29 October 2015

The Samples | Beauty

Being subscribed to Birchbox and being a beauty blogger in general I have found my sample stash rapidly growing. So on Sunday I decided I would treat my hair and body to only sample products I have in my stash. 

These little beauties are for my hair, my face and my body. I was really keen to try out some new products for my hair because I want to grow it a bit longer, it is long already but I want it to be just a fraction longer but still look healthy. In my stash I have the John Freida Sheer Blonde Shampoo, I already adore John Freida Go Blonder and it's one I will always repurchase. Being blonde my hair is naturally very multi tonal so anything that enhances the colours makes me happy. Then to condition my hair I tried out the John Master Organics Detangler, the scent of this product is divine, it has a strong citrus scent but isn't over powering at all. In fact it reminded me of lemon curd, I just wanted to eat it. I really liked this product, made the ends of my hair feel very soft. Then just so finish it off I used 3 drops of the Beauty Protector Protect and Oil to my wet hair just to lock in a bit of moisture. Then next day my hair felt really well conditioned but I think I used a little too much, my hair is very fine, I just can't get away with many hair oils.

Moving onto my face I tried the Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish, and was actually really surprised how much I liked it. I thought it would be like many other facial scrubs, too harsh and too grainy for my skin. I found that the particles were actually incredibly fine and my face didn't look too red after. In fact my skin looked super fresh I almost didn't want to put anything else on it. Moving onto Ahava and their Purifying Mud Mask, I wish I could get this brand easy in the UK. I love this face mask. It's super gentle on the skin and you only leave it on for a few minutes so it isn't too hard to wash off. 

And finally we have another Beauty Protector product it's their Beauty Wash body wash. I really love the scent of Beauty Protector products, it's like a mix between candy floss and flowers, it's lovely. This body wash is exactly the same and a really lovely product. 

There we have some of my samples, I think it's good to hunt your sample stash every once in a while. 

What are your recent favourite samples?
27 October 2015

Blushing Hearts Peachy Pink Kisses | Beauty

Oh it's just so pretty!! Already I know what you're thinking, I should change this blog name to "Toni's Late to the Party AGAIN" but what can I say, I just don't like shopping online if I have never tried the product before.

This pretty little thing is the Blushing Hearts Triple Baked Blusher which is from Makeup Revolution I Heart Makeup. I have seen various different blog posts on the various different highlighters and blushes and knew it was only a matter of time before I made a purchase. I went into my local Superdrug recently and I must mention they have had a massive revamp with their store, everything looks so much better. The beauty counters are beautifully lit, each product is presented in such a wonderful way, a lot easier to shop now. 

Whilst I was looking around the Makeup Revolution stand I noticed they had almost the entire range of the triple baked blushers and I went a little heart eyed for them all. After reading reviews I always thought I would end up buying one from the pinkier tone ranges like Bursting with Love or Iced Hearts something like that. As soon as I saw Peachy Pink Kisses, I knew I had to have it. I actually like peachy tone on me, I hate blushers that are too pink. 

You actually get 3 different shades in the heart and personally I would say that the first two are very similar, the main difference is that smallest one is probably just a little more paler than the middle shade. The final shade is the strongest and pinkier toned of them all, however they all have this wonderful champagne shimmer too them, not too cool toned but not too warm for my complexion either. As you can see in the pictures, this is an incredibly shimmery blush and I like shimmer. That being said, I personally would say it's just a tad too shimmery for standard blusher application. It's a bit more of a highlighter for me, but of course, one I can use to add a flush of colour as well as highlight the ol' cheek bones. When I first tried it I used my Real Techniques Fan Brush which is literally perfect for highlighting and I was surprised how much I loved this little heart blush. It looks gorgeous on, shimmery, pretty and girly. 

Have you tried any of the Blushing Hearts blushers?

25 October 2015

Honeypot Moves to Italy... | Life Update

Oh yes, you read that right, I'm moving to Italy and I can't quite still believe it. Basically, I was offered a job by one of the most amazing fashion brands (or at least, I think they are) and I just couldn't say no. Not only that, but it has given me the chance to actually move to another country and change my life forever.

I have worked in London for several years now and adore city life, I never really envisioned working anywhere else, but Florence... need I say more? In all honesty, I would say this was actually a very easy decision to make, yes I'm going to my family and friends but when would I ever have this opportunity again? Since the age of 16 I have always worked, literally never been without a job. I haven't traveled the world but now I have the chance to completely submerge myself in a different country, culture and language. I've never been to Italy before and I certainly don't speak Italian or any other language for that matter, but it excites me. Now is the right time. 

It's been a crazy couple of weeks and it's a little tricky trying to find apartments from another country but I'll be renting a room for a couple of months until I find my feet. I need to get some documentation so I can be taxed whilst I'm out there, I need to sort out my bills over here, such as gym membership, phone bill etc. There are a lot of things I don't want to bore you with but I will definitely be sharing my experiences with relocation with you guys though. My friends and family were a little surprised when I said what had happened and they fact I'm moving in less than a month but everyone has been so supportive it's been amazing, I'm very grateful to have such supportive people around me. 

This also means my blog is going to take an interesting turn, there will be far more Italian beauty/skin care products which is exciting. My lifestyle posts will be a little more focused to my life in Italy and probably a lot more food posts! As you guys already know, I have been really hard ass with the gym and my diet so things are going to change a little and I'm ok with that. I'm going to operate a strict "Always say yes" (within moderation, let's not get too wild) policy so that I fully embrace all of the opportunities out there. Christmas is going to be a little weird, I'm not sure when I'll be back to the UK to visit because I'm just going to want to throw myself into my job so I may not even be back until April.   

I have quite a few drafts so my blog shouldn't be too affected by the relocation but if it is, just please bear with me. It may mean I do more lifestyle posts for a while or whatever but it'll all balance itself out. 

I officially move out on 16th November, wish me luck! 

22 October 2015

Origins Clear Improvement Mask | Beauty

Today we have another little goodie from my Rakuten Affiliate Network Bonus Box and this is one product I have wanted to try out for so long, I have seen various different reviews on it, all of which have been positive and so I'm happy I got to try it out. 

A slight disclaimer, this post is just a first impressions, the sample is incredibly small so I would be able to tell you the ongoing benefits of this mask but I can certainly tell you what my initial thoughts are. It's the Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask, you've probably seen a lot of bloggers write about the brand. I haven't actually tried that many products from Origin before but because I have seen them on a lot of blogs I know the stuff they produce is always going to be a high quality standard. 

I have heard that there are a lot of benefits for using Charcoal on your face because it really helps to draw out the imperfections and unclog pores. My pores get quite badly clogged and I use various different products that work incredibly well, but I've never tried out any charcoal based products. The main areas of my face I used this product on was my nose, does any one else get really badly clogged pore on their nose? And just a little on my cheeks. Like most clay masks this one dried pretty hard but I was quite surprised that it wasn't too hard to get off. This meant I didn't have to scrub my face really hard to get rid of it, therefore definitely more gentle. 

I was pretty impressed with this product, as soon as I washed it off the pores on my nose definitely looked clearer and more reduced. I also noticed how smooth it made my skin, even the next day it was still looking fresh. As this is quite a small sample, I was a little careful with how I used it but I found that I managed to squeeze a could more uses from it. I even applied it using a flat foundation brush that I never use because it is rubbish, BUT perfect for applying face masks. 

What are your favourite Origins products?

20 October 2015

KeraStraight Protein Boost Hair Treatment | Beauty

So today I thought I would share with you a very exciting opportunity I was offered. I got to attend the Salon International Exhibition in the Excel Centre in London and get an amazing hair treatment by the KeraStraight team, I mean, my badge said Exhibition Model and everything. Though let's face it, it'll be the only time I'll ever get to be a model! It was a really fun day, when I arrived I was greeted by the very lovely Mary who made me feel really comfortable and told me what to expect, then I sat down with a member of the KeraStraight team who had a little look at my hair and told me which treatment would be best for my type of hair. 

Typically speaking KeraStraight is probably best know for it's amazing straightening  properties, which even works on Afro Caribbean hair but if you have seen pictures of my hair before, it isn't very curly. It's got a bit of a wave in it but isn't wildly frizzy or anything like that. So the stylist advised that my hair would probably benefit from the Protein Boost, which is perfect for fine, weak and/or damaged hair. I was really excited to try it out because my hair is incredibly fine and the ends are always terribly damaged no matter how many products I use on it to try and protect it. I was taken to a room to get my hair washed by the very friendly Luke and he washed it twice with shampoo and didn't put conditioner on it because this opened up the hair cuticles which meant that it made it easier for the Protein Boost to fully absorb into my hair. 

I was taken back to my seat where my utterly fabulous stylist called Bella and her assistant Kimberley (equally lovely) applied the treatment to my wet hair. It was interesting because they blow dried the product in and then straightened it. KeraStraight is heat activated so it works best when a bit of heat is applied. 

After they had straightened my hair, Luke then gave my hair another rinse, just a quick 20-30 second rinse to get rid of the excess product. I then went back to have my final blow dry and straighten and then I was done. 

I was amazed at how smooth and soft my hair was, it was incredible. Not only that, but the treatment is supposed to last up to 30 days which is pretty amazing. I couldn't stop stroking my hair, people must have thought something was wrong with me, a bit of a perv. I did have before and after pictures, but I'm so wildly hideous, I couldn't put them in but I'm sure you'll be able to hunt them out. 

A gorgeous model showing just what the KeraStraight treatment can do to other hair types. 

It was a fantastic day, I had pictures taken, I was filmed, I had randoms touching my hair, I felt famous, I wasn't, but my hair definitely had that star quality. 

And I did just want to say how amazing everyone was, from the stylists, to the assistants, to the PR team. I also got some goodies, but I'll write about them in a separate post. 

Have you ever tried ant KeraStraight products?
18 October 2015

Biscuiteers Dracula Jolly Ginger | Food

Terrifyingly delicious!

If you are a regular reader of my little blog, you'll know I'm a massive fan of Biscuiteers, I ran a Peter Rabbit comp and tried out on of their icing classes. I think one of the reasons I love Biscuiteers so much is because the literally have a biscuit for ever occassion and they always look so amazing and well thought out. They make the cutest little gifts for friends or family. They have Birthday BiscuitsThank You Biscuits, Wedding Biscuits and they have great seasonal too ranges such as Christmas Biscuits and of course Halloween Biscuits

This is where this little fella comes in, he is the Dracula Jolly Ginger  which is a rather yummy ginger breadman. I think I like Halloween so much because it's just the perfect excuse to wear even more black than what I normally do. It's a fun (very commercialised) little day and I like going out for drinks and all of the other festivities that come with it. I would like to host a Halloween party actually, but not like one from my teens, oh boy those parties always ended up a little wild but more of a grown up version. Whilst you'd be able to go an get a bunch of Halloween things really cheaply from supermarkets I'd still want to do something that stood out a little. Like for example these Sugar Skull Biscuits, I am literally in love with them. A box costs around £30 you actually get 9 biscuits and the tin they come in is just so cute, it would be a perfect addition to any party. If you were thinking more along the lines of a little gift for you pals to take home then they also have these gruesome Finger Biscuits or even a Witch.

The ginger biscuit itself, it's really delicious too, very rich in flavour with a prefect crunch, I had mine with a hot chocolate! 

I really love how Biscuiteers have a biscuit for pretty much every occassion. 

What are you favourite treats to have on Halloween? 

15 October 2015

Benefit Air Patrol | Beauty

If you are on twitter and follow various other beauty blogs then I know you will have seen the spam with this Air Patrol product. It was a really fun way to get everyone gifting samples to their twitter followers/friends which is always a very clever piece of marketing. 

I'm quite a fan of Benefit, in fact, I have probably tried almost all of their samples! I love the attention to detail, when Benefit launch a new product they pretty much do it with a rocket launcher, I mean, everyone knows about it and the story behind each product is well thought out, followed by a quirky product name. Air Patrol is exactly that. 

So you're probably thinking "great, but what the hell is Air Patrol". Essentially it is an eye primer, but it's just a little more than that. This doesn't only claim to lock on eye shadow but it also re-hydrates the eye area and neurtalises any colour. So pretty impressive, it also has shea extract in it so you know it's going to be very soothing. It also contain SPF 20, which is always a fantastic thing. When I first tried it out I noticed that it was a very runny consistency which means you don't actually need a lot, it gave a very good base for my eye shadow to be applied to. I also wanted to point out that I think on the full sized version it has a rubber tip on the end to apply around the eye area. The sample has a very small nozzle that you have to apply using you hand and personally I would definitely prefer that to the rubber tip. The eye area can be so delicate I wouldn't want to be too heavy handed. 

As the day went on I noticed that my eye shadow looked really good, it wasn't wearing off as much as it usually would. To be honest, I didn't go overly dramatic with my eye shadow but it literally looked just as good as it did in the morning when I first put it on. Very impressive. 

Online the full sized product retails for £21.50 which is a pretty standard for Benefit I think. I am pretty tempted to buy this product which would be the first full sized product I've even bought from Benefit.   

What are your favourite Benefit products?
13 October 2015

October Birchbox | Beauty

Oh yes, it's THAT time of the month again, here is the October Birchbox. Subscribers were lucky this month because they got to choose which box they wanted. Either the Back to Basics box or the Stylist Guest Editor Box. Now, I don't know about everyone else, but I don't get these emails/notifications to let me know that I can pick between boxes, I normally just stumble onto site and then realise I could have had the choice. If I did chose I probably wouldn't have picked this one just because the other box is prettier but you know what, I am so glad I didn't because I really like this month's box. That'll teach me for being so bloody shallow when it comes to my Birchboxes. 

Firstly, I just have to say how much I do love the box, it is very basic but actually looks incredibly stylish and simplistic which I really like, enough about that I know you're all thinking I'm just waffling on, it's what's on the inside that counts and all that jazz. Let's start with the hair care products, I recieved two samples sized from the brand Beaver Professional. I recieved a 40ml Shampoo and a 10ml Conditioner, if you have read any of my previous Birchbox posts you know I get a little irritated when I just get a shampoo OR conditioner so I'm happy I got both. Moving onto teeth, bit of a random one but I'll take it, it's the Regenerate toothpaste that helps with the enamel on your teeth. I mean, what more can I say about a toothpaste? I'll definitely use it for trips away or whatever. 

Moving onto the face, I got a cute little Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water, I'm a massive fan of Micellar water and I've heard a lot of great things about Bioderma so I am looking forward to giving it a go. I also received a full sized Eyeko FAT Liquid Eyeliner, which is an interesting product. It's like a giant felt tip, really weird, I'm not sure how good I'll be with this one because I might end up painting my entire lid with this pen. But I'm willing to give it ago, perhaps on the weekend though, when I have a little more time to faff around. 

And finally, the best damn thing about the box is the Seche Vite top coat! Oh the things I have heard about this top coat and it's full sized and I'm feeling slightly giddy! All the beauty bloggers and vloggers rave about this product so I cannot WAIT to try it out. I'll let you guys know what I think because I really hope it's worth the hype. 

Though my box is a bit basic and I am a basic bitch  kind of gal, I really love it, it's all the little key essentials!

What did you get inside your Birchbox?
11 October 2015

Clipper Tea | Lifestyle

Anyone who knows me knows I love green tea, of all kinds. There is nothing better than starting my day with a cup. In fact as I am blogging I have a cup with me, it a necessity  for a Saturday morning blog session. 

Personally, I prefer green teas that are also infused with other flavours, I do like plain green tea but the flavour combinations that are around right now are amazing so why not try them all? There are a few brands around and historically I have always been a fan of Twinings but I have found myself reaching for Clipper tea more and more but it's only recently I have discovered the fantastic range they actually do. 

The thing I love about Clipper is that they really care about nature and the environment, they believe in fairtrade and source the teas from all over the world such as Africa, India and Sri Lanka. Which I think is pretty amazing but not only this, they actually use unbleached tea bags. I hadn't even thought that tea bags were bleached until I started drinking Clipper teas. They really pride themselves on being natural which means it made sense for them to only produce their green teas in unbleached tea bags. The reason why historically other tea bags have been bleached is purely for aesthetic reasons but this means the bags have to go through a chemical process which doesn't sound that appealing at all. This is why I like Clipper, they are different and the do things a naturally as possible. 

As I mentioned, I like various different flavours of green tea and Clipper certain do offer a fantastic range. As you can see from the pictures above, they have combinations such as Pear and Honey, Lime and Ginger ad Cranberry, I know Cranberry isn't a unique flavour combination but still, I love it. I really like that each box has different qualities, like the Honey and Pear one helps to revive you or the Lime and Ginger one helps to give you a kick start because it is super zesty and yummy. I really like that the flavours and scents are subtle because they aren't artificial, they are natural. 

At the start of the year I really found that green teas helped to keep me on track with my health regime, it helped me to develop healthy habits because as soon as I felt liek i wanted to snack I would just have a cup of green tea first to see whether I was actually hungry or whether it was a boredom thing. 

Do you like green tea?

8 October 2015

Darphin Ideal Resource Serum | Beauty

If you read my Rakuten Affiliate Network blog post a couple of weeks ago you'll know that I recieved this in a little box they kindly sent me. 

I've never heard of the brand Darphin before but I have done a little digging around at they actually resell in places like, Space NK, Feel Unique, John Lewis and Look Fantastic. This brand is also part of the Estee Lauder group so it's sister brands are Clinique, Oriin, Creme Del a Mer, Smashbox etc. I think the reason I've never really come across this brand is because I tend to stick to what I like with regards to skincare but I must admit I have noticed that I'm starting to get some pretty noticable wrinkles around my eyes so I was really keen to try out the Ideal Resource Perfecting Smoothing Serum

It's quite a small sample but I only really wanted to focus on my eyes anyway. When I first tried this out I was quite surprised with it's consistency, the Ideal Resource serum is actually quite runny. When I think of serums I think of a gel like formula and this isn't, not that it is a bad thing it's just different. It has a very delicate floral scent that is really pleasant actually because I don't like scents that are too heavy or floral on my face. I found it to a be really light weight formula under the eye and that it definitely helped with the appearance of my fine lines. It also brightens the skin around my eyes which is a great bonus too.  

The website suggests that "Over time, Clary Sage helps improve smoothness, and our powerful LINE POLISH COMPLEX helps support skin’s natural collagen" so it's good to know that over time this product can help with your over all skins appearance on a deeper level. 

The Ideal Resource Serum retails for £60 for 30mls, which I think is pretty expensive but I will say that even though I recieved a small sample, the product inside you can tell is something special.

Have you tried any Darphin products?
6 October 2015

Nanokeratin Systems Revive and Rehydrate Hair Care | Beauty

If you are a regular reader of my blog you'll know that I have reviewed a hairbrush from Nanokeratin Systems before, it was their Be Fri Hair Brush which I still use every day as it's in my gym bag. However I was kindly sent some shampoo and conditioner samples to try out. 

I received the Revive Shampoo* and the Rehydrate Conditioner* for natural/ virgin (!) hair. As I have mentioned before a lot of people think my hair is dye or coloured but it's not, it is naturally just that blonde, I'm lucky. I'm always on the look out for a new shampoo/conditioner and I was provide with 3 of each so it's definitely enough to be able to give you guys at least my first impression of the product. 

The first thing I noticed about this product was the scent, it's so fresh. It has daisies on it and I'm not sure whether I think it smells of daisies because I've seen the image or it actually does but it does smell very lovely. I found both the shampoo and conditioner are not as thick as what I am used to. The conditioner felt amazing in my hair, as soon as I ran it through the ends I felt like you could feel the conditioner nourishing each strand. It suggests to leave it in your hair for a few minutes which is easy because I usually scrub and wash my body. As I washed it out I noticed my hair was really smooth after. Moving onto the shampoo, to be honest there wasn't anything that blew me away immediately with it, it smelled amazing, lathered up well. It did the job. I have mentioned conditioner before shampoo because that's the way around I was my hair. 

Over the next few days of using both the shampoo and conditioner I noticed that my hair appeared much less frizzy, I don't want to use the word flat but it was definitely a little straighter which I was incredibly impressed with. I also like that both products are paraben free and the shampoo is also SLS free. 

I've done a bit googling to try and find out for you guys what a fulle sized bottle would cost and I must admit it was a little tricky. You can buy them in the UK online through Salon store such as Toni&Guy and ShopRush and retails for around £18-19 for a 320ml bottle each. That is pretty pricey but I do think it is a great product. 

Have you tried any Nanokeratin System products?

4 October 2015

The Fable, Holborn | Food

You may have noticed that my blog has taken more of a foodie turn lately, my lifestyle posts involve food a lot more. As any blog grows, I always think it's interesting to see how they develop and it appears that I actually really enjoy writing about food. With my lifestyle change this mean I appreciate different foods a lot more and do consider it a treat. Let me know if you enjoy reading my food posts. 

The other week some colleagues and myself went out for lunch to celebrate a work pal passing probation, we work in Holborn and one of my favourite restaurants to visit is The Fable. I love the decor more than anything, they even had a table that is surrounded by books which one day I will have dinner at. I just love the way everything looks in the restaurant, I've been there a few times and there is like 3 different floors and I have tried several different dishes but I must admit this one has to be one of my favourite. 

I just had to have a glass of prosecco to celebrate of course, though I don't really need an excuse to have a glass. This prosecco was super light and refreshing not acidic at all which is always a good thing, I find with other restaurants the prosecco can be a little sharp but this really wasn't.  Moving onto the food, I just need to take a moment to say YUM! I opted for the Duck Flatbread, the menu is pretty big but I didn't want to go for a burger or anything like that, I wanted something that would be a little lighter and was looking at the flatbreads. When it arrived at the table I was surprised about how large it actually was and it was packed with so much more than what I thought it would be. It had a big chucks of crispy duck topped with peppers, onions, cucumber, spring onion a bit of celery and a perfect amount of hoisin suace on the base which a few sesame seeds sprinkled over the top. 

I'm not the biggest fan of cucumber so I must admit I moved it to the side but the rest I pretty much inhaled, you could get chips or a side dish with this flatbread but personally I wouldn't say it was necessary to do so. The duck was beautifully cooked and had a crispy edge to it but it wasn't too crispy, It wasn't shredded too thinly so you actually were able to taste the chunks of duck with everything. The menu doesn't specifiy that there are onions and peppers with the dish but I was so happy there was. The flatbread on it's own cost £9.95 which I think is an incredibly good price. 

Have you been to The Fable? 
1 October 2015

The Holiday Details | Fashion

I'm definitely not a fashion blogger, I know what I like but I wouldn't say I'm stylish but I do think that when you go on holiday it's great to try out new things. 

I know that this summer, everyone went through the gold metalic tattoo phase, but this just wasn't something I could jump on board with. When I went on holiday with my bestie she bought along some of these tattoos and I wasn't interested until I saw the silver one, a silver tattoo phase is something I can get involved with, I only wear silver, I just prefer it on my skin tone. I mean, they are a novelty but I didn't mind trying it out. You will also see that I have a rather delicate bracelet on my other wrist which I just completely feel in love with. As you can see I have quite slender wrists and I feel that this simple piece of jewellery actually really compliments them. 

Any one who knows me, will tell you that when I'm in the UK I pretty much only wear black, what can I say, I just like my clothes to match my heart! But in all seriousness I don't like anything that's too bright or colourful because I don't like attention being drawn to me. However, every now and then I do find things in the shops that I just adore. This dress from Dorothy Perkins was one of them, I saw it in the shop window and just really loved it I bought this before I booked the holiday but new I would wear it somewhere. It's a super lightweight material so is perfect for hot countries. Also, you can see that I have a cute little Nica bag, I have had this bag for about 5 years. I love it and it comes out every time I go on holiday, it's just a perfect size and has the perfect amount of pockets. 

What acessories do you like to try out on holiday?