Sunday, 18 June 2017

June's Glossybox Unboxing

My favourite time of the month (after pay day of course) has finally come around again - the delivery of Glossybox. After all there really is nothing better than coming home to a little box of beauty treats to greet you after a long day in the office. 


Contents:
Manna Kadar Glo Illuminator - £22.50
Batiste XXL Volume Spray - £4.29
Black Diamond Peel Off Mask - £4.95 for 3
Himalaya Herbals Face Wash - £3.29
Sleek Power Plump Lip Crayon - £5.50
111 Skin Bright Eye Lift Gel - £110.00

With the weather finally starting to warm up the June Glossybox includes five products to help create an effortlessly chic look this summer.

The first product to catch my eye this month was the Black Diamond peel off charcoal mask. With blackhead removal taking the beauty world by storm I've been looking for a new mask to put to the test for myself (fingers crossed it's not too eye watering!). 

As someone who relies heavily on dry shampoo, I was also very excited to see a full sized bottle of the Batiste "Oomph My Locks" XXL Volume Spray. As well as claiming to provide the "ultimate volume boost" Batiste also claims the product will strengthen and care for hair, bonus! 
 

What are your thoughts on the June Glossbox?
I'd love to know inthe comments 
xxx

Monday, 12 June 2017

MAC x Fleur De Force

If there's one thing I love, it's a make up collaboration. From MAC x Ariana Grande to Urban Decay's Alice in Wonderland I just can't help picking up the limited addition collections. So when I spotted that one of my favourite Blogger/You Tube personalities Fleur De Force was collaborating with MAC to release a lipstick, I instantly knew I needed to get my hands on.

 

The limited addition lipstick is a take on the classic Cremesheen Lipstick. With a creamy formula the product leave lips feeling soft & moisturised all day without any hint of dryness (perfect for those who aren't a fan of matte).

With a combination of soft pink & beige tones create a beautiful yet natural look that's perfect for any make-up look this summer (think family BBQ's to summer weddings). 

Unfortunately Fleur's lipstick is now sold out online, but click here to view other MAC products recommended by the beauty guru herself.  

Have you tried the MAC x Fleur De Force Lipstick?
What's your favourite make-up collaboration?
xxx

 


Sunday, 21 May 2017

May Glossybox Unboxing

If there's one thing I look forward too at the beginning of each month, it's the arrival of my beauty subscription box. Whilst I was previously signed up to  receive Birchbox, I recently decided to mix things up a little bit & see just how good Glossybox is.



Box Contents: 
Scrub Love Active Charcoal & Avocado Body Scrub - £13.95 [x]
Caudalie Creme Sorbet - £23.00 [x]
Dr Paw Paw Original Balm - £6.95 [x]
Ruby Powder Blush - £12.80 [x]
Daily Concepts Exfoliating Body Scrubber - £3.85 [x]


For me this box contains the perfect build up to summer products - exfoliators and moisturisers. One particular product I'm very excited to test is one I've seen all over my Instagram feed - the Scrub Love Body Scrub. Claiming to absorb impurities whilst soothing and moisturising, this seems to be the perfect pre-holiday skin treat, especially followed by the Dr Paw Paw Original Balm (which apparently can be used on skin, hair & nails!).  

I'll definitely be putting everything I received this month to use & may even put together a few product reviews to feature here. 

Have you ever used any of the products used in the 
May Glossybox?
I'd love to know your thoughts! 
xxx


Sunday, 14 May 2017

Bridal Fashion with DressesOfGirl*

With shows like "Don't Tell The Bride", "Say Yes To The Dress" & "Say Yes To The Dress U.K" making their way onto my binge watching and guilty pleasure list, I can't help but find myself eyeing up the huge selection of gorgeous bridal/bridesmaid dresses on offer whilst daydreaming of the exact style I'd love to wear to a wedding...

After far too many Sunday afternoon spent binge watching these wedding themed shows (please don't judge me), I like to think that I now have a pretty good idea of the style of dress I'd happily to wear as a bride/bridesmaid.

Whilst I'm neither engaged or being a bridesmaid anytime soon, I couldn't resist creating a little "wish list" style post to share here on Small & Blonde - after all what girl didn't grow up spending her time dreaming of her perfect wedding & falling in love with every Disney Princess-style dress?!

1. 2. 3

In my opinion each of these dresses would be completely perfect for anyone's big day. Not only is the a-line cut flattering (think skater style to hide the tummy) but the lace/chiffon detailing adds a perfect touch of elegance & romance - which of course is a must at any wedding. Pair with some stunning heels, jewellery & soft, bouncy curls & I'm pretty sure I'd have my wedding dream look.

Each of my chosen dresses feature as part of the stunning Bridal & Bridesmaid collections from Dressesofgirl* - a budget friendly store offering a range of dresses, shoes & accessories for all occasions (including evening, bridal & even homecoming dresses).  If you have an event coming up & need a little outfit inspiration without looking to spend too much, I'd definitely recommend checking them out.


What's your dream wedding/bridesmaid dress?
I'd love to know in the comments.
xxx

Monday, 8 May 2017

Batiste 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner

Whilst there's nothing I love more than the feeling of clean & styled hair, I'm the laziest person ever when it comes actually washing my locks. So - like many girls - I find myself reaching for dry shampoo on a regular basis in an attempt to keep up the appearance of clean hair for as long as possible.

When it comes to dry shampoo Batiste is my go-to brand - so when I spotted the new "Invisible dry shampoo & conditioner" in my local Superdrug, I knew this was a product I simply needed to try.




Similar to regular dry shampoo, the new 2 in 1 product aims to banish oily roots whilst also working to nourish ends to reduce dryness... Perfect for someone like me, who finds their hair tends to get dry rather than greasy (thanks bleach!).

I decided to put this product to the test one evening before heading out for drinks (being far too lazy to actually wash my hair..). I followed the instructions by simply spraying & massaging onto my roots before misting over mid-lengths & ends - then brushing/styling as usual.

The first thing I instantly noticed was that there was no "chalky" feel to my hair that comes with regular dry shampoo (something I personally hate). There was also no white/powdery residue left on my roots, leading me to believe that this product really does live up to it's "invisible" name. I also noticed that - whilst the excess oil on my hair was absorbed pretty quickly - it took a little longer for the "conditioning" effect to kick in. With the ends of my hair feeling noticeably softer around an hour after use (something to remember whilst getting ready).

When it comes to price the 2 in 1 is a little more expensive than your regular Batiste Dry Shampoo (retailing at £4.49 compared to £2.99) so I'd say that if you find your hair is more on the greasy side, it's probably worth sticking to the original. However if - like me - you tend to suffer with dry hair between washes (or happen to also hate the chalky feel) then I'd definitely recommend giving this a try for yourself!

What's your favourite Dry Shampoo?
I'd love to know in the comments 
xxx

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Summer Jewellery Wishlist*

Although all signs of Summer seem have to disappeared here in the U.K. - believe it or not we actually had snow this week! - I'm still not ready to give up on idea of sun & warmer weather. So even if it's nowhere near warm enough outside just yet, I realised there are some stunning pieces of jewellery available this season.. so of course, this was the perfect excuse to put together a little wish-list.



1. Mini Ear Cuff - Au Rate* [x]
2. Fine Gold Look Rings - Top Shop [x]
3. Lotus Pendant - Accessorize [x]
4. Gold Flower Earrings - Au Rate* [x]
5. Pink Lace Choker - Missguided [x]
6. Diamond Ear Cuff - Au Rate* [x]

I simply adore how delicate each of the above pieces are & imagine they'd look gorgeous paired with a summer dress & sandals (whilst sitting on the beach, sipping a cocktail of course). 

If you've spotted any jewellery perfect for the summer months, 
be sure to let me know in the comments! 
xxx


Sunday, 23 April 2017

The Spring Revamp*

After a particularly long day at work I love nothing more than curling up in bed, lighting a few candles & catching up on Netflix. However - with the stresses of day-to-day life - I'll admit that sometimes (most of the time) I can let my room get pretty cluttered. So with Spring finally making an appearance here in the U.K. I decided there was no better time to finally have a big "spring clean" & reorganise. 

Source
As someone who owns many, many items, I found it a little daunting knowing where to begin with my "spring clean". So (to help anyone who many be in a similar position) I've put together some tips that I found really helped revamp my space & part with items I no longer need. 

Clothes & Shoes: 
If they haven't been worn in the last year, you probably never will again. Instead of leaving them to gain dust in your wardrobe, donate them to charity. Someone somewhere will love them. 

Make-up & Skincare products: 
Again if you haven't used it for the last six-twelve months, it's probably time to throw it away. They're probably way past their "use-by" date now!

Bedding:
Did you know it's recommended to flip your mattress every three months? I certainly didn't. Whilst this probably isn't something many of us will remember to do, it is worth noting that once in a while we should make the effort to flip/buy a new mattress (I currently have my eye on this one from Leesa*). I also love to change up my bed-covers & find something that really fits with the current season (think pastel colours & floral prints for Spring!). 

Flowers: 
I find that flowers & plants are the perfect way of injecting a little colour to a room. Although fresh flowers are my personal favourite, this can get a little expensive over time. However artificial flowers can look just a pretty & last a life-time. 

Whilst not always the most exciting way to spend a weekend, I was surprised by how therapeutic I found the whole take of Spring Cleaning. Not only did I finally part with (far too many) items that I really didn't need, I now love nothing more than walking into an organised & tidy room! 

Do you have any tips for Spring Cleaning or
revamping a room for a new season?
I'd love to know in the comments. 
xxx


Monday, 17 April 2017

Product Review - Brushegg

Whilst every beauty lover knows the importance of cleaning their make-up brushes, it's one of those tasks that is usually pushed to the bottom of the "to-do list". So when I recently spotted a product boasting to make cleaning my brushes "quick, easy & effective" - I knew I needed to try it for myself...




Used to deep clean make-up brushes, the BrushEgg is a small silicone "egg" (surprise, surprise) designed to reduce the need for various cleaning solutions & therefore avoid dry or damages bristles. With one flat edge containing small silicone bobbles &  larger, horizontal strips it quickly lathers soap whilst removing the build up of product & dirt from brushes. 

To use simply pop the BrushEgg under warm water, add a small amount of soap (I usually opt for shampoo to keep my brushes soft) before swirling the brush-of-choice across the silicone until the water runs clean - voila squeaky clean brushes!

Whilst I probably wont start jumping for joy at the thought of cleaning my make-up brushes, at least now I know it's a quick & easy task. Plus at only £2,99 it really is a bargain.


Have you ever tried a BrushEgg or similar product?
Do you have any tips for cleaning make-up brushes?
I'd love to know in the comments
xxx




Sunday, 9 April 2017

Body Confidence with Dia & Co*

With the warmer weather finally making an appearance here in the U.K it's time to pack away the winter coats & dig out those summer outfits. Playsuits, summer dresses & little pairs of shorts are all perfect items of clothing to wear on a particularly warm day. However - for some of us - the thought of showing more skin can be a little scary.

Whether immediately discarding an outfit without even trying it on, or simply not feeling comfortable once out of the house, the dent in my body-confidence means I can sometimes struggle when it comes to fashion in the summer months. However this year I have set myself the challenge of stepping out of my comfort zone & dressing in the outfits that I truly like.



As someone who feels most comfortable pairing any skirt/dress with tights, going "bare leg" is something really out of my comfort zone. However - as almost any girl will know - black tights & the summer sun really don't go well together (hello melting legs!). So this year my aim is to break the habit & step outside with my bare legs showing.. even if they are a little on the pale side. Ultimately I'm hoping taking this small step will help build my body-confidence & enjoy the summer months without the stress of "what to wear" or the pain of sitting with ridiculously toasty legs!

A great company that is currently working to improve the body-confidence of women everywhere is plus-size fashion brand Dia & Co*. With campaigns like #mybodyfirst - centred around loving our bodies - Dia & Co are working to change the average shopping experience to put women & their bodies first. Be sure to check out their website to find out more - regardless of your clothing size! 

I'd love to know how you work to build your body-confidence. 
Leave any tips in the comments below! 
xxx

Sunday, 2 April 2017

March in Photos

After seeing similar posts floating around the blogging world, I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon & share a snapshot of my month in photos. I was lucky enough to spend March in the company of my family and friends whilst splitting my time between Birmingham & my hometown back in the countryside.



As most of you will know in March we celebrate Mother's Day here in the U.K. Of course this was the perfect excuse for me to jump in the car & travel back home for a long weekend. During this time I treated my Mum to afternoon tea (just look at those cakes), became a crazy cat lady with my favourite furry animal again & also visited a quirky cafe where the sugar pots are mini-cauldrons (if you're ever in Gloucester I couldn't recommend the Hubble Bubble Coffee House more!).

Towards the end of the month I was finally able to go & watch the new Beauty and the Beast - which has swiftly become my new favourite Disney film. If you haven't yet seen it I won't post any spoilers, but it's a great take on a timeless classic that I can't wait to see again (side note, there are also some great new songs!). This little Disney boost inspired me to dust off the Minnie & Mickey plush's I picked up in Disneyland at Christmas (click here to read all about the trip) who now take centre place on my bed.. yes I really am 25!

I was also lucky enough to enjoy a few glasses of wine with some of my nearest & dearest friends - something I find is the perfect pick-me-up after a long week at work!

I'm now very excited too see what April has to offer & to *hopefully* welcome some warmer weather.. (in other words I'm more than ready to dig out my Spring wardrobe).

How was your March?
I'd love to know in the comments. 
xxx

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Whether you're spending the day shopping, going for a meal or simply relaxing at home,  to show some appreciation to the women who have done so much for us over the years. Whilst flowers & chocolates are always a nice gesture, I'm a strong believer in going the extra mile when it comes to Mother's Day gifts. Below are a selection of gifts that I feel really show just how thankful we really are to those special women in our lives.

1. The Power of Three Spring Collection - Liz Earle - £19.00 [x]
2. Marc Jacobs Daisy - The Perfume Shop - £54.00 [x]
3. Rose & Rose Gold Watch - Olivia Burton - £70.00 [x]
4. Mother of Pear Earring Set - Pia Jewellery - £25.00 [x]
5. Oriental Blossom Makeup Bag - Ted Baker - £27.00 [x]
6. Sanctuary Mothers Day Gift Set - Boots - £22.00 [x]


What are your plans for Mother's Day this year?
I'd love to know in the comments. 
xxx



Sunday, 12 March 2017

PS Pro Blending Brush

As someone that loves testing new beauty crazes, I knew that "Oval Blending Brushes" were a bandwagon I needed to jump on. However with a number of brands releasing their own brushes at various different prices (including MAC, Make Up Revolution & Iconic London), I wasn't too sure where to turn. So when I spotted the PS Pro Oval Blending Brush whilst on a recent trip to Primark, I couldn't resist adding it to my basket.  




For anyone who doesn't know, oval style blending brushes claim to be perfect for applying both powder & liquid products - including eye-shadow, foundation & bronzer - and are available in a range of different sizes. As I really wanted something to use for foundation/concealer I opted for the "large" blending brush which currently retails at £4.00. 

The first thing that really stood out to me when using this brush was just how soft it felt on my skin. This - combined with how condensed the hairs are - is something I feel really helps ensure that all product are blended easily (something I feel regular foundation brushes can sometimes lack). I also feel the condensed brushes result in less product being absorbed into the brush, which is always a nice bonus! 

Since purchasing I've been using this product daily to apply my liquid foundation (as pictured above) along with my concealer - which I then follow with a fluffy powder brush to set in place before moving onto bronzer/highlighter - to leave a smooth & flawless look. 

If you're looking to test out oval blending brushes but - like me - aren't too sure where to start, I honestly couldn't recommend this brush enough. I'll definitely be heading back to the beauty range during my next Primark trip! 

Have you ever tried any beauty products from Primark's range?
What are your thoughts on Oval blending brushes?
I'd love to know! 
xxx




Sunday, 5 March 2017

A Quarter Century Birthday Milestone

For me, birthday's are something I always enjoy. Whether celebrating myself or spoiling a loved one, I simply love the excuse to spend the day celebrating & feeling loved. So when I reached the milestone of a quarter of century a few weeks back, I couldn't resist going all out with my celebrations. 

One of these celebrations included a night out with some close friends, so I thought I'd put together a post showing the outfit I put together for the occasion (plus, what better excuse for a new outfit then your birthday?!). 


Outfit: 
Dress: Boohoo - £12.00 [x]
Shoes: New Look - £29.99 [x]
Choker: New Look bought in the sale - similar linked from River
Island here [x]

The overall outfit was a relativity simple look. Of course I couldn't resist opting for my fail-safe Skater style dress. I personally find that anything Skater-style is the most flattering on my figure as it really hides those "problem areas" (aka I've eaten a whole lot of Pizza recently & it'a gone straight to my stomach.. oops). I then teamed this with some simple black "chunky" heels & a gorgeous bow choker that I picked up recently in the sale from New Look. Chokers have been a must-have accessory for some time now & I still love them as a statement alternative to a usual necklace. 

After dressing up I treated myself to a few too many glasses of Prosecco & then spent the night at local bar sipping cocktails -  a perfect birthday night. 

Do you have a "fail-safe" outfit?
I'd love to know in the comments. 
xxx





Sunday, 26 February 2017

Vitamasques' Manuka Honey Sheet Mask

If there's one thing I need to invest in when it comes to skincare, it has to be face masks. Whilst I always have a stock of make-up remover, cleanser & moisturiser, face masks simply aren't something I ever think to purchase. So when I received the Vitamasques' Manuka Honey Sheet Mask in January's Glossybox, I wanted to be sure it was put to good use.



Whilst Vitamasques' is a British company, the Manuka Honey sheet mask is actually inspired by Korean beauty (something I've heard great things about across the blogging community). The mask - containing "triple layer sheet technology" - aims to nourish skin, leaving it feeling moisturised and hydrated. 

I decided to test this mask after a night of wearing full make-up (where a few cocktails may have resulted in me falling asleep before cleansing, oops) to help ensure my skin was left feeling healthy & clean. To use, I simply cleansed my skin before applying the mask to my face. I then let it sit for 20 minutes (as recommended by Vitamasques') before removing & letting the remaining product absorb into my skin. 

The first thing I noticed about this mask was how cool it was to the touch - something I found very refreshing after a night of heavy make-up. I also quickly realised just how much product had been absorbed by the sheet. This then transfers to your skin when removed, leaving a slight wet feeling (something I personally didn't mind as it gave the impression my skin would continue to absorb the treatment, however you can gently pat with a cotton pad if this isn't something you enjoy).

Once the product had been fully absorbed my skin was left feeling soft, hydrated & not at all irritated from a night of pore-clogging make-up. 

Retailing at £12.99 for four (or £3.99 per mask from Glossybox) the Vitamasques' Sheet Mask is a budget friendly beauty treatment. Perfect for those who like to give their skin an extra treat from time-to-time (something I'll definitely be trying to do in the future).

Have you tried this - or any other - products from Vitamasques'?
If not I'd love to know your favourite face mask treatment in the comments. 
xxx

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Perfect Valentines*

No matter what my relationship status, Valentine's day is a "holiday" I look forward too each year.. Whilst a little corny & yes, I do agree that there shouldn't be just one day to show someone you love them.. I do love an excuse to really over-indulge in all things romantic (whether that's a romantic meal for two or simply lounging on the sofa with a cheesy rom-com).

With Valentine's day fast approaching, Adore Me* have put together some some great hints & tips to help ensure celebrations run as smoothly as possible, whilst catering to all relationship stages & budgets.



I personally think the ideas above would make for a great romantic evening.. Dressing up heading out for some cocktails is my idea of date-night heaven whilst a customised Spotify playlist & new pyjamas would make for the perfect cosy evening in. Plus, who knew Orange roses represented passion? I'll definitely be passing that bit of information along!


What do you think of Adore Me's Valentine's tips?
I'd love to know in the comments. 
xxx

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Kailijumei Secret Flower Lipstick

Now I love a new lipstick as much as the next beauty blogger.. I get excited when MAC release a new collaboration & love when we enter autumn/winter so I can wear all the berry tones.. however there's one particular lipstick I've had my eye on for a long time now - the Secret Flower Lipstick.

This is a product I've seen on countless Instagram posts but never quite known where to actually find it - until the day finally came when I found a link to Kailijumei & my lipstick dreams finally came true.

*heart eyes emoji*
For those who aren't as obsessed as me, the "secret flower" lipstick is just as described - a lipstick with a "secret"/"hidden" flower inside. Whilst it may sound a little strange, as you can see above it's a thing of complete beauty with little flecks of gold glitter & a small pink flower sealed within.

Whilst the lipstick itself is actually clear, once applied it slowly transforms into a soft baby-pink - something I imagine will be perfect for Spring/Summer. The formulae of the lipstick is surprisingly soft & not at all drying. When it comes to application, I'll admit that I haven't worn this product for a full day yet, however after swatching the pink-colour remained in place pretty-much all day - even after I tried to scrub it off (much better than something that fades away annoyingly fast).

The lipstick itself is available in 4 different styles including Baby Doll Pink (the style I purchased), Dream Purple, Flame Red & Minuet Maid, each retailing at £11.99. However after a little research it seems that each lipstick wears as the same shade of baby-pink. This means the names only reflect the colours of the small flower within the product (something to be noted if you're hoping for a purple lipstick).

For £11.99 I think this is a gorgeous lipstick & something I'm so happy to have within my collection. If Kailijumei release a range that includes more shades (hint red & berry tones) I'll definitely be picking up more.

What are your thoughts on the Kailijumei Secret Flower lipstick?
I'd love to know in the comments. 
xxx

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Umberto Giannini Dazzle Shine

As my interest in beauty has grown over the years one of the key things I've learnt is the importance of hair care.. especially as someone with relativity long & bleached hair.  So when I was recently lucky enough to be gifted a trio of goodies from the Umberto Giannini  "Dazzle Shine" collection, I couldn't wait to put them to the test.



As you can see above, the trio comes with everything needed for a little hair-pamper time. This includes; the Shine Revive Shampoo - which promises to improve anti-static, cleanse & detangle - the Shine Repair Conditioner used to rebuild damaged hair & the Crystal Shine Spray used on dry, styled hair for a "salon professional" finish.

I've used each of these products a few times now & have to say I've been very impressed. My hair has been left feeling soft & nourished without feeling at all heavy or weighed down (an unfortunate side effect of some slightly heavier products). I now can't wait to get my hands on other products from the Umberto Giannini range & see if they live up to my expectations.

Have you tried any products from Umberto Giannini?
I'd love to know your favourites below. 
xxx





Sunday, 22 January 2017

Valentine's Day With Lush

With Christmas now well & truly behind us, the next "holiday" to look forward too has to be Valentines Day. Whether you plan to spend the day with a loved one, drinking cocktails with the girls or eating a tub of ice-cream whilst watching chick-flicks, there's one thing that is sure to make any beauty-lover look forward to February 14th - The Lush Valentine's Day Collection

Including a combination of romantic; bath bombs, soaps & bubble bars (to name a few) this is a Valentines Collection that I can't wait to get my hands on. Below are a selection of products that have caught my eye..




"Cupid" Bath Bomb - £2.95 
Made with a combination of floral ingredients - including Rose, Bergamot & Violet Leaf - this claims to be the perfect little bath treat for cleansing, calming & uplifting. 

"Prince Charming" Shower Gel - £5.50
The Disney-esque name of this shower gel immediately caught my eye. With Cocoa Butter for soft skin plus Marshmallow Root for a sweet fragrance, I imagine this is the perfect morning pick-me-up. 

"Love Spell" Massage Bar - £5.95
What goes hand-in-hand more than a hot bath & massage? With Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil & Shea Butter, the Love Spell Massage Bar seems like the perfect product for a little romantic pamper. 

"Two Hearts Beating As One" Bath Melt - £3.95
I personally love Lush's Bath Oils so cannot wait to test this product for myself. Not only is the interlinked design perfect for Valentines Day, the combination of Almond and Argan oils will leave skin & hair feeling luxurious whilst the scent of Jasmine fills the air.

"Love You Lots & Lots" Soap  - £4.25
With a combination of Rose Oil & Rose Petals (used to sooth, balance & tone skin) this soap screams Valentines. Whilst people have mixed feelings towards Rose scents, I think we can all agree that this would look adorable in any bathroom. 
The Lover Lamp is made with a combination of Vanilla, Cocoa Butter & Brazilian Orange Oil which claims to soften & condition skin whilst comforting & rejuvenating. Plus, it's said that this bath bomb contains heart shaped confetti - what more could you possibly ask for?

As a self-confessed girly girl, each of the above products instantly caught my eye.. & I'm sure my bank account is going to be very upset with me after my next trip to Lush. 

What are your thoughts on this years Lush Valentine's 
collection?
xxx

Sunday, 15 January 2017

A Technology Treat - iPhone 7 Rose Gold

This weekend I finally bit the bullet & treated myself to something I've had my eye for a while now.. the Rose Gold iPhone 7. With my current contract coming to an end & my trusty iPhone 6's screen suffering a recent crack (something that broke my heart at the time) it was time for an upgrade.

Launching in September 2016, the latest iPhone isn't exactly a new release.. however for anyone who - like myself - is thinking of treating themselves, I've listed below some of the main & best differences I've found between the iPhone 6 & 7.




Colour: 
Admittedly this isn't an exclusive feature to the 7, but having a Rose Gold phone is new for me & it's a bandwagon I'm more than happy to jump on. In my opinion anything rose gold is simply beautiful & this phone really is no exception. The pink-tint is in no way in-your-face (flashback to the days of Motorola Razors) but is a tasteful nod to all things feminine. Perfect for the girly-girls amongst us. 

Camera: 
Whilst I'm far from a professional photographer, I do take a lot of photos. Whether for my blog, during nights out or simply of my cat, if I can document it I usually will. The iPhone 7 camera is one of the main elements that Apple featured when promoting their upgrade. With a 12MP camera compared the the iPhone 6's 8MP the photo quality is clear to see - which is great for anyone who loves to take photos but isn't looking to splash out on an expensive camera. *Bonus* the front camera also now includes a "flash" (think Snapchat's white screen) which is a big upgrade from the grainy nighttime selfies from the iPhone 6. 

Missing Headphone Jack: 
If I'm honest this is the only change between models that I'm not to sure about. Whilst I can understand that Apple are making a move away from wires with Bluetooth headphones, removing the headphone jack just doesn't make full sense to me - someone not looking to use wireless headphones (let's be honest, I'd lose them instantly in my handbag). For those who don't know the headphones are now plugged into the same place as a phone charger instead of having their own port. Unfortunately this means that - without an added purchase of a "Lightening port splitter" - you can no longer charge the phone & use headphone at the same time. Something I imagine will be pretty annoying when on long journeys. 

Storage: 
Storage was something I really struggled with whilst owning an iPhone 6, Especially when taking photos on holiday or during events. The phone's memory would become full quickly meaning I'd have to regularly delete apps & photos. Luckily it's seems that Apple have finally realised that 16GB simply isn't enough storage for most & have now stopped releasing phones of this storage size. Whilst upgrading I decided to opt the for 32GB (Apple's now minimum capacity for iPhones) and even with all my previous apps & photos restored, I still have around 20GB of storage remaining. Hopefully this'll stop any emergency deleting of apps in order to take photos!  

To look at, the iPhone 7 is very similar to the iPhone 6 - however with the upgraded technology (also including; longer battery life (hallelujah), water/dust resistance, improved speakers & new retina HD display) the newest model seems to be a big improvement & is something that I am loving so far. 


Have you tried the iPhone 7 Rose Gold?
I'd love to know your thoughts below! 
xxx

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Current Favourites - Lip Products

If there's one thing I hate about the cold weather, it's how dry it can make my skin. Throughout the year I spend a lot of time trying to make sure my skin is cleansed & moisturised, but realised I've been neglecting the one area that gets effected by the cold the most, my lips. I decided to invest in a few products to help keep them soft & healthy - no matter how cold the weather gets.




Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub - £5.50 for 25g
Whilst I love Lush's Bath Bomb and Bubble Bars, this the Popcorn Lip Scrub has to be one of my favourite Lush products - a big claim, I know. To use, simply place a small amount onto a clean finger & gently buff away at lips to remove any dry or chapped skin. With Caster Sugar & Sea Salt for exfoliation and essential oils to moisturise (including both Coconut & Jojoba) Lush's scrub leaves skin feeling silky-smooth without any excess residue. (It also tastes amazing, but I'm pretty sure you're not really supposed to taste too much).

Carmex Lip Balm - £2.69
This is a product I picked up whilst suffering with a horrible cold that left my lips ridiculously chapped (thanks winter!). Made with ingredients including; Menthal, Beeswax and Camphor this balm quickly soothes irritated lips. Bonus, it also has SPF 15, making it the perfect year-round lip product.

I try and use Lush's Lip Scrub followed by the Carmex lip balm each night after cleansing to leave my lips feeling soft & moisturised each morning. Alternatively I'll also use both to prep my lips & remove any dead skin before applying Lipstick.

Have you tried either of the above products?
I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments. 
xxx


Sunday, 1 January 2017

January Sales Wishlist

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas & a very Happy New Year! 

After a little break over the festive period I am very excited to get back into blogging again & really spend time working on my little corner of the internet. 

Now the rush of Christmas has come to an end, the next thing I tend to get excited over is the January Sales. Whilst I'm not one to run into town at 5am or fight people over a pair of jeans, I do enjoy finding the odd bargain - especially if it's found online from the comfort of my own home. 

To kick-start this year of blogging I couldn't resist sharing a few of the sale items that have recently caught my eye... 


1) Skincare Essentials Duo - £20.75 reduced from £26.00 - Liz Earle [x]
2) Black Suede Platforms - £16.00 reduced from £27.99 - New Look [x]
3) Nutcracker Creme Lipstick;"Saucy Little Darling" - £11.50 reduced from £17.00 - MAC [x]
4) RedKen "All Soft" Gift Set - £22.10 reduced from £29.50 - Feel Unique [x]
5) Vintage Disney Wall Canvas - £16.00 reduced from £20.00 - Debenhams [x]
6) Large Shopper Bag - £74.00 reduced from £149.00 - Ted Baker [x]


If you've spotted any great deals online, I'd love to know in the comments! 
xxx

June's Glossybox Unboxing

My favourite time of the month (after pay day of course) has finally come around again - the delivery of Glossybox. After all there really is nothing better than coming home to a little box of beauty treats to greet you after a long day in the office. 


Contents:
Manna Kadar Glo Illuminator - £22.50
Batiste XXL Volume Spray - £4.29
Black Diamond Peel Off Mask - £4.95 for 3
Himalaya Herbals Face Wash - £3.29
Sleek Power Plump Lip Crayon - £5.50
111 Skin Bright Eye Lift Gel - £110.00

With the weather finally starting to warm up the June Glossybox includes five products to help create an effortlessly chic look this summer.

The first product to catch my eye this month was the Black Diamond peel off charcoal mask. With blackhead removal taking the beauty world by storm I've been looking for a new mask to put to the test for myself (fingers crossed it's not too eye watering!). 

As someone who relies heavily on dry shampoo, I was also very excited to see a full sized bottle of the Batiste "Oomph My Locks" XXL Volume Spray. As well as claiming to provide the "ultimate volume boost" Batiste also claims the product will strengthen and care for hair, bonus! 
 

What are your thoughts on the June Glossbox?
I'd love to know inthe comments 
xxx

MAC x Fleur De Force

If there's one thing I love, it's a make up collaboration. From MAC x Ariana Grande to Urban Decay's Alice in Wonderland I just can't help picking up the limited addition collections. So when I spotted that one of my favourite Blogger/You Tube personalities Fleur De Force was collaborating with MAC to release a lipstick, I instantly knew I needed to get my hands on.

 

The limited addition lipstick is a take on the classic Cremesheen Lipstick. With a creamy formula the product leave lips feeling soft & moisturised all day without any hint of dryness (perfect for those who aren't a fan of matte).

With a combination of soft pink & beige tones create a beautiful yet natural look that's perfect for any make-up look this summer (think family BBQ's to summer weddings). 

Unfortunately Fleur's lipstick is now sold out online, but click here to view other MAC products recommended by the beauty guru herself.  

Have you tried the MAC x Fleur De Force Lipstick?
What's your favourite make-up collaboration?
xxx

 


May Glossybox Unboxing

If there's one thing I look forward too at the beginning of each month, it's the arrival of my beauty subscription box. Whilst I was previously signed up to  receive Birchbox, I recently decided to mix things up a little bit & see just how good Glossybox is.



Box Contents: 
Scrub Love Active Charcoal & Avocado Body Scrub - £13.95 [x]
Caudalie Creme Sorbet - £23.00 [x]
Dr Paw Paw Original Balm - £6.95 [x]
Ruby Powder Blush - £12.80 [x]
Daily Concepts Exfoliating Body Scrubber - £3.85 [x]


For me this box contains the perfect build up to summer products - exfoliators and moisturisers. One particular product I'm very excited to test is one I've seen all over my Instagram feed - the Scrub Love Body Scrub. Claiming to absorb impurities whilst soothing and moisturising, this seems to be the perfect pre-holiday skin treat, especially followed by the Dr Paw Paw Original Balm (which apparently can be used on skin, hair & nails!).  

I'll definitely be putting everything I received this month to use & may even put together a few product reviews to feature here. 

Have you ever used any of the products used in the 
May Glossybox?
I'd love to know your thoughts! 
xxx


Bridal Fashion with DressesOfGirl*

With shows like "Don't Tell The Bride", "Say Yes To The Dress" & "Say Yes To The Dress U.K" making their way onto my binge watching and guilty pleasure list, I can't help but find myself eyeing up the huge selection of gorgeous bridal/bridesmaid dresses on offer whilst daydreaming of the exact style I'd love to wear to a wedding...

After far too many Sunday afternoon spent binge watching these wedding themed shows (please don't judge me), I like to think that I now have a pretty good idea of the style of dress I'd happily to wear as a bride/bridesmaid.

Whilst I'm neither engaged or being a bridesmaid anytime soon, I couldn't resist creating a little "wish list" style post to share here on Small & Blonde - after all what girl didn't grow up spending her time dreaming of her perfect wedding & falling in love with every Disney Princess-style dress?!

1. 2. 3

In my opinion each of these dresses would be completely perfect for anyone's big day. Not only is the a-line cut flattering (think skater style to hide the tummy) but the lace/chiffon detailing adds a perfect touch of elegance & romance - which of course is a must at any wedding. Pair with some stunning heels, jewellery & soft, bouncy curls & I'm pretty sure I'd have my wedding dream look.

Each of my chosen dresses feature as part of the stunning Bridal & Bridesmaid collections from Dressesofgirl* - a budget friendly store offering a range of dresses, shoes & accessories for all occasions (including evening, bridal & even homecoming dresses).  If you have an event coming up & need a little outfit inspiration without looking to spend too much, I'd definitely recommend checking them out.


What's your dream wedding/bridesmaid dress?
I'd love to know in the comments.
xxx

Batiste 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner

Whilst there's nothing I love more than the feeling of clean & styled hair, I'm the laziest person ever when it comes actually washing my locks. So - like many girls - I find myself reaching for dry shampoo on a regular basis in an attempt to keep up the appearance of clean hair for as long as possible.

When it comes to dry shampoo Batiste is my go-to brand - so when I spotted the new "Invisible dry shampoo & conditioner" in my local Superdrug, I knew this was a product I simply needed to try.




Similar to regular dry shampoo, the new 2 in 1 product aims to banish oily roots whilst also working to nourish ends to reduce dryness... Perfect for someone like me, who finds their hair tends to get dry rather than greasy (thanks bleach!).

I decided to put this product to the test one evening before heading out for drinks (being far too lazy to actually wash my hair..). I followed the instructions by simply spraying & massaging onto my roots before misting over mid-lengths & ends - then brushing/styling as usual.

The first thing I instantly noticed was that there was no "chalky" feel to my hair that comes with regular dry shampoo (something I personally hate). There was also no white/powdery residue left on my roots, leading me to believe that this product really does live up to it's "invisible" name. I also noticed that - whilst the excess oil on my hair was absorbed pretty quickly - it took a little longer for the "conditioning" effect to kick in. With the ends of my hair feeling noticeably softer around an hour after use (something to remember whilst getting ready).

When it comes to price the 2 in 1 is a little more expensive than your regular Batiste Dry Shampoo (retailing at £4.49 compared to £2.99) so I'd say that if you find your hair is more on the greasy side, it's probably worth sticking to the original. However if - like me - you tend to suffer with dry hair between washes (or happen to also hate the chalky feel) then I'd definitely recommend giving this a try for yourself!

What's your favourite Dry Shampoo?
I'd love to know in the comments 
xxx

Summer Jewellery Wishlist*

Although all signs of Summer seem have to disappeared here in the U.K. - believe it or not we actually had snow this week! - I'm still not ready to give up on idea of sun & warmer weather. So even if it's nowhere near warm enough outside just yet, I realised there are some stunning pieces of jewellery available this season.. so of course, this was the perfect excuse to put together a little wish-list.



1. Mini Ear Cuff - Au Rate* [x]
2. Fine Gold Look Rings - Top Shop [x]
3. Lotus Pendant - Accessorize [x]
4. Gold Flower Earrings - Au Rate* [x]
5. Pink Lace Choker - Missguided [x]
6. Diamond Ear Cuff - Au Rate* [x]

I simply adore how delicate each of the above pieces are & imagine they'd look gorgeous paired with a summer dress & sandals (whilst sitting on the beach, sipping a cocktail of course). 

If you've spotted any jewellery perfect for the summer months, 
be sure to let me know in the comments! 
xxx


The Spring Revamp*

After a particularly long day at work I love nothing more than curling up in bed, lighting a few candles & catching up on Netflix. However - with the stresses of day-to-day life - I'll admit that sometimes (most of the time) I can let my room get pretty cluttered. So with Spring finally making an appearance here in the U.K. I decided there was no better time to finally have a big "spring clean" & reorganise. 

Source
As someone who owns many, many items, I found it a little daunting knowing where to begin with my "spring clean". So (to help anyone who many be in a similar position) I've put together some tips that I found really helped revamp my space & part with items I no longer need. 

Clothes & Shoes: 
If they haven't been worn in the last year, you probably never will again. Instead of leaving them to gain dust in your wardrobe, donate them to charity. Someone somewhere will love them. 

Make-up & Skincare products: 
Again if you haven't used it for the last six-twelve months, it's probably time to throw it away. They're probably way past their "use-by" date now!

Bedding:
Did you know it's recommended to flip your mattress every three months? I certainly didn't. Whilst this probably isn't something many of us will remember to do, it is worth noting that once in a while we should make the effort to flip/buy a new mattress (I currently have my eye on this one from Leesa*). I also love to change up my bed-covers & find something that really fits with the current season (think pastel colours & floral prints for Spring!). 

Flowers: 
I find that flowers & plants are the perfect way of injecting a little colour to a room. Although fresh flowers are my personal favourite, this can get a little expensive over time. However artificial flowers can look just a pretty & last a life-time. 

Whilst not always the most exciting way to spend a weekend, I was surprised by how therapeutic I found the whole take of Spring Cleaning. Not only did I finally part with (far too many) items that I really didn't need, I now love nothing more than walking into an organised & tidy room! 

Do you have any tips for Spring Cleaning or
revamping a room for a new season?
I'd love to know in the comments. 
xxx


Product Review - Brushegg

Whilst every beauty lover knows the importance of cleaning their make-up brushes, it's one of those tasks that is usually pushed to the bottom of the "to-do list". So when I recently spotted a product boasting to make cleaning my brushes "quick, easy & effective" - I knew I needed to try it for myself...




Used to deep clean make-up brushes, the BrushEgg is a small silicone "egg" (surprise, surprise) designed to reduce the need for various cleaning solutions & therefore avoid dry or damages bristles. With one flat edge containing small silicone bobbles &  larger, horizontal strips it quickly lathers soap whilst removing the build up of product & dirt from brushes. 

To use simply pop the BrushEgg under warm water, add a small amount of soap (I usually opt for shampoo to keep my brushes soft) before swirling the brush-of-choice across the silicone until the water runs clean - voila squeaky clean brushes!

Whilst I probably wont start jumping for joy at the thought of cleaning my make-up brushes, at least now I know it's a quick & easy task. Plus at only £2,99 it really is a bargain.


Have you ever tried a BrushEgg or similar product?
Do you have any tips for cleaning make-up brushes?
I'd love to know in the comments
xxx




Body Confidence with Dia & Co*

With the warmer weather finally making an appearance here in the U.K it's time to pack away the winter coats & dig out those summer outfits. Playsuits, summer dresses & little pairs of shorts are all perfect items of clothing to wear on a particularly warm day. However - for some of us - the thought of showing more skin can be a little scary.

Whether immediately discarding an outfit without even trying it on, or simply not feeling comfortable once out of the house, the dent in my body-confidence means I can sometimes struggle when it comes to fashion in the summer months. However this year I have set myself the challenge of stepping out of my comfort zone & dressing in the outfits that I truly like.



As someone who feels most comfortable pairing any skirt/dress with tights, going "bare leg" is something really out of my comfort zone. However - as almost any girl will know - black tights & the summer sun really don't go well together (hello melting legs!). So this year my aim is to break the habit & step outside with my bare legs showing.. even if they are a little on the pale side. Ultimately I'm hoping taking this small step will help build my body-confidence & enjoy the summer months without the stress of "what to wear" or the pain of sitting with ridiculously toasty legs!

A great company that is currently working to improve the body-confidence of women everywhere is plus-size fashion brand Dia & Co*. With campaigns like #mybodyfirst - centred around loving our bodies - Dia & Co are working to change the average shopping experience to put women & their bodies first. Be sure to check out their website to find out more - regardless of your clothing size! 

I'd love to know how you work to build your body-confidence. 
Leave any tips in the comments below! 
xxx

March in Photos

After seeing similar posts floating around the blogging world, I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon & share a snapshot of my month in photos. I was lucky enough to spend March in the company of my family and friends whilst splitting my time between Birmingham & my hometown back in the countryside.



As most of you will know in March we celebrate Mother's Day here in the U.K. Of course this was the perfect excuse for me to jump in the car & travel back home for a long weekend. During this time I treated my Mum to afternoon tea (just look at those cakes), became a crazy cat lady with my favourite furry animal again & also visited a quirky cafe where the sugar pots are mini-cauldrons (if you're ever in Gloucester I couldn't recommend the Hubble Bubble Coffee House more!).

Towards the end of the month I was finally able to go & watch the new Beauty and the Beast - which has swiftly become my new favourite Disney film. If you haven't yet seen it I won't post any spoilers, but it's a great take on a timeless classic that I can't wait to see again (side note, there are also some great new songs!). This little Disney boost inspired me to dust off the Minnie & Mickey plush's I picked up in Disneyland at Christmas (click here to read all about the trip) who now take centre place on my bed.. yes I really am 25!

I was also lucky enough to enjoy a few glasses of wine with some of my nearest & dearest friends - something I find is the perfect pick-me-up after a long week at work!

I'm now very excited too see what April has to offer & to *hopefully* welcome some warmer weather.. (in other words I'm more than ready to dig out my Spring wardrobe).

How was your March?
I'd love to know in the comments. 
xxx

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Whether you're spending the day shopping, going for a meal or simply relaxing at home,  to show some appreciation to the women who have done so much for us over the years. Whilst flowers & chocolates are always a nice gesture, I'm a strong believer in going the extra mile when it comes to Mother's Day gifts. Below are a selection of gifts that I feel really show just how thankful we really are to those special women in our lives.

1. The Power of Three Spring Collection - Liz Earle - £19.00 [x]
2. Marc Jacobs Daisy - The Perfume Shop - £54.00 [x]
3. Rose & Rose Gold Watch - Olivia Burton - £70.00 [x]
4. Mother of Pear Earring Set - Pia Jewellery - £25.00 [x]
5. Oriental Blossom Makeup Bag - Ted Baker - £27.00 [x]
6. Sanctuary Mothers Day Gift Set - Boots - £22.00 [x]


What are your plans for Mother's Day this year?
I'd love to know in the comments. 
xxx



PS Pro Blending Brush

As someone that loves testing new beauty crazes, I knew that "Oval Blending Brushes" were a bandwagon I needed to jump on. However with a number of brands releasing their own brushes at various different prices (including MAC, Make Up Revolution & Iconic London), I wasn't too sure where to turn. So when I spotted the PS Pro Oval Blending Brush whilst on a recent trip to Primark, I couldn't resist adding it to my basket.  




For anyone who doesn't know, oval style blending brushes claim to be perfect for applying both powder & liquid products - including eye-shadow, foundation & bronzer - and are available in a range of different sizes. As I really wanted something to use for foundation/concealer I opted for the "large" blending brush which currently retails at £4.00. 

The first thing that really stood out to me when using this brush was just how soft it felt on my skin. This - combined with how condensed the hairs are - is something I feel really helps ensure that all product are blended easily (something I feel regular foundation brushes can sometimes lack). I also feel the condensed brushes result in less product being absorbed into the brush, which is always a nice bonus! 

Since purchasing I've been using this product daily to apply my liquid foundation (as pictured above) along with my concealer - which I then follow with a fluffy powder brush to set in place before moving onto bronzer/highlighter - to leave a smooth & flawless look. 

If you're looking to test out oval blending brushes but - like me - aren't too sure where to start, I honestly couldn't recommend this brush enough. I'll definitely be heading back to the beauty range during my next Primark trip! 

Have you ever tried any beauty products from Primark's range?
What are your thoughts on Oval blending brushes?
I'd love to know! 
xxx




A Quarter Century Birthday Milestone

For me, birthday's are something I always enjoy. Whether celebrating myself or spoiling a loved one, I simply love the excuse to spend the day celebrating & feeling loved. So when I reached the milestone of a quarter of century a few weeks back, I couldn't resist going all out with my celebrations. 

One of these celebrations included a night out with some close friends, so I thought I'd put together a post showing the outfit I put together for the occasion (plus, what better excuse for a new outfit then your birthday?!). 


Outfit: 
Dress: Boohoo - £12.00 [x]
Shoes: New Look - £29.99 [x]
Choker: New Look bought in the sale - similar linked from River
Island here [x]

The overall outfit was a relativity simple look. Of course I couldn't resist opting for my fail-safe Skater style dress. I personally find that anything Skater-style is the most flattering on my figure as it really hides those "problem areas" (aka I've eaten a whole lot of Pizza recently & it'a gone straight to my stomach.. oops). I then teamed this with some simple black "chunky" heels & a gorgeous bow choker that I picked up recently in the sale from New Look. Chokers have been a must-have accessory for some time now & I still love them as a statement alternative to a usual necklace. 

After dressing up I treated myself to a few too many glasses of Prosecco & then spent the night at local bar sipping cocktails -  a perfect birthday night. 

Do you have a "fail-safe" outfit?
I'd love to know in the comments. 
xxx





Vitamasques' Manuka Honey Sheet Mask

If there's one thing I need to invest in when it comes to skincare, it has to be face masks. Whilst I always have a stock of make-up remover, cleanser & moisturiser, face masks simply aren't something I ever think to purchase. So when I received the Vitamasques' Manuka Honey Sheet Mask in January's Glossybox, I wanted to be sure it was put to good use.



Whilst Vitamasques' is a British company, the Manuka Honey sheet mask is actually inspired by Korean beauty (something I've heard great things about across the blogging community). The mask - containing "triple layer sheet technology" - aims to nourish skin, leaving it feeling moisturised and hydrated. 

I decided to test this mask after a night of wearing full make-up (where a few cocktails may have resulted in me falling asleep before cleansing, oops) to help ensure my skin was left feeling healthy & clean. To use, I simply cleansed my skin before applying the mask to my face. I then let it sit for 20 minutes (as recommended by Vitamasques') before removing & letting the remaining product absorb into my skin. 

The first thing I noticed about this mask was how cool it was to the touch - something I found very refreshing after a night of heavy make-up. I also quickly realised just how much product had been absorbed by the sheet. This then transfers to your skin when removed, leaving a slight wet feeling (something I personally didn't mind as it gave the impression my skin would continue to absorb the treatment, however you can gently pat with a cotton pad if this isn't something you enjoy).

Once the product had been fully absorbed my skin was left feeling soft, hydrated & not at all irritated from a night of pore-clogging make-up. 

Retailing at £12.99 for four (or £3.99 per mask from Glossybox) the Vitamasques' Sheet Mask is a budget friendly beauty treatment. Perfect for those who like to give their skin an extra treat from time-to-time (something I'll definitely be trying to do in the future).

Have you tried this - or any other - products from Vitamasques'?
If not I'd love to know your favourite face mask treatment in the comments. 
xxx

The Perfect Valentines*

No matter what my relationship status, Valentine's day is a "holiday" I look forward too each year.. Whilst a little corny & yes, I do agree that there shouldn't be just one day to show someone you love them.. I do love an excuse to really over-indulge in all things romantic (whether that's a romantic meal for two or simply lounging on the sofa with a cheesy rom-com).

With Valentine's day fast approaching, Adore Me* have put together some some great hints & tips to help ensure celebrations run as smoothly as possible, whilst catering to all relationship stages & budgets.



I personally think the ideas above would make for a great romantic evening.. Dressing up heading out for some cocktails is my idea of date-night heaven whilst a customised Spotify playlist & new pyjamas would make for the perfect cosy evening in. Plus, who knew Orange roses represented passion? I'll definitely be passing that bit of information along!


What do you think of Adore Me's Valentine's tips?
I'd love to know in the comments. 
xxx

Kailijumei Secret Flower Lipstick

Now I love a new lipstick as much as the next beauty blogger.. I get excited when MAC release a new collaboration & love when we enter autumn/winter so I can wear all the berry tones.. however there's one particular lipstick I've had my eye on for a long time now - the Secret Flower Lipstick.

This is a product I've seen on countless Instagram posts but never quite known where to actually find it - until the day finally came when I found a link to Kailijumei & my lipstick dreams finally came true.

*heart eyes emoji*
For those who aren't as obsessed as me, the "secret flower" lipstick is just as described - a lipstick with a "secret"/"hidden" flower inside. Whilst it may sound a little strange, as you can see above it's a thing of complete beauty with little flecks of gold glitter & a small pink flower sealed within.

Whilst the lipstick itself is actually clear, once applied it slowly transforms into a soft baby-pink - something I imagine will be perfect for Spring/Summer. The formulae of the lipstick is surprisingly soft & not at all drying. When it comes to application, I'll admit that I haven't worn this product for a full day yet, however after swatching the pink-colour remained in place pretty-much all day - even after I tried to scrub it off (much better than something that fades away annoyingly fast).

The lipstick itself is available in 4 different styles including Baby Doll Pink (the style I purchased), Dream Purple, Flame Red & Minuet Maid, each retailing at £11.99. However after a little research it seems that each lipstick wears as the same shade of baby-pink. This means the names only reflect the colours of the small flower within the product (something to be noted if you're hoping for a purple lipstick).

For £11.99 I think this is a gorgeous lipstick & something I'm so happy to have within my collection. If Kailijumei release a range that includes more shades (hint red & berry tones) I'll definitely be picking up more.

What are your thoughts on the Kailijumei Secret Flower lipstick?
I'd love to know in the comments. 
xxx

Umberto Giannini Dazzle Shine

As my interest in beauty has grown over the years one of the key things I've learnt is the importance of hair care.. especially as someone with relativity long & bleached hair.  So when I was recently lucky enough to be gifted a trio of goodies from the Umberto Giannini  "Dazzle Shine" collection, I couldn't wait to put them to the test.



As you can see above, the trio comes with everything needed for a little hair-pamper time. This includes; the Shine Revive Shampoo - which promises to improve anti-static, cleanse & detangle - the Shine Repair Conditioner used to rebuild damaged hair & the Crystal Shine Spray used on dry, styled hair for a "salon professional" finish.

I've used each of these products a few times now & have to say I've been very impressed. My hair has been left feeling soft & nourished without feeling at all heavy or weighed down (an unfortunate side effect of some slightly heavier products). I now can't wait to get my hands on other products from the Umberto Giannini range & see if they live up to my expectations.

Have you tried any products from Umberto Giannini?
I'd love to know your favourites below. 
xxx





Valentine's Day With Lush

With Christmas now well & truly behind us, the next "holiday" to look forward too has to be Valentines Day. Whether you plan to spend the day with a loved one, drinking cocktails with the girls or eating a tub of ice-cream whilst watching chick-flicks, there's one thing that is sure to make any beauty-lover look forward to February 14th - The Lush Valentine's Day Collection

Including a combination of romantic; bath bombs, soaps & bubble bars (to name a few) this is a Valentines Collection that I can't wait to get my hands on. Below are a selection of products that have caught my eye..




"Cupid" Bath Bomb - £2.95 
Made with a combination of floral ingredients - including Rose, Bergamot & Violet Leaf - this claims to be the perfect little bath treat for cleansing, calming & uplifting. 

"Prince Charming" Shower Gel - £5.50
The Disney-esque name of this shower gel immediately caught my eye. With Cocoa Butter for soft skin plus Marshmallow Root for a sweet fragrance, I imagine this is the perfect morning pick-me-up. 

"Love Spell" Massage Bar - £5.95
What goes hand-in-hand more than a hot bath & massage? With Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil & Shea Butter, the Love Spell Massage Bar seems like the perfect product for a little romantic pamper. 

"Two Hearts Beating As One" Bath Melt - £3.95
I personally love Lush's Bath Oils so cannot wait to test this product for myself. Not only is the interlinked design perfect for Valentines Day, the combination of Almond and Argan oils will leave skin & hair feeling luxurious whilst the scent of Jasmine fills the air.

"Love You Lots & Lots" Soap  - £4.25
With a combination of Rose Oil & Rose Petals (used to sooth, balance & tone skin) this soap screams Valentines. Whilst people have mixed feelings towards Rose scents, I think we can all agree that this would look adorable in any bathroom. 
The Lover Lamp is made with a combination of Vanilla, Cocoa Butter & Brazilian Orange Oil which claims to soften & condition skin whilst comforting & rejuvenating. Plus, it's said that this bath bomb contains heart shaped confetti - what more could you possibly ask for?

As a self-confessed girly girl, each of the above products instantly caught my eye.. & I'm sure my bank account is going to be very upset with me after my next trip to Lush. 

What are your thoughts on this years Lush Valentine's 
collection?
xxx

A Technology Treat - iPhone 7 Rose Gold

This weekend I finally bit the bullet & treated myself to something I've had my eye for a while now.. the Rose Gold iPhone 7. With my current contract coming to an end & my trusty iPhone 6's screen suffering a recent crack (something that broke my heart at the time) it was time for an upgrade.

Launching in September 2016, the latest iPhone isn't exactly a new release.. however for anyone who - like myself - is thinking of treating themselves, I've listed below some of the main & best differences I've found between the iPhone 6 & 7.




Colour: 
Admittedly this isn't an exclusive feature to the 7, but having a Rose Gold phone is new for me & it's a bandwagon I'm more than happy to jump on. In my opinion anything rose gold is simply beautiful & this phone really is no exception. The pink-tint is in no way in-your-face (flashback to the days of Motorola Razors) but is a tasteful nod to all things feminine. Perfect for the girly-girls amongst us. 

Camera: 
Whilst I'm far from a professional photographer, I do take a lot of photos. Whether for my blog, during nights out or simply of my cat, if I can document it I usually will. The iPhone 7 camera is one of the main elements that Apple featured when promoting their upgrade. With a 12MP camera compared the the iPhone 6's 8MP the photo quality is clear to see - which is great for anyone who loves to take photos but isn't looking to splash out on an expensive camera. *Bonus* the front camera also now includes a "flash" (think Snapchat's white screen) which is a big upgrade from the grainy nighttime selfies from the iPhone 6. 

Missing Headphone Jack: 
If I'm honest this is the only change between models that I'm not to sure about. Whilst I can understand that Apple are making a move away from wires with Bluetooth headphones, removing the headphone jack just doesn't make full sense to me - someone not looking to use wireless headphones (let's be honest, I'd lose them instantly in my handbag). For those who don't know the headphones are now plugged into the same place as a phone charger instead of having their own port. Unfortunately this means that - without an added purchase of a "Lightening port splitter" - you can no longer charge the phone & use headphone at the same time. Something I imagine will be pretty annoying when on long journeys. 

Storage: 
Storage was something I really struggled with whilst owning an iPhone 6, Especially when taking photos on holiday or during events. The phone's memory would become full quickly meaning I'd have to regularly delete apps & photos. Luckily it's seems that Apple have finally realised that 16GB simply isn't enough storage for most & have now stopped releasing phones of this storage size. Whilst upgrading I decided to opt the for 32GB (Apple's now minimum capacity for iPhones) and even with all my previous apps & photos restored, I still have around 20GB of storage remaining. Hopefully this'll stop any emergency deleting of apps in order to take photos!  

To look at, the iPhone 7 is very similar to the iPhone 6 - however with the upgraded technology (also including; longer battery life (hallelujah), water/dust resistance, improved speakers & new retina HD display) the newest model seems to be a big improvement & is something that I am loving so far. 


Have you tried the iPhone 7 Rose Gold?
I'd love to know your thoughts below! 
xxx

Current Favourites - Lip Products

If there's one thing I hate about the cold weather, it's how dry it can make my skin. Throughout the year I spend a lot of time trying to make sure my skin is cleansed & moisturised, but realised I've been neglecting the one area that gets effected by the cold the most, my lips. I decided to invest in a few products to help keep them soft & healthy - no matter how cold the weather gets.




Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub - £5.50 for 25g
Whilst I love Lush's Bath Bomb and Bubble Bars, this the Popcorn Lip Scrub has to be one of my favourite Lush products - a big claim, I know. To use, simply place a small amount onto a clean finger & gently buff away at lips to remove any dry or chapped skin. With Caster Sugar & Sea Salt for exfoliation and essential oils to moisturise (including both Coconut & Jojoba) Lush's scrub leaves skin feeling silky-smooth without any excess residue. (It also tastes amazing, but I'm pretty sure you're not really supposed to taste too much).

Carmex Lip Balm - £2.69
This is a product I picked up whilst suffering with a horrible cold that left my lips ridiculously chapped (thanks winter!). Made with ingredients including; Menthal, Beeswax and Camphor this balm quickly soothes irritated lips. Bonus, it also has SPF 15, making it the perfect year-round lip product.

I try and use Lush's Lip Scrub followed by the Carmex lip balm each night after cleansing to leave my lips feeling soft & moisturised each morning. Alternatively I'll also use both to prep my lips & remove any dead skin before applying Lipstick.

Have you tried either of the above products?
I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments. 
xxx


January Sales Wishlist

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas & a very Happy New Year! 

After a little break over the festive period I am very excited to get back into blogging again & really spend time working on my little corner of the internet. 

Now the rush of Christmas has come to an end, the next thing I tend to get excited over is the January Sales. Whilst I'm not one to run into town at 5am or fight people over a pair of jeans, I do enjoy finding the odd bargain - especially if it's found online from the comfort of my own home. 

To kick-start this year of blogging I couldn't resist sharing a few of the sale items that have recently caught my eye... 


1) Skincare Essentials Duo - £20.75 reduced from £26.00 - Liz Earle [x]
2) Black Suede Platforms - £16.00 reduced from £27.99 - New Look [x]
3) Nutcracker Creme Lipstick;"Saucy Little Darling" - £11.50 reduced from £17.00 - MAC [x]
4) RedKen "All Soft" Gift Set - £22.10 reduced from £29.50 - Feel Unique [x]
5) Vintage Disney Wall Canvas - £16.00 reduced from £20.00 - Debenhams [x]
6) Large Shopper Bag - £74.00 reduced from £149.00 - Ted Baker [x]


If you've spotted any great deals online, I'd love to know in the comments! 
xxx