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?
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