29 September 2015

Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover | Beauty

If you have read my previous post about the Rakuten Affiliate Network Bonus Box post you'll know that I received this little gem in my box. 

This is the Clinique Take The Day Off makeup remover, I haven't used this makeup remover before actually and was pretty excited to try it out. What you can't see in the picture above is that it it's a clear liquid that kinda separates into two so you've gotta shake it up before you use it. Regular reader will know I'm rather fussy what I put on my face, I'm always concerned it's going to bring me out in spots so I'm always a little apprehensive with facial products. 

This product suggests it's suitable for all skin types which is really great and it's gentle enough to use on your eyes and 100% fragrance free. There are lots of benefits of this product that I definitely can get on board with, if it's gentle and does the job then I'm happy. However that being said, I applied it to my cotton pad and then went to use it on my face and found that it is a little oily for my liking, it left a bit of a residue on my skin that I really hated. I don't really like using oil based products and whilst my skin in a little dry I tend not to use oily products. Also, I kind of have a weird thing about cotton wool, I hate it, it makes my teeth feel funny, I'm weird I know. So when I use cotton pad I like to make them fairly wet because then it doesn't feel too much like cotton wool, but this product doesn't really sink into the pad enough so when I wiped it across my face it make me cringe a little. 

Enough of my weird phobias, whilst I didn't like the oily texture did it remove my make up? It did, amazingly. I know this because after I removed my make up, I used micellar water after it and the pad was clean, not a hint of make up was left. Really impressive. As it worked so well, I temped to persevere with the texture and use it more for when I go all dramatic with my eye make up as opposed to everyday. It's a great product and if you are used to oil based cleansers/make up removers then you'll love this. 

What Clinique skincare products do you love?
27 September 2015

The Holiday Post, Malta | Lifestyle

As some of you may know, I went away to gorgeous Malta with my best friend and had the loveliest time, I just wanted to share with you some of the pictures I took. Enjoy!

Where have you been on holiday this year?
24 September 2015

The Poolside Essentials | Beauty

If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed that I didn't post last week which was because I went on holiday to Malta, I'm going to share some pictures with you guys on Sunday's post. For today I just thought I would share with you what my poolside essentials are. Though these seem fairly obvious at first glance, I think they are actually pretty easy to forget and in all honesty you don't really need much more.

Let's start with Garnier Ambre Solaire Sun Lotion, I am a very fair skinned gal. I have very blonde hair and I'm very pale. This being said, I can tan very well when I am smart about it which means I do whack on the sun lotion a lot. I always go for factor 30 but I know I should probably be going for factor 50 but I just feel I tan better with 30. I normally go for the clear spary version but it was all sold out to I tried out this moisturising one and I was actually pretty impress. It did make my skin feel not only very protected but also very moisturised. I picked this up at Superdrug and it was half price. I only ever buy my sun products when they are half price even if it is for next year because I know I'm going to use them. 

Next up is a new discovery for me which is the Palmers Cocoa Butter lip balm with SPF 15, I get dry lips very often and I have ran out of my beloved DR.PAWPAW lip balm so I quickly ran out to get anything I could before my holiday. I liked that this balm does have SPF in it too because I think your lips can easily be forgotten and can get chapped in the sun. I'm really impressed with this lip balm, I didn't have to keep applying it because it didn't dry out too quickly and my lips feel really nourished so it's definitely a thumbs up from me. 

When you are on the beach or by the pool you absolutely must have a good book. I have found myself really struggling to get a book that I like the sound of, every one I pick up just doesn't interest me. This time I opted for something different to my usual slash 'em/thrill 'em/kill 'em novel and picked up Amy Poehler's - Yes Please. Here is where I have to be honest, I never in my life have see anything with Amy Poehler in it, I know she is a famous comedian but I have seen so many good reviews on this book I thought I would give it a go. I LOVE IT, it's sharp, witty, blunt, to the point and it's simply fantastic, whilst the book is an autobiography I feel like you don't have to know exactly who Amy Poehler is to enjoy the book. The woman just makes sense and there were so many parts and one liners that had me laughing out loud. 

And of course, you've gotta have a brightly coloured towel!

What are your poolside/beach side essentials
22 September 2015

Rakuten Affiliate Network Bonus Box | Beauty

Today is a bit of a different post, you guys are used to me reviewing my little Birchbox each month but this week I actually received something a little different in the post. This is the Rakuten Affiliate Network Bonus Box. 

I just wanted to point out that this is not a subscription box but more of a gift sent by the network to show case some of the amazing brands they have. If you are keen to monetise you blog then you probably would have come across different affiliate networks or at least the term "affiliate" if you don't really know what that is I'll tell you. We all know bloggers are very keen to work with brands and most of the time we do get sent samples or products which are great but wouldn't it be really interesting to gauge your level of influence with your readers? One way you could do this is to join an affiliate network like Rakuten put a tracking link into your post. How it actually works is, let's say one of your readers click on that link because they love what you have written and then proceeds to buy that item or even something else on site, the blogger will earn a % of the sale. To be honest, we are talking about a relativity low % typically between 7-10 on average but it's a fantastic way to earn a bit of money from your blog. Also these type of networks have a fantastic range of brands they work with that you could have access to. I've yet to earn any money, mainly because I really don't utilise the network enough, which is why receiving a box like this is fantastic. That's enough about affiliate marketing, though if you want me to write a little more about it in a different post just let me know. 

Moving onto the box and what I received, I will just say I was supposed to receive a Body Shop product but unfortunately one went missing, so I was gutted when I didn't receive that item however I did get any extra Clinique product so it's not too bad.  The Clinique product I received was the Take The Day Off makeup remover which I will give a full review in a separate post but I'm really excited because I don't actually use that make Clinique products.  

Next up is another one from the Estee Lauder Group which is a tiny Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, I have been DYING to try this product out. Honestly I have seen so many reviews on it and heard nothing but great things. The sample is a little small but I'm going to be able to get a first impression of the product. Finally we have the Darphin Ideal Resource Smoothing Serum. Darphin is a brand I have never used, I'm not even entirely sure where it retails. This serum is supposed to be used on skin that this starting to show signs of aging so actually this could be perfect, I've noticed recently that I'm getting wrinkles around my eyes which is bloody devastating but let's give this cream a go to see if they can help the appearance. 

I also recieved a Toms brochure which is pretty interesting actually, it's not a brand I ever thing to shop or even look at if I'm honest but I'm definitely going to check out their site. They also provided a discount code which is pretty great too. 

Are you signed up to an affiliate network?
13 September 2015

The Birthday Post | Lifestyle

That's right, another year rapidly passes us by which means I must get another year older...woe is me. It was my birthday last Sunday so I just thought I would share with you what I got up to and give you some understanding about how I handle my birthdays. 

I have to be honest, I'm not really a fan of celebrating my birthday not for any real morbid reason but just because I don't really like all the attention being on me. I hate people creating a fuss around me, I'd rather just act like it's another normal day. I think if you are like me the best thing is to do loads of low key things. I did actually go out for dinner with a couple of work pals but it was casual it didn't feel like we were just going out for my birthday if you know what I mean. I went out for drink with different groups of friends and stuff, I just prefer things to be casual.

I'm not the type of person who gets a lot of gifts because most of the time, I just buy what I want anyway so my parents always struggle with what to get me so this year they are paying to have my car MOT'd which I am incredibly grateful for because the poor little thing hasn't been driven in a while. However I also treated myself to some new running trainers, as you know I'm very active so it's nice to buy myself something that I actually need. I'll pop them in a different post. My wonderful friend Vernia also sent me a little birthday parcel in the post! I think that food and treats are always really nice to receive, my wonderful work pals bought me a delicious cheesecake from the English Cheesecake Company - it was amazing!!! The thing that I loved was that the cake came with the wrong message on it it should have read "Happy Birthday Tones" (Tones is a nickname for Toni) but read "For the record, I love you" I mean, could you imagine who got my message? I can imagine that the person who received it would be rather confused that their partner sent them a cake with a random person's name on it!

Even though I don't really like to go over the top and celebrate I do have a little birthday tradition that I do every year and it's simply to buy and eat LadurĂ©e Macarons, I love them. I walk past the shop every day on my way to work and I adore it's chic French look and these little maracons are just delicious. This year I treated myself to 8 little gems and I ate them all on my birthday and why not. 

Do you have any low key birthday traditions?
10 September 2015

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Instant Retouch Powder | Beauty

You may have read my previous Soap & Glory post on the Archery Pencil where I admitted that I've never really used that much Soap & Glory stuff before but was super keen to try out more. The other week, I was running low on my Rimmel Stay Matte powder and I thought instead of repurchasing like I have done for literally years why not try out a new powder. I was having a look around on some blogs and Kick Ass seemed to have a lot of great reviews so I just had to buy it. 

I'm pretty fortunate in the sense I don't have very oily skin, it's pretty average but leans to more dry skin than oily. That being said, I do like to make sure I use a powder just to set everything and to get rid of any shine that does naturally make an appearance. I'm currently using Sleek Makeup's CC Cream and adore it, it really evens everything out but it is quite a dewy finish which is why I needed something like this powder. The thing I liked about this powder is that it is translucent which is pretty handy because I don't need anything to add more colour to my face. 

Kick Ass Instant Retouch powder claims to have Superblur  Spheres and 3D Camouflage and I will say that it does have a blurring effect on my skin around some of the pores. It's an incredibly lightweight formula and does the job really well. I 'd say it is quite long lasting but I would definitely reapply before going out in the evening as I would with any of my make up. I make sure I use this powder across my t-zone down my nose and a little on my cheeks as I have quite bad scarring there so anything to make it a little better. I also dab it a little on my chin, to be honest I use quite a big fluffy brush to apply this powder but if you are looking to put it around your eyes or in very localised areas I would definitely say use a smaller brush. 

I kinda love the detail on the powder, anything that has stars embossed on it is something I can love. I will say because there is quite a gap between the powder and the top of the lid and I found that it is a little delicate, you can see that part of the "n" has fallen off and it was only in my bag. 

Really love this Kick Ass powder, it definitely lives up to it's name. 

Have you tried this product?

8 September 2015

Birchday Birchbox | Beauty

What a fun themed box for my birthday month, it's also Birchbox's Birthday too!

I must admit, when I opened it up I was really pleasantly surprised, I absolutely adore the design and that it says Happy Birchday, it's just a very cute box. If you saw my August Birchbox first impressions then you'll know that I wasn't that impressed with it, so this month I didn't have massive expectations. That being said when I lifted the lid I was actually really happy with it, so let's take a closer look into what I received.

This box is actually American themed so they are all American products, but the first thing I grabbed was the "Birchbrush" which is very similar to the Tangle Teezer and I was actually going to buy one so it's great that I can give this ago and decide whether to buy an actual Tangle Teezer. I like that it's small and I can just chuck it in my bag. Another hair related product I recieved was the John Masters Organics Detangler conditioner. This stuff smells utterly amazing, it's citrus and neroli so you know I'm gonna bloody love it!

Then we have another Birchbox fave which is a product from Beauty Protector, to be honest I have had a lot of their hair products and they are nice but I am thrilled that it is actually a body wash instead. It smells like all the other Beauty Protector products, it's quite a sweet scent but still really lovely. I also received a little Laura Mercier Facial Polish that I am looking forward to trying out because I actually haven't used that many Laura Mercier products. I normally hate facial scrubs but I'd definitely be willing to give this one a go. 

Moving onto the beauty products, I have a Benefit POREfessional Licence to Blot, it's a nice product but I'm not a very oily person however I will be going on holiday soon so perhaps I'll use it a lot out there. Finally I received a Laqa & Co Cheeky Lip Pencil, I have received a product from this brand before but it was full on purple, I couldn't use it but I received a vibrant coral colour called Cray-Cray, I love the name. It's probably not one I would wear often but again, I'm going on holiday so it would be good to try it out there. 

There we have my September Birchbox. 

What did you receive in yours?
6 September 2015

Samsung Galaxy s6 Edge | Lifestyle

A bit of a different post for me, you know I'm not a very techy person but I just thought I would share with you my latest phone upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy s6 Edge. To give you guys a bit of background, I have always bee an iPhone user, I swapped my blackberry for an iPhone and never looked back. 

However lately, I have become less impressed with the latest iPhone upgrades/updates and the battery life it shocking and I was just getting bored. I saw the advert for the Edge and immediately feel in love because it looks so different, where as the iPhones all look the same. I was concerned that going with an android I'd find it quite hard to get used to because ultimately it is a completely different phone. But I took to this phone within hours, it was so easy there are even a whole bunch of apps to help get stuff from your iCloud onto your phone and music from your iTunes. I would definitely recommend backing everything up before doing the swap because I lost a few songs/pictures!

I know that people are either an Android person or an iPhone person and I always thought I would be in team iPhone but I was wrong. The benefits of this phone to me are the screen quality, everything is so clear and bright, the battery life is way better and  the charging cord is longer. I can get all of my apps on this phone so at the moment it's not like I am missing anything because I have everything I need on here. I do think some of the apps are a little slower on the android though but we are talking by a second, not a massive amount. I find it super easy to navigate but it has take me a little while to get used to the two buttons at the bottom because iPhones don't have those. I also found that when texting the symbol page is in a completly different sequence to iPhone so lots of grammar and spelling mistakes but it's something that you get used to with time.

I found it a little tricky to get a case for actually, because of the edge it means getting a screen protector is hard, I went into Vodaphone and they put this film over the top of it which looks pretty good if i'm honest and is probably going to be the best I can get for now at least. The phone is so beautiful I wanted to make sure that I could get a case that doesn't take away from that so I just opted for a clear case but it's an ultra thin one so I may have to get a harder case but for now it's great. 

I mentioned earlierabout the picture quality of this phone, it is stunning! I look a really quick picture of a flower and couldn't get over the detail this phone can go to it's amazing check out the picture below

Are you an iPhone fan or an Android fan?
3 September 2015

Accessorize Snake Flat Clutch Bag | Fashion

Accessorize Snake Flat Clutch

Close Up of Accessorize Snake Clutch

Oh if you know me you'll know that I like an Accessorize clutch bag, in terms of design, quality and price Accessorize wins it hands down every time. Every year I buy a clutch from Accessorize, I dress very simple and minimal so I like to add a little something to my outfit with a bag. Last year I got a gorgeous stormy blue bag, that I still love and use but this year I was looking for a different shade to blue. 

This snake skinned flat clutch bag is fairly similar in shape to my blue one but there are some very big differences, this one is a bit soft and flexible to wear which means I can actually get a little more in it. I also love the faux snake skin print in this dusty pink shade. You actually do have the option to turn this into a shoulder bag but I'm gonna say that it really doesn't work to wear it in that way. The tabs to attach the strap to are both at the back of the bag which means that doesn't quite sit right and tilts forward. However as a clutch it's perfect. 

I really like that I can take this bag out even when I'm wearing casual clothes, it's not a fancy clutch but it is a great size, so I could take it out various places. It does have a wrist strap that I wouldn't really use but I do like having the extra addition. This bag was only £15 which I think is a fantastic price.

What Accessorize items are you loving at the moment?
1 September 2015

Soap & Glory Archery | Beauty

Before you say it, I know I am late to the party again, really I don't know how or why I have never tried this brow product before, but now I have, there is no going back.  

Being naturally blonde it means I have very fair eyebrows, I struggle to find colours that will match my natural hair colour. I am not a fan of over drawn eyebrows, it just doesn't suit me and I hate it if my eyebrows end up looking much darker than my hair. I normally use a Rimmel eyebrow pencil which is pretty basic, does the job but nothing to write a post about really. 

I haven't tried that many Soap & Glory product before and when I recently forgot my make up bag I thought I would try something out from this brand. I really wanted to try out the Solar Powder as I know that everyone has raved about it but it was sold out so instead I thought I would give Archery a go in Blondeshell. I use to get my eyebrows threaded but I've recently just started getting them waxed and I am loving the shape of them now. The girl who does them does all of my waxing so I knew she would do a good job anyway but I was seriously impressed when she did do them, but anyway I digress. 

At first I was really impressed with the spooley at the end of the Archery pencil, because it is like a mascara brush so it really picks up and combs my eyebrows really nicely into shape. The colour match was pretty perfect for me actually, definitely not too dark at all. I also like that it is a very fine pencil so you can create a very natural shape and fill in specific areas with ease. I also really love that you don't need a sharpener, just a quick twist and you're done. 

It cost £8 which I think is pretty great considering the colour match and the brush at the end. It's very slim which means that it takes up hardly any room in my make up bag.

What are your favourite Soap & Glory products?