2014: Stand Out Skincare Brands

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2014 was the year where I tried new things. I started blogging after years of putting it off and loved it. Through this I was introduced to new brands I hadn't tried before, three of which have become my standout brands of this year and I can't wait to see what they bring out in 2015.

My love affair with Apivita started in January 2014 with one lip balm. Since then I have tried tested many items from hair-care to face masks. The standout products for me are their Lip Balms, serums shampoos and face masks. These face masks are sold in sachets so you can try many different masks without committing to a giant tube, very practical for travelling too. Apivita have since become a trusted brand for me as they avoid artificial and toxic ingredients which can have harmful effects on your health and environment. Each product combines three basic elements: nature, effectiveness and holistic wellbeing. If you haven't tried Apivita yet, I highly recommend them!

Bravura London
Bravura London was introduced to me through the Caroline Hirons effect. She mentioned one toner and since then I've been hooked. A truly unique brand who I think have the best customer service around. You can speak to specialists through the website who are extremely well educated when it comes to skin care and get free advice. They are helpful and efficient. Other brands should take note asap. I particularly love their toners especially the Purifying Calendula Toner and the Revitalising Ginseng Toner. I'm also a big fan of the Hot Volcanic Mud cleanser which can double as a face mask. Bravura provide affordable and effective skincare, they also have an on going buy 3 cleansers or toners get the cheapest at 60% off offer. I most definitely will be stocking up for 2015. I must also add that as someone who really hates paying over the top delivery charges I was so happy to see a skincare brand charge ACTUAL shipping costs only! Bravura I quite simply 'heart' you.

Merumaya created one of my favourite cleansers this year. The Melting Cleansing Balm is lovely to use, it melts off every trace of makeup and washes off without any film residue. The formula is luxurious and gentle. I think this will be well suited to every skin type. I really admire the founder of this brand Maleka Dattu, she is such an inspiration and really promotes going after your dreams. Maleka, like me has family origins in India, I love what she has achieved and can't wait to watch this company grow. This is one brand close to my heart and it has inspired me to go after my dreams.

Roll on 2015...

Ren Radiance Gift Set

There have been some brilliant gift guides created by fellow bloggers lately, especially beauty gift guides.. The Ren Radiance Gift set is my stand out gift! It's one gift set that I'm sure would be a great present for any lady in your life. It's perfect for all ages, beauty fanatics and novices. Not to mention great value for money.

Ren Radiance Gift Set
The gift set includes a 
  • full size Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask, 
  • a mini Micro Polish Cleanser
  • a mini Satin Perfection BB Cream
  • a sample of the Resurfacing AHA Concentrate.
  • and a muslin cloth all in a beautifully packaged tin.

You get all this for £30 (with some searching you can get it cheaper with a discount code) which would normally be the price of the Glycolactic mask alone. The Glycolactic Radiance Mask is a cult classic in its own right. The only face mask I have tried where you can visibly see a difference in your skin right after using it. Skin looks brighter and healthier. It works by removing dead skin cells to help renew your complexion. It works a treat on blemishes and blackheads. The consistency is similar to marmalade which seems a little strange at first. You can feel a slight tingle can be felt when the mask is on but its barely noticeable, it washes off easily and reveals more radiant skin. 

If your struggling on a gift, I highly recommend this set. Perfect for a gift for yourself too. 

My Day At Downton

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It's no secret that I am obsessed with Downton Abbey. As soon as the main theme tune begins I instantly feel relaxed and transported back to 1924. When tickets for Highclere Castle's Christmas opening went sale at the beginning of October sale I was all over it. Finally the day arrived and I set out for a day at Downton Abbey. Queue theme tune.

Downton Abbey(real name Highclere Castle) is located in Newbury, surrounded by spectacular parkland. When arriving at Highclere the structure and presence of the castle is truly beautiful. By far the biggest star of the show. It's clear to see why the creators of Downton Abbey chose this location.

November Favourites 2014

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I'm just going to ignore the annoying the voice in my head wondering how its December already, and where did the year go. Lets focus on the positive and enjoy opening the first little door of our advent calender.

This month I've really upped my skincare game and I really enjoy using the skincare products I have in rotation at the moment.

New York Photo Diary

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I'm sitting here by my window looking out at the bleak, wet, weather outside. It's no surprise that I left my heart in New York City and every now and again I like to look at the pictures I took to reminisce. It's mainly torture to my soul (I want to go back so bad) but that never stops me. I thought I'd share some pictures to brighten up this gloomy day.

Magnolia Bakery
Heaven on earth
"Come on, you're going to Bloomingdales with Julie. That's like cheating on Rachel in her house of worship."

Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm

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Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm
Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm- £14.50
Luxurious cleansing balms don't have to break the bank. The Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm, performs just as, if not better than cleansers twice the price.

Not only does it melt into an oil when you apply it to skin, its also not as thick as other cleansing balms which makes it easier to spread around the face. This cleanser emulsifies into a milk when in contact with water, and leaves no greasy residue. I use a warm flannel or muslin cloth and it lifts away very easily. The ingredients are impressive too. The sweet almond oil helps restore moisture into the skin so there's no tight feeling on the face after using this. 

I really can't fault this product it's perfect for all ages and is gentle enough for all skin types. The scent is non offensive and I love the packaging. I much prefer a tube as its easier to travel with than a heavy tub, Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm I'm looking at you. I'm so impressed with this cleanser that I can't wait to try more from their line. 

Are you a fan of cleansing balms during winter?

Get The Gloss- Klorane Shampoo

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I've mentioned my love for Klorane shampoos before on this blog. They have a wide range of shampoos and they'll most definitely be one to suit your hair type. These two I find to be perfect during winter.

Klorane Shampoo

Klorane Mango Butter Shampoo
This rich formula is well suited to dry hair. Mango is traditionally used for its nourishing properties which makes this shampoo perfect for tresses which are parched. The shampoo is gentle yet manages to restore glossiness back into hair. As you can imagine the scent is divine and really awakens the senses. My hair can get quite oily so I only use this shampoo a few times a week. However I have noticed that even though this is aimed at dry hair, it doesn't make mine any oilier any quicker. If your tresses have a tendency to become tangled this is a perfect shampoo for you. An all round effective product that would be perfect for all members of the family.

Klorane Citrus Pulp Shampoo
When the weather gets colder my hair can get drier. Probably down to central heating, the hairdryer and a whole host of other reasons. I notice the it can lack the usual shine and vitality. This is why I love this shampoo. It cleanses gently so it's kind to the scalp but contains a slightly acidic pH, in return adding shine back into hair. Citrus pulp is revitalising and you will notice the glossy shine restored in your hair. If you haven't tried Klorane yet I highly recommend it, the formulas are so gentle yet effective.

Klorane will continue to be a staple in my bathroom cabinet.
Have you tried Klorane products?

The Devils In The Retail?

Busy shopping centres, long queues, cold weather but sweltering heating on in stores. Whats not to love about Christmas shopping? I've spent many years working pre and post Christmas in retail. I can tell that there definitely comes a shift in both shoppers and workers attitudes as soon as the sound of Michael Buble flows through the speakers. Working in retail has taken the shine off Christmas, I shudder at the thought of Boxing Day. 


Shoppers, we all hate long queues and busy shops, and sales associates we all know that you would rather like to be home watching Elf. A large proportion of people working in retail consists of students or graduates who are starting to question the existence of a graduate job, much like a child questions Santa's existence. *Raises hand* the latter is me.

Give The Gift Of Good Skin - Ole Henrikson Duo

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Ole Henrikson
Ole Henrikson Merry and Bright Duo Holiday Kit
I'm one of those people who can't get excited for Christmas until I open that first door on the advent calender. Walking through Selfridges and half admiring the Christmas decoration, whilst the other half of me is just daunted by the amount of stuff everywhere, I notice this beauty; The Ole Henrikson Merry and Bright Duo Holiday Kit. This little duo contains the infamous Truth Serum and the Pure Youth serum, two perfect serums to add to your morning and nighttime routine. What really impressed me about this kit is the price. For £18 you get two of the most popular Ole Henrikson products in a kit which is worth £47!

The serums are very impressive, the Truth Serum is brightening and nourishing while the Pure Youth Serum contains Vitamin C and Rosehip oil to even out complexions and tackle any scarring. Designed to be used under a moisteriser, they absorb quickly and do an effective job of keeping skin hydrated all day. If you're thinking of gift ideas for a loved one, I highly recommend this kit. Perfect for someone who loves skincare or someone who is just starting to build a skincare routine. I myself will be buying a second kit as it's such good value for money and I suspect it will sell out quite quickly.

Will you be giving the gift of good skin?

How Life After Graduation Changed Me

I just love those post its.
Millennials come hither. We all know that life after graduation can for most of us, just plain suck. For some its everything they've always wanted and life slots into place perfectly. However, for people like myself quite the opposite happens. The first few months after graduating I felt like the world was my oyster and I could do anything I wanted. I was free from the shackles of education. The first thing I did was jet off to NYC! I came back more inspired and motivated than ever, I blame Jay Z and Empire State of Mind for that one. This didn't last long as rejection letter after rejection letter took its toll. Here's how life after graduation changed me.

The Best Under Eye Concealer?

Diorskin star concealer
It always starts with a Feel Unique discount code. This time I chose the Diorskin Star Concealer after reading so many positive reviews about the new Star line. I'm a big fan of Dior products and their BB cream is one of my holy grail items. After using this for a few weeks I can see what all the hype is about. This concealer blends like a dream, and a little really does go a long way. Just a couple dabs of around the eye and blended out with fingers is all you need to do. Quick, easy and pretty much foolproof.  Dior claim it has "an illuminated stretch effect for eyes sculpted by light." This product does a great job at adding light and really brightening any dark shadows. It looks natural and helps you look like you've had a full 8 hours sleep. Another claim by Dior is that with prolonged use signs of fatigue fade away. That's a bold claim that I feel needs more testing, I'll definitely report back. If you're looking for a concealer which really does cover dark circles and add light, instead of just highlighting shadows this is the one you need.

Are you a Dior Addict?

Budget Buy- Lush Ultrabland

Lush Ultrabland
It's quite hard to believe that there can be a cleansing balm which effectively removes every scrap of make up, is suitable for most skin types even the most sensitive, easy to use and is affordable. Lush Ultrabland is all of these and more. It contains a high concentrate of beeswax which helps melt off all the waxes and oils which can be found in makeup. Ultrabland is the best selling cleanser from Lush and I can see why. It's perfect for a first cleanse to effectively remove every last trace of makeup. My skin doesn't feel tight in the slightest after I use this. I've even got my brother converted to this product and he has dry skin. The formula has not aggravated my combination skin at all and is a joy to use.
I melt the thick balm with my fingers, when in contact with skin it transforms into an oil. A thorough cleanse is needed with a warm flannel to completely wash off the remains of the cleanser and to avoid any residue. In my opinion this can be a good thing as it encourages an effective cleanse. Skin is left soft, hydrated and soothed. The best part is the price! For £7.25 it performs better than most cleansers twice the price. A little goes a very long way too so don't be deceived by the size of the pot. If your looking for your first cleansing balm or just a quality budget buy, this is the one for you. 

Have you tried Ultrabland?

How I Cover Dark Circles

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Cover Dark Circles

Dark circles, probably the most common issue most people face. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, so naturally we want it to be bright. I've tried many different techniques and products to help cover my dark circles. I've found the most effective way is to firstly keep the area around the eye hydrated. Whether that is with an eye cream or taking your serum up to your eyes. Secondly, I've found that using a corrector which is peach or pink based makes a noticeable difference. A corrector helps to neutralise any darkness and knock out that purple or blue tone that can be seen under the eyes. Benefit and Bobbi Brown do fantastic correctors, Max Factor have launched their Colour Correct Sticks which are a great budget buy.
Next you can begin to conceal with a concealer that matches your skin tone, or one which is one shade lighter to really help brighten it up. I prefer to use my fingers rather than a brush as the heat from your fingers can help warm up the product allowing it to apply smoother. I sometimes use the Clinique Airbrush Concealer to help reflect the light or something more creamy such as the Dior Star concealer. A setting powder should be the last step to help the products stay put all day and prevent creasing.

What products do you recommend to cover dark circles?

Empties - Bath and Shower

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Its empties time again. This time there seems to be a bath and shower theme developing. 

I've had this miniature for a while now. It got lost towards the back of the cupboard. When I was feeling ill and needed something to put in the bath this is what I chose. Philosophy has such a diverse range of scents in their products and every one is just as lovely as the last. I love this brand at christmas time as they really up the ante. Snow Angel incorporates the brands 3 in 1 formula, can be used in the shower, bath or as a shampoo. I used it in the bath and the scent was very pleasant and light. Not overpowering or sickly sweet. The bathroom smelt like a spa. I didn't notice any of the shimmer make a difference to the water but overall was a lovely product  and I would buy again.

No bath and shower post would be complete without Soap and Glory. Another fabulous body scrub. Not too abrasive but has just enough grit that you know its working. Scented with the 'Mist You Madly' fragrance it's moisturising oils help to reveal softer skin.

My skin is considerably more dryer as the weather gets colder. I have to admit to skipping the moisterising step when in a rush and especially when I just want to get dressed quickly. Whipped Clean is made up of 25% oils and butters to keep skin soft. I can't stand shower gels which dry out my skin and make it feel tight. This feels like a cream or lotion rather than a shower gel, as you apply the cream it lathers and moisturises. It smells like almonds, pistachios and vanilla. The shea butters help keep skin soft all day. I'll be stocking up for the winter.

I love mini kits like this and surprisingly this set took me a while to get through. It contains 2 miniature shampoos, 2 miniature conditioners and a detangling comb. I took a duo every time I went away and by containing 2 of each product it makes this set a must have for fellow travelers. Perfect for thoroughly testing a shampoo and if you like to change up your products. I got on well with these shampoos and conditioners. The Balance range is aimed at more oily hair types. The conditioner didn't weigh down my hair but kept it nourished. The shampoo contains no nasties such as silicones or sulphates. It helped to keep my hair cleaner for longer. As with most sulphate free shampoos it does not lather as well but it just means you need to use a little more. I only use sulphate free shampoos and this one performs better than most. 

What I learnt From My Tech Time Out

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If you're familiar with my blog, you'd probably remember a post I wrote during the summer titled 'Go Outside, There's Life Out There.'  I discussed how I was going to take a mini break from social media and basically just go outside more. As I ventured outside and away from a computer screen here are a few things I learned.
Watch the world go by
  • It was surprisingly easy to break the habit of pulling out my phone every few minutes. I used to be guilty of always relying on my Twitter feed as something to read when waiting for a train. I found that putting my phone in my bag (I can never find anything in my bag) rather than in my pocket made it easier to reach for it less. 
  • As a result of the above, I found myself reading books more and even just stopping to look out at the world. People watching is surprisingly fun and therapeutic. Watching the world go by helps put your own problems and thoughts into perspective. 
  • Going for more walks really did blow away the cobwebs. I felt more refreshed and overall more inspired. 
  • If I had to use the laptop, even just taking it outside made a huge difference to how I felt. 
  • The most revealing thing I found was how I stopped comparing myself to others. The less time I spent on social media the more I realised you really can't compare yourself to someones highlight reel. Comparison is the thief of all joy.
  • I tend to keep myself out of the popularity contest which is prevalent in blogging. The 'follow backs' and 'like for likes' just get me angry. I found that when I stopped comparing and thinking about how people got their 'popularity'. The less I cared and the less I was bothered by it. 
  • The less I consumed, the more I created. I made the conscious decision to create content which excites me and what I would want to read. 
Overall the experience was really refreshing. I made more memories this summer without worrying about taking a picture. I really recommend putting the phone away for a few hours a day if you find yourself in a slump. As the days become shorter and darker I will continue with this process, and make a conscious decision to go outside more, even though I don't deal with the cold well. I am a summer baby after all. 

Would you take a tech time out?

Top 3 Products For Banishing Breakouts

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With the change in weather comes a change in our skin. I've had a few annoying breakouts recently and raided my skincare arsenal to help banish them. I've found three products which have been the most effective.

Bravura Detoxifying Eucalyptus Toner
Last week I wrote a post about the Bravura Calendula Toner. I mentioned a very tempting offer on cleansers and toners currently on their site. I ordered this more astringent toner for days when my skin is looking more oily and spotty and just down right blegh. Targeted at more oily skin types the high content of AHA's accelerates exfoliation of skins dead cells. It contains salicylic acid for deep pore cleansing and help prevent blemishes and blocked pores. I apply this onto a cotton pad and work around my face and neck paying particular attention to any blemishes. If you're particularly worried about scaring after a breakout, an exfoliating toner is your best friend.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
This product I use as a serum under my moisteriser AM/PM. When my skin is not looking its best and is experiencing a breakout I find this lightweight serum is ideal to use. It contains glycerin to help refine skins texture while also controlling shine throughout the day. I find that when I use this it makes a considerable difference to any scaring I may be left with while helping to reduce blemishes.

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil
I completely used up a whole bottle of this stuff, however as I debated whether to repurchase it or try something new, I ordered some 'try me' kits. Along with the kits came a generous sample of the Rosehip oil, perfect for travelling. I used this at night as part of my skincare routine, I think of a facial oil as sealing everything in. When I first felt those pesky under the skin blemishes, I knew this was the product to tackle them. After the first night I found that the pain was considerably reduced, however the redness was still there. So the next night I did the same skincare routine and woke up to find not only had the redness been reduced but the size of the blemishes had too. It also helped to control sebum so I wasn't so oily throughout the day. After a few days use my skin was clear again and I've decided I need a new bottle ASAP.

I've been including these three products into my skincare routine and found that together they make a huge difference in my skin. My skincare products usually change depending on how my skin is looking and feeling.

Do you have any products which are perfect for banishing breakouts?

Postcards From Paris

Does anyone else remember the Olsen twins movie; Passport To Paris? I've loved the Olson twins since I was a child and when I saw that movie at the age of 10/11 I knew I had to go.
For my 16th birthday I took the trip to Paris. This weekend I stumbled across the photographs from this trip and began reminiscing. Firstly, I must add that there is nothing more satisfying than finding printed photographs. I need to start printing more and put them in albums instead of keeping them on my computer. I created a collage and began taking snaps. Remember the old school collages, instead of the apps we get on our phones nowadays. 

  • Paris is one of the most beautiful cities I have traveled to and fully intend on going back.
  • I stayed in one of the Disney hotels called Sequoia Lodge. In one of the pictures below you can see the soap I stole from the hotel room.  It was too cute.
  • The views from Sacre Coeur and the top of the Eiffel Tower boasts stunning views for the city. 
  • It was very hot and the air conditioning wasn't working on the Eurostar on the return journey. It was one of the worst journeys I have been on. Not fun.
  • Disneyland Paris is fun for any age! I had a blast and want to go again asap.
  • This was before my love of skincare began, not one picture of a French pharmacy in sight. The shame.
Have you been to Paris, I'd love to hear about your trip.

Whats On Your Nails?

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You may know it was Diwali yesterday, the bright colours, candles and sparkles of Diwali always warms my heart. I'm not going to lie, yesterday I may enjoyed all my favourite foods just a little. But taking a break from eating I took some time to paint my nails and this is what I chose. This beautiful Purple from Barry M is perfect for this season. Its quite different from any other purple shades I have as it is quite warm, but definitely leans towards a more traditional purple rather than a grey purple we've seen alot of lately. After two coats of Vintage Violet I followed up with this beautiful Nails Inc Special Effects top coat in The Donmar. The holographic glitter compliments any shade you wear under it. It has a unique iridescence to it which catches the light beautifully. The formula applies easily and is not too clumpy or thick. A perfect glitter which mimics the look of a candle flame. 

What's on your nails?

Budget Buy: Bravura Purifying Calendula Toner

Bravura Purifying Calendula Toner
Purifying Calendula Toner
Bravura is a skincare company I found out about through the one and only Caroline Hirons. I got to pick her brain at a Selfridges event not too long ago.

The Not So Roaring Twenties?

When I was 15, I completed a work experience placement during my final year of school. I recall so vividly, and have never forgotten something one of the lovely ladies I was working with said: "I definitely wouldn't want to relive my teen years, but I would love to relive my twenties, they were so much fun." Well here I am at 24 and can't say I agree... Yet, anyway. Would I want to relive these years of uncertainty and confusion? I have had moments during my early twenties so far which I have enjoyed immensely. However, on the other hand I envisioned life at 24 slightly differently. Life after University is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Graduate jobs are harder to obtain. Getting that first step on the career ladder feels like a giant leap, and the constant jealous pang felt when seeing students who have just got their loan seems like it will never go away.

Bargain Wild Rose Room Spray

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Tesco Homeware
Wild Rose Room Spray
I'm very picky when it comes to scents. I don't like anything too heady or heavy, that's with both perfumes and scents around the home. I recently bought this room spray from Tesco. Firstly, I must say this will last very long, as you only need one or two sprays to fill a room. I'm such a fan of room sprays as the scent lasts so much longer than a traditional air freshener.
The scent is mainly of rose but it doesn't smell old fashioned or dated. It's still fresh and inviting without being obnoxious or overpowering. I love that Tesco supplies matching candles and diffusers in the same scent so you can keep the scent flowing throughout the home and all for a reasonable price. It's purse-friendly and doesn't skimp on quality. I can't wait to see which Christmas scents they will be coming out with.

Are you a fan of Tesco Home?

Tiger Haul

If I had to describe the store Tiger to someone who has never been. I'd say, think Ikea's cheeky little sister. Much like Ikea you can't walk into a Tiger store without buying something, and that's easy seen as everything is really cheap. A shopping centre close to me has opened a new Tiger store and I couldn't wait to have a look around.

Tiger stores
Goodies from Tiger


A couple weeks ago I ventured down to Stratford-upon-Avon. I simply adore coming here, its so cute and there's so much to do. The weather was quite warm for October and made for a pleasant day out. There was a market on that day so we first decided to have a mooch around. After than we popped into a few stores and headed down to lunch by the river followed by a relaxing walk. Here are some pictures from the day.

Cutest little shop ever!

My Body Shop Favourites Part 1

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I've been going to the Body Shop since I was a child, my whole family has. You could say I grew up with Body Shop products. I  remember having a red hairbrush from them which had a pattern of a lady bird on it. I loved that thing and carried it everywhere. I constantly refer to the Body Shop as being like that trusted family member or friend who you can go to with an issue and you'll feel trusted, safe and better afterwards. It's one of those unique, kind and caring companies you don't get very often. However for those of you who don't know where to start with their products or haven't ventured into the Body Shop world yet, I've narrowed down my 5 favourites and must tries.

The Body Shop

Fun fact for you; the first body butter was the mango scent all the way back in 1992! They started the body butter trend way back when. In  my household this one is the most repurchased. My brother has excema and very dry skin, this is the only body butter which he uses that provides relief to tight feeling dry skin. The difference between The Body Shop butters and cheaper alternatives is that they keep skin hydrated all day. They do so without feeling greasy or oily. All the scents are delicious and your hardest decision will be picking one... or two... or three!

This little baby got it's very own post. A true lip savior and one I'll be stocking up on during the cold weather months.

When it comes to shower gels I'm surprisingly quite picky. I don't normally stray too far from Soap and Glory as I find some just dry out my skin. However The Body Shop shower gels not only smell amazing but are gentle on the skin too. You can always tell if someone has been using this as the whole bathroom is awakened by a pleasant scent.

4) Christmas!
Christmas time at The Body Shop is truly divine! Limited edition scents and gifts sets make it the go to place when shopping for the festive period. I've had a sneak peak at the limited edition apple scent for this Christmas, and I can't get enough. They also have one of the best beauty advent calenders around.

I've repurchased this too many times to recall. It was once a big hit in the 90's and I know a lot of people who are happy its back. This shampoo is very nourishing and hydrating. It doesn't dry out hair leaving hair looking parched. Hair looks bouncy and full of life again. The shampoo and conditioner both smell magnificent, obviously.

I could go on and on as I've tried so much from them, so naturally this is just part 1. I honestly think they are one of the best stores to go into, the staff are so friendly and happy and its clear to see why.

The Little Serum That Could - Apivita Radiance

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Apivita Natural Serum Radiance
Apivita Natural Serum Radiance
Serums make the most difference to my skin, they help treat any skin issues. Let me introduce you to my new best friend, Apivita Natural Serum. I've loved Apivita for years now and have mentioned them a fair few times on this here blog. Apivita have a range of natural serums all targeted for specific needs, there is Hydration, Radiance, Line Reducer and Lifting. I picked up the Radiance serum as part of a two piece set, along with it came the Lifting Serum. My mum is currently using the Lifting serum and I'll report back with how she's getting on with it. Radiance, contains Bilberry and Vitamin C to reduce discolouration and improve skin tone, the active ingredients stimulate all the processes for radiant skin. I have been using this everyday for a while now, firstly the serum smells amazing. It's a very pleasant citrus scent, but not overpowering and it doesn't linger so you're not left smelling it all day. Since using this, I have noticed an improvement in my skin tone. It makes skin look like it's glowing from within. Along with a good acid tone and this serum I have noticed that scarring has been reduced and my skin looks clearer and healthier. The product is light and milky which doesn't feel heavy in the slightest. What I love the most about Apivita is that it is free from parabens, silicones, mineral oil and all other nasties. That is important as you don't get that horrible rolling of products when you're layering skincare. I think this will be perfect for the colder months as it'll add some life into dull skin.

The only qualm I have with this product is the packaging. The glass bottle looks lovely and feels very weighted which adds to the luxurious feel. However I'm worried that along with the pipet applicator I may not be able to get all of the product out of the packaging when its nearing the end. I hate wasting products especially ones as brilliant as this. The pipet is very useful in keeping things hygienic, but I feel the bottle needs tweaking, so that the product can be used up. Packaging aside, the serum is lovely, and if your skin looks like it needs some radiance and glow, this is the one I'd recommend. Apivita I applaud you... again.

What do you look for in a serum?

What's On Your Nails Right Now?

Seche Nail Laquer - Simplicity 

If you haven't been to your local TK maxx lately, I suggest making a trip. Mine has had a huge delivery of nail polishes lately. From Ciate and OPI to Butter London and everything in between. I'm a big fan of the Seche Vite top coat, so when I saw they had the Seche nail colours in stock I was elated. I bypassed all my usual go to autumn colours and opted for this nude. 'Simplicity' is in my opinion the perfect polish for when you don't know what you want on your nails. The weather in the UK has been unseasonable warm of late, typically as I type this its pouring with rain. I wear a jumper in the morning and by afternoon I'm sweltering. It doesn't feel right to wear a bright bold or a deep dark colour just yet. This nude suits me well as it doesn't clash with anything and just makes my hands look polished and sophisticated. A somewhat 'nothing' colour in the bottle and one you might miss amoungst a rainbow display of polish, but one you need in your collection asap. Best part about this polish is that it was £3!!! *heads off back to TK Maxx*

All In One Instablur Eyes

Instablur Eye
All In One Instablur Eye
When The Body Shop said 'All in One' they really meant it. After the success of Instablur comes Instablur Eye*, this eye blur helps to perfect the appearance of the eye area. I was lucky enough receive a demonstration about how this product works, and have been using it since. What I like about this product is that you can use it in many different ways. On its own or under concealer or eye shadow like a primer. This product does alot more than your usual primer, its tinted for a start. I like to use this under concealer as not only does it smooth and prep the area, so application is easier, but it also helps prolong the concealer. I get no creasing, its weightless, matte and provides coverage. I know the whole 'oil slick' look has been supported on the runways of fashion week lately, but as someone with oily eye lids I can tell you its a hard look to pull off. I apply a bit of this on my eyelids sometimes just on its own or under eye-shadow and it really helps to brighten the eye area.

Eye shadow is a lot more vibrant over Instablur, and because of the tinted colour its a good base to start your eye look from. This product reduces any redness on the eyelid so you can wear it on its own. Perfect for a quick pick me up, or if your looking to recreate the sans eye makeup look supported by the latest Burberry show. I've seen many eye primers almost twice the price and I honestly think this is a strong contender as it does more than your conventional primer. The tint in colour makes it unique as many similar products are white toned which force you to wear another product over it. However if your in a rush you can quickly sweep this all around the eye and instantly look refreshed. Team this with the Drop of Youth Eye Concentrate and no-one needs to know about the late nights. Pop into your local Body Shop for expert one to one advice.

Will you be trying Instablur?

This Old Plane is Now A Bar & Restaurant

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DC-6 Diner

Serious Supermarket Skincare- Aroma Actives

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I don't know about you but I've been tempted to try Aromatherapy Associates skincare for a while now. Everything about it just screams luxury. However for some reason or another I haven't been able to part with my pretty pennies and take the plunge. When I heard that they had a sister company which was not only cheaper but also alot more accessible, you can imagine I was all over that. Aroma Actives is created by the founder of Aromatherapy Associates. Geraldine Howard has utilised her knowledge and experience in natural active ingredients and essential oils into this affordable line. This 16 strong skincare line is free from all the nasty's such as parabens, sulphates and mineral oil.
The one that'll make you re-think supermarket skincare
One product I have been enjoying from this line is the Cleansing and Brightening Balm. It can be used in the morning and in the evening. Make up is easily broken down and is perfect for the first cleanse. It doesn't leave my skin feeling tight afterwards which is one thing I look for in new skincare, I don't want anything too drying. When I think of a cleansing balm I immediately think of the texture of the Clinique Take The Day Off balm, however this is more like a thick cream. Think Liz Earle. It works easily into the skin and washes off leaving no residue or film behind. This cleanser is not greasy in the slightest and it hasn't aggravated my combination skin. I love that I can pick this up whilst doing a weekly shop and what impresses me the most is the instructions on the back of the packaging. This products actually gives good advice on how to use it rather than the usual 'apply to wet face and wash off'. This cleanser advises it be washed off with a muslin cloth and flannel (tick) and then proceeds to outline a skincare routine, such as follow with skin tonic, serum, oil and moisteriser (tick, tick). Well done Aroma Actives, I wish more brands did this. Even though the price point is considerably lower than Aromatherapy Associates, this cleanser still feels quite luxe and is a treat to use. I can't wait to try more from this line. Finally quality skincare available from the supermarket.

Will you be picking this up from your local Sainsburys?

The Body Shop Drop of Youth Eye Concentrate

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Drop of Youth Eye Concentrate 
The Drop of Youth Eye Concentrate* definitely wins the award for most inciting name. This new launch by The Body Shop is a 'firming concentrate for a smoother looking eye contour'. Enriched with Edelweiss plant stem cells it instantly refreshes and reduce the look of lines, fatigue and bags.
Now at the age of 24, I think I have a few years left before I start with the anti aging products. However, I love using this in the mornings as it feels instantly cooling and helps tremendously with puffy eyes. I keep this in the fridge and really helps with the 'morning after the night before' skincare. The metal applicator is my favourite part of this product, you gently push on the pump and it distributes the exact amount of product you need. It's innovative and I have not seen anything else like it by any other brand, at this price point. The gel like consistency is light and not too heavy, therefore absorbs easily. I love that this is not in a pot as it helps keep everything hygienic.
Now, if you're anything like me and suffer from sinus pain around the eye area, this really helps. To apply this product you roll the roller ball in a figure of eight motion circular motion around the eye contours. The massaging motion and cooling metal ball together with the gel help with any pain I am feeling. When I get any sort of sinus pain the area affected feels hot and sore, therefore using this makes me feel awake again.

I have some exciting news! I will be working closely with The Body Shop in one of their Midlands stores. I will continue to review products honestly and wholeheartedly. I was honored to be invited to meet some of the lovely staff in Bullring store to discuss new products and events. There are some really exciting launches happening very soon! Lets just say the party season is approaching and looking very inciting. The Body Shop have listened and acted on what their loyal customers have told them. Therefore now things are changing. They are now offering one to one service whether its skincare or makeup. I'm normally one who hates going to make up counters in fear of scary staff, however I can honestly say the staff in The Body Shop are the nicest and friendliest I have ever met. It's much like meeting friends, they are not pushy or judging in the slightest. If you're interested in popping by, every Friday from 12-3 they will be holding events where you can come and see whats new. And tomorrow 25th September 2014 they are holding a consultation event from 6-8pm, tickets can be bought at the store. You will get expert one to one consultations, the staff really listen and are very interactive, there are testers everywhere and always encourage you to play with the product which I love.

I would like to say a big thank you to the staff of the Body Shop Bullring store for having me. Thanks to Nikki and Emma for helping me with new launches and for being so lovely.If you do pop into the store, encourage them to start a blog! They are fantastic and I for one would love to read it.

*Drop of Youth Eye Concentrate was gifted to me for review purposes.

Today I'm Wearing


Today I have a meeting and I thought I would share what I'm wearing. I have chosen a Breton top, because I don't think I've ever met a stripe top I've I didn't like. This top is slightly longer than the average so I've paired it with these beautiful biker leggings from Zara. The fabric is much thicker than normal jersey leggings. They really help hold you in and have a very flattering detail on the knees and two zips at the waist. The bag I have chosen is by Ralph Lauren, I simply adore the chain strap and the colour of the leather, it breaks up a mostly black outfit.  Lastly I'm pulling the whole thing together with my trusty Topshop leather jacket.

How I Deal With Bloggers Block

When starting a blog, you are often told to post regularly. It's easily done when you're just starting out and have lots of new ideas. However eventually bloggers block can strike. You suddenly feel like you have no original ideas, and have nothing to say. This is how I deal with bloggers block.

1) I speak to friends and gain inspiration. If I'm speaking to a friend and they bring up a discussion which gets us all talking, I use that as inspiration for a post. Or similarly if they are struggling with something such as finding the perfect pair of jeans, and I have good advice. I'll use that as an idea for a post. I feel like talking and discussing things can spark inspiration.

2) I read more. Whether its other blogs, newspapers or magazines. Even if its something I wouldn't normally read. Even if you read something you don't agree with, that could be an idea for a post. You never know where an idea can come from, but just don't copy content. That's never cool.

3)  I make a lot of lists. There are endless amounts of paper in my handbag and even on my nightstand. I find I get most of my ideas when I should be sleeping so I keep a notepad and pen near just in case.

4) Switch the computer off and  go outside. Go for a walk or meet a friend, it will help blow away the cobwebs and you'll feel so much better. I do this a lot and it really helps.

5) If I'm really struggling then I tend to not post something unless I am completely happy with it. Sometimes it really IS quality over quantity.

6)My biggest piece of advice would be not to force it. Relax and you will feel inspired again.

How do you beat bloggers block?

The Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mist

Fun fact, when I first started to get into skincare, (which was many moons ago) The Body Shop was the first place I went to. I knew I could trust them and they're almost like that friend who everyone has: reliable, trusting and supportive. The Vitamin E range was my first port of call. I still use some products from the vitamin E range to this day. I love the serum in oil. I repurchased the vitamin E hydrating toner the other day and instantly remembered why I loved it so.
Vitamin E Face Mist
After meeting with the lovely Caroline Hirons at the weekend and getting the chance to pick her brain, I felt like new skincare was on the cards any excuse hey. This little wonder definitely got her seal of approval. (Side note, she did say she would adopt me.) The previous times I purchased this I always opted for the squeeze bottle and would apply it with a cotton pad. I find the spritz bottle much more effective. It has a fine mist much like the Caudalie beauty elixir and you don't end up with a soaking wet face. I spritz straight from the bottle to the face, it saves on time and product getting wasted on a cotton pad. After using a good acid, which preps the skin for serums and oils, this is an effective hydrating toner to start the layering process. Even throughout the day it's a good pick me up for dull skin. The scent is pleasant and not overpowering in the slightest. Overall, I am happy to have this back in my skincare routine. Being from the Body Shop, the price is very reasonable too. They always have offers on and well, it would be rude not to take them up on it.

Are you a fan of The Body Shop?

I 'kinda' Woke Up Like This

We all know that us ladies wake up flawless *insert appropriate emoji here* in fact its an art that's taken us a while to perfect. However for those days when we just don't feel like our inner Yonce is shinning brightly, here's some products and tips that help.
Aaannddddd.... I'm awake.

Pixi H2O Skin tint.
In my opinion one of the best 'I woke up like this', 'barely there' bases around. When I first used this I was shocked at the texture. It is unlike anything else I have used. It's definitely a gel like consistency when it first comes out of the tube, then whilst blending its slightly whipped, a bit like a mousse. It blends beautifully and seamlessly into the skin. The most impressive part about this product is that it really does feel like a drink of water for the skin. The skin tint has a cooling and awakening feel on the skin and I find it is best applied with fingers as you don't need too much. I am very impressed with the coverage of this product. I didn't expect it to be so impressive as I have found most water based products can be hit or miss but this has more coverage than most drugstore BB creams Dr. Jart I'm looking at you. However the Pixi Skin tint is definitely a hit. Perfect for early mornings it's almost fool proof which I love. I was initially worried it would not suit my combination skin, however any doubts were disproved because the finish is semi-matte, leaving a lovely glow but not too oily. This is what I reach for when I'm in a rush and most certainly didn't wake up looking like 'This'. Virtually undetectable and can be our little secret.

Clinique Airbrush Concealer
A holy grail product in my arsenal. This never lets me down. It's easy to use, blends like a dream and reflects light beautifully. I reach for this when I'm in a rush, a few swipes and it looks like I've had a full nights sleep.

Korres Lip Butter
I mention this product far to often but it really is worth it. I tend to dab this on my lips lightly for a subtle stain, it instantly lifts the face and distracts from any tell tell signs of tiredness.

Nothing too heavy but a coat or two of your favourite mascara will make eyes pop and help you look more awake.

What are your tips for mimicking the 'I woke up like this' look?

Model Of The Moment- Neelam Gill

There are a lot of models who's names are floating around during fashion week. However the model of the moment and one to watch this season is Miss Neelam Gill. Her debut was on the one and only Burberry runway, quite the accomplishment. Her striking looks and runway poise have quickly made her one of Burberry's sweethearts. Move over Suki Waterhouse there's a new kid in town. Recently donning the cover of Elle India, Neelam is paving the way for more Indian models and I couldn't be prouder. Her accomplishments are inspiring and will help change the future to make more space for up and coming talent of all ethnic backgrounds. Personally I love that she is the muse for the new season Burberry beauty line, as someone who has a similar skin tone to Neelam I now know that Burberry will have something to suit me. That's something I find difficult especially with drug store brands. Hopefully, this will trickle down to the drugstore and we will finally get a wider shade selection for a range of skin-tones.

I've made my love for Burberry quite vocal, on this blog and on my twitter. Every LFW I look forward to their show the most. I'm still lusting for a Burberry Initial scarf. They are a British brand and understand that fashion reaches different ethnicities, I hope more brands take note of this.

To showcase her more personal style Vogue.co.uk  are documenting her outfits everyday for a month as part of their 'Today I'm Wearing' feature. I for one am hooked! I feel like a proud sister when I see Neelams face on campaign pictures and especially in the September issue of Carine Roitfeld's Fashion book. I can't wait to follow the great lengths her career will take her and I will continue to support her. There are some parts of her life I have read in interviews which mirror my own experiences and if a girl from the West Midlands can get her name and face in Vogue. There's no limit to what we can achieve. Here's to more diversity in fashion and beauty, whether it's in small blogs like mine or big fashion houses.

Who is your model of the moment?

Lazy Guys Guide to... Autumn Style #1

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I absolutely love writing my Lazy Girls Guide posts, and seen as I love talking about menswear I thought I'd start the Lazy Guys Guide. The first in the series will be all about menswear. I have such a passion for menswear. Once was somewhat neglected on the high street but now there are many places to find great men's style.

Layering - Tones
Layering is important for men and no one does it better than one Kanye West. All opinions of his personal life aside, you have to admit the man layers like a dream. The key to layering like Kanye is simple. He mixes tones and textures. Instead of going for the classic white and black combo, which can be a harsh contrast, aim for more tonal looks. It instantly looks more casual and laid back without looking too try hard. A mix of greys and grey-blues in an outfit work well. Think tonal it creates an unpretentious wearable style.

I'm a big fan of mixing textures, a good example of that comes with suede and leathers. If your going for a more casual look a suede or nubuck boot can be your best friend. I personally love a Chelsea boot on a man. They work well in formal settings, with a suit and also in more casual environments i.e with a pair of jeans and tee. When looking for the perfect Chelsea boot I'd recommend a nubuck or suede pair. A quick note, a leather brogue will never go out of style.

The return of grey
I've noticed this autumn/winter season there is a return of grey. Especially the grey flannel suit. Almost every men high street store has their take on it. The material is soft and moves very well. It is a warm fabric so its perfect for the colder months. To avoid grey looking bland I recommend mixing tones and even adding patterns or textures. Whether that's with a printed pocket square or knitted tie.

There is nothing I love more than tweed during the colder months. Blame it on my love for Downton Abbey. Tweed will always be popular so I do suggest investing in a piece. I've seen a lot of tweed pieces mixed with leather detailing which is very interesting and a mix of colours also works well. Whether it has a check or herringbone pattern, either way it's worth a look.

That's part 1 to the lazy guys guide to autumn style. What do you love most about men's fashion?

(pictures taken from tumblr)

Lazy Girls Guide to - Back to School Wardrobe

Many of you might be starting college or university in the upcoming weeks. If you wore a uniform throughout school, the thought of wearing your own clothes may make you very happy indeed. I was so excited to be able to wear what I want that I went out and bought a heap of new stuff. However I made the mistake of buying too many pieces which were either too bright, bold or just plain noticeable if worn more than once that week. The initial joy also wore off after a few weeks as the very early starts and laziness started to draw in. I just couldn't wake up early enough to plan my outfits. So here are some tips for a 'Back to School Wardrobe' full of basic pieces you can mix and match. Even if in your school, college or university your already wearing non uniform you could find some tips to save money, and time thinking about what to wear.

I always think that people look their best in Autumn. The layering, mixing different patterns and textures makes for much more interesting outfits. For effective layering make the most of the basics in your wardrobe, after all they provide the basis for every outfit.

A Good Pair of Jeans
A staple in any wardrobe, you may already have a pair you love or are still looking. I personally love the Topshop Jamie jeans. They are ankle grazers which are slightly high-waisted and look ever so flattering. I would suggest investing in one good pair you feel really comfortable in. My next tip would be to pick a pair which are a classic wash or colour, whether that be navy, or black. That way you can interchange it easily and no-one will be able to tell if you wear them a couple days in a row. Do I regret paying all that money in college for the pair with the obvious pattern on the back pockets? Oh yeah, those babies were not worth it.

Very important when it comes to layering. Every season I like to freshen up my wardrobe with a couple new tees. Those white V necks don't stay crisp white forever. I find ASOS is a good place to search for some. Not only do they sell various brands but they also sell 2 packs with many different colour options. A classic white tee and blue jeans never go out of style. So for the days where you wake up a little too late, you can always go back to basics.

I love Autumn and Winter because you get to wear boots! I wear them pretty much all year round but I guess they're much more socially acceptable in the colder months. My tip with boots would be to get a pair which are comfortable and that you can walk in. I personally don't tend to buy cheap shoes as I think some can be bad for your feet and posture. If you invest in a pair which are classic and comfy they will last for ages. I am a big fan of chelsea boots, they go with everything whether its jeans or a skirt, I did a whole post dedicated to them. Try a few different pairs on before choosing.

The Denim Shirt
Oh how I love a denim shirt, I love that they are so versatile and come in many different shades and styles. They are also great for layering, whether it is over a tee or vest or even under jumpers or cardigans. You can find them in many stores for a range of different prices and fits. I love the oversize, boyfriend shirts as they are so comfortable and look good with a pair of printed leggings.

Accessories are where you can really experiment with your outfits. The high street is a great place for jewellery, Topshop have a fantastic range and well worth the look. Accessories can really transform an outfit. Take the simple grey tee for example, whack on a statement necklace from Zara and a denim shirt and you have a completely new look to that basic grey tee. The Z by Accessorize line is a personal favourite if you prefer daintier pieces.

With Autumn comes great knitwear. I know sometimes knitwear can be expensive, but if you look after them they will last season after season. With certain 'trend' pieces I would recommend places like New Look, they are affordable and up to date. But for a classic knit, then Zara is definitely the place to go.

And there you have it, the lazy girls guide to autumn basics. What will you be wearing this Autumn?
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