodness, the book most definitely made the excitement worthwhile.

Put in the most simple of ways, this book is utterly beautiful. It might sound wrong because the book is about a topic which is heart-breaking but it is the way in which it is written that is just so captivating that it can't be anything but beautiful.

The book is about a group of Japanese women who travel to America between the wars to marry men that they've never met. The story follows these women/girls as they venture into an unknown, terrifying world in which they do not belong and it gives the reader and insight into the various paths that they take; settling in to their new homes, their husbands, jobs, families and the countless other things that they experience following this beginning of their new lives.

The beauty of the book is in the way that their story is told - It is written in the most simple way imaginable yet it still tells so much whilst saying almost nothing at all. It's a series of sentences, statements, short and succinct but carrying the weight of the experiences of these women throughout the years of hardship that most of them endure. 

There's no, one main character it is all written as 'We', 'Some of us', 'Our', 'A few of us' they are, very much, a collective but at the same time they are, very much, alone. 

I know that I've been incredibly vague but this book is one that needs to be read to fully understand how hard it is to put it down. Once I started reading I just couldn't stop. It's only a short book but I felt like I learned so so much about those it followed, even though it was told in that simplistic manner I mentioned above.

It's hard to imagine how a story can be so sad and so beautiful at the same time, but if you read this I'm pretty sure you'll know what I mean.

This book was sent for my consideration for review for the book club - See disclaimer here