Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Life | Goodbye August

Dear August,

I didn't write again last month and I'm sorry. I was on holiday at the start of July and then the rest of the month just ran away with me, I don't really have a decent excuse for not writing. Although I've finally included some pictures of my Potter tattoos for you! These were taken probably an hour or two after I'd had them done, they're now all healed but I just haven't taken any new pictures if I'm honest.

If I'm honest August the Potterhead within really did take over this month. With the Cursed Child coming out on July 31st really you were set up to be a Potter month naturally, but me and my cousin also managed to get tickets to see the Cursed Child next November and I'm genuinely so excited! It still doesn't feel real yet though. This also made me definitely want to get my hands on some prints for my room and I couldn't resist these beautiful prints from fellow blogger Tarnya who blogs over at sweetallure.co.uk and has her very own Etsy store over at etsy.com/uk/shop/SweetAllureShop which I highly recommend!

Me and Ryan have finally booked to get away and we're actually flying out to Amsterdam tomorrow for 4 nights. I'm so happy to be finally getting away even if it is just for 4 nights, with how this year has been it's been long awaited and believe me I'll make sure I enjoy every single second of it.

Ryan also bought a proper camera this month we also went out for the day to try it out. So being the biggest child in the world naturally where else would we go, obviously Yorkshire Wildlife Park. I got to see Polar Bears and we also got to Squirrel Monkeys. I literally had no idea what a Squirrel Monkey was but oh my god I was given the cutest answer in the world!

Anyway, I'm off to get everything prepared for flying tomorrow so I'll see you on Tuesday morning!

Beka. xo

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Life | Buff & Butter Essential Oils


Who doesn't love essential oils? Personally I think they're wonderful; they have so many uses from aromatherapy, skincare, to just helping your house smell nice. You can become so creative with essential oils they're beautiful. However, if I'm honest I don't see essential oils available in many places to buy, and when I do they're either really tiny bottle or they just don't look very good quality.

I was given the chance to work with Buff & Butter* and test out some of their essential oils, and of course I couldn't resist! I was able to pick out the five essential oils that I wanted to try, which wasn't easy to do seeing as Buff & Butter have 54 essential oils to chose from.. I didn't even know that many essential oils existed! I love how Buff & Butter have a stopper on the bottle of their essentials oils so that you're not wasting any product. Lets be honest if you're as clumsy as me these little bottles are really easy to knock over and you can potentially waste so much product, but I feel so much safer knowing that I have a stopper on and it really helps control how much oil you use too!

The first essential oil I knew I'd be wanting was Tea Tree, naturally. Everybody knows that tea tree is basically magical and it can do everything, but I mainly wanted it for those days when I'm having really bad skin days. On these days what I do is mix a couple of drops of the tea tree oil into my night cream and massage it into my skin and let it work it's magic overnight and that seems to work for me. I know there is a lot of debate over whether you should apply tea tree oil directly to skin which is why I mix it in with my night cream. I'm also about to start using this on my back and shoulders, so stay tuned for an update! I also knew I'd definitely be wanting to pick up the Lavender essential oil because my sleep lately has been so poor. I have a spray I use on my pillow most nights, but on those nights where I'm really struggling I've been placing a few drops of lavender oil onto the top corners of my pillow and it's been sending me into the most beautiful sleep ever. According to the Buff & Butter website apparently Lavender is also meant to be good for skin irritation, so I'm tempted to introduce this into my skincare also.

I chose Citronella mainly for my Mum because she absolutely hates insects in the summer, so I chose that one so she could go crazy repelling insects, along with every other way she knows how. Again, I've since learnt that it's meant to be good for oily skin so I might be checking back in with an update on if that's worked for me. I chose Ylang Ylang because it's a scent I've always used growing up and it's a definite favourite of mine. It's another scent that I find really relaxing and soothing, so I mix a few drops of this in with my body butter to help soothe my skin further and also just to give my skin that little something extra, because why not?

That left me with one more option and I really didn't know that any other essential oils existed really, so I just went for a scent that I thought sounded fun. I chose Grapefruit because it's a definite favourite of mine, and after reading about it on the Buff & Butter site I didn't realise it also had such good properties. Grapefruit is definitely that wake me up and pick me up scent, so some mornings I'll add a few drops of this to the water I'm about to wash my face with and I'll definitely be having a bath with this when I'm back from travelling from Amsterdam next week as a pick me up!

The best thing as well is that these are super affordable.. Prices range from £1.50-£4.45 for a 10ml bottle right up to £7.20-£24.85 for a huge 100ml bottle! I feel like I now have my own mini spa at home just by having a few bottles of essential oils, but just adding a few drops really can make a huge difference!

*I was sent this product for free in return for a review. I have not been paid for this post in anyway, all opinions remain my own and have not been influenced in anyway.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Friday First | L'Oreal Pure Clay Masks

So clay seems to be the latest craze in beauty at the moment. We all know how good clay is for our skin, and being a girl who suffers from oily skin clay is definitely one of my best friends. When I saw that L'Oreal were released their Pure Clay Face Masks which all contained three different clays, all enriched with something different designed to target a different area of skin care I knew they would be something I had to get my hands on.

The first mask that I knew I wanted to get my hands on would be the Purity Mask. A mask that's "enriched with eucalyptus extract", apparently "known for its purifying properties". The Purity mask has a "creamy texture" that "works deep into the pores, leaving skin purified and matte-looking, without drying it out" (loreal-paris.co.uk). I've tried many masks that claim to leave skin looking matte, they're usually very dry and can leave my skin feeling very tight and very stripped. The Purity Mask actually didn't do this, my skin was left feeling clean and refreshed which was a really nice feeling from a face mask and that feeling actually lasted more than one day.

I also knew I desperately wanted to try the Detox Mask, and luckily for me when I picked these up they were on offer for £5 each in Boots so how could I resist picking them both up. The detox mask is "enriched with black charcoal which acts like a magnet to draw out impurities". I've always known that charcoal is great for blemish prone skin so I knew that this was a mask that would work well for me. The Detox masks also has a "creamy texture" that "works deep into the pores, leaving the skin looking clarified and beautified" (loreal-paris.co.uk). Draw out impurities this face mask definitely can do. I almost avoid using face masks regularly because of how much they can draw out my impurities. The detox mask seemed to be able to draw out my impurities in a way that made them easy to manage but not make them ridiculously noticeable though, so definitely a winner.

The packaging of these masks is a huge winner for me, I'm in love with the glass pots I think it adds such a classy, upmarket fee to such an affordable product and it makes you feel like you're buying a product that really is doing something good for your skin. I can't say I'm crazy about the cardboard packaging, there is an insane amount of wastage there however. I love the little touch of a lid being placed over the mask as well as the screw on lid; yes these masks are thick but there not so thick that they wouldn't run all over the place and get all over the lid, it's just a nice touch. For the first time ever I multi-masked, I never mix face masks but I really enjoyed the effect of applying each mask where it was needed most. I've also used each all over my face and both times they've worked wonderfully well. L'Oreal says you can get 10 applications out of these masks, however I found that I really didn't need a lot of product and that a thin layer of these masks really went a long way so I think you'd be able to stretch that number of applications if you tried.

Will I continue to use the L'Oreal Purity Masks? Definitely. I like how my skin has felt every single time I've used them so far and I like how each mask is specifically targeted for a different skin concern. I also like the fact that with them being in a jar I can control how much I use and not waste any.
Would I repurchase the L'Oreal Purity Masks? They usually retail for £8.99 each which I know for some people might be a little extreme for a face mask. I'm not entirely sure at the minute because I think there are plenty of face masks out there that include clay and do the same thing. They might be something that I pick up when I notice that they're on offer.
Would I recommend the L'Oreal Purity Masks? I think so. If you're looking for a face mask that isn't going to leave your skin feeling dry and stripped then definitely give these a go. If you're looking for a face mask that's targeted towards a specific skin concern then definitely give these a go.
Overall score out of 5? A 3. A little really goes a long way, a thin layer allows them to dry quickly and evenly on the skin. The packaging is sleek, beautiful and allows you to really control how much you use and avoid wastage. So far my skin is loving them and I'm enjoying the results. I'm not sure on the price tag though, I do think there are face masks out there that do a similar thing for a lot cheaper.

Have you tried any of the L'Oreal Purity Masks? Would you ever try any of the Purity Masks? Do you think there are face masks out there that are similar to these for cheaper? Let me know!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Beauty | Burt's Bees


Burt's Bees is one of those brands that I've always wanted to try, but I've never really picked anything up from them. I'm not really sure why, maybe it could have something do with the fact that one lip balm costs more than £3.50 and they're so easy to pick up for less than £1.

I was in Boots the other week and saw this adorable little beehive looking jar reduced from £8.99 to £5 on my way to the till and I just couldn't resist! Packed in alongside a little pack of wildflower seeds were 2 lip balms and a mini hand salve, the perfect way to try some pieces out!

The first thing I tried was the hand salve. My hands are currently suffering a little bit from being washed so much at work so on my days off I'm trying to really give them a little bit of TLC. Burt's Bees hand salve is a lot more solid than I'm used to so you're not able to use it like you would a typical hand cream. The best way I found to use the hand salve is to use it specifically on the dry areas and massage it in. A little goes a long way to ensure your hands aren't too greasy and you can actually do stuff after you've applied it.

Two flavours of lip balm included were a honey lip balm and a vitamin E & peppermint lip balm. Naturally the first lip balm I just had to try was the honey flavour, and oh my god I was not disappointed. It was everything I could have wanted, it was literally like applying solid honey to my lips which would literally be heaven for me. The vitamin E & peppermint is a nice change in a mint lip balm, theres a definite nice hint of peppermint but it's not the typical overpowering mint flavour. Both of these lip balms are definitely soothing and didn't feel my lips feeling like they'd got a layer on, instead the lip balms sank in and felt my lips hydrated and protected.

So overall I've definitely fallen in love with the products from Burt's Bees that I've tried and I still have a wish list of so many other products from them that I can't wait to get my hands on and try!

Friday, 19 August 2016

Friday First | Always With Love


"The next much-anticipated romantic chapter in Billy and Sophie's love story from bestselling author Giovanna Fletcher.

Sophie's got used to being the girlfriend of Billy Buskin, the biggest movie star in the world. Sort of.

But when she and Billy take a trip to visit his family in Los Angeles, she quickly discovers she's totally unprepared for the chaos of Hollywood, the paparazzi and Billy's controlling mother.

And when Billy extends his stay in LA, leaving Sophie to fly home to Rosefont Hill alone, it seems there's more than just miles between them.

Now Sophie must decide if they can overcome their differences for good. Because not every love story lasts the distance..."

Such a long overdue book review, I honestly feel like I haven't done one of these in such a long time. In fact I don't feel like I've sat down and just read a book for such a long time.

You all know my love affair with Giovanna Fletcher and her writing, and you all know how desperate I was to return to Billy and Sophie to just find out what they were up to! Believe me, Giovanna did not disappoint me on this. When Giovanna announced that she was writing a new book I knew I'd end up buying it no matter what because I love Giovanna's writing style; as soon as she announced that she was writing Always With Love that would be revisiting Billy and Sophie I just had to preorder it because I couldn't miss out on it and I knew I'd instantly love it.

I saved Always With Love for while I was on holiday because I knew I'd have a bit of downtime to be able to sit down and really get my teeth stuck into it, but I really didn't expect to fly through it in just three nights! What I love about Giovanna's writing style is that she keeps it so real and the characters are super easy to relate to. You feel like you're in LA and Rosefont with Sophie the entire time, and you go through every single thing with her both good and bad.

Giovanna reminds you in Always With Love that relationships are not easy, and if distance is involved then they definitely can become even harder. Giovanna doesn't romanticise Sophie and Billy's relationship, which sounds a little bit silly but she writes them as a real couple who have their fair share of difficulties which is really refreshing to read. Giovanna just has a magical writing style and I always jump for joy when she announces a new book, also without spoiling anything.. I finally got the ending I was waiting for! I'll never say no to more Sophie and Billy though.

Would I recommend Always With Love? Definitely! If you're a fan of Giovanna's books and you haven't yet read Always With Love then you definitely should pick this up and have a read. If you're looking for a new read then Giovanna is also a name that I will always recommend to people because she's absolutely fantastic and so easy to read.

Would I re-read Always With Love? Oh definitely I will. It's another addition to Sophie and Billy's story which I'm in love with, but it also works perfectly as a stand alone story if you haven't had a chance to read the other story before Always With Love. Also Giovanna's writing style means that I could read this forever and a day!
Overall score out of 5? A very high 4. I got the ending that I've been wanting for a very long time and Giovanna kept the story very real and very relatable. Again, as always with Sophie, Billy and Giovanna's writing I'm always craving more...


Have you read Always With Love? Have you read anything by Giovanna Fletcher? Let me know!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Beauty | Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturiser


I love a good body moisturiser and a good body butter, but I'm so lazy and I really cannot be doing with how they can get slightly messy and get everywhere it seems.

Now I know that the Vaseline spray moisturisers have been out for what seems like forever, and I'm literally the last person turning up to this party. But I don't like to think of it as being late to the party, I like to think of it as waiting for any hype to die down and being able to try a product out fairly and give it a honest try.

I can honestly say I didn't really have high hopes for this moisturiser, I know this sounds a little bit strange. What could possible go wrong with a spray moisturiser? Well I wasn't sure how much product would be distributed at a time and if I'd be wasting a load of product and I've never actually tried any Vaseline skin care before, so I had a few doubts.

Now I can't lie, the one thing that has definitely put me off picking up the Vaseline spray moisturiser before is the price. It usually retails for £5.99, which for 190ml of product that you could go through incredibly quickly seems a bit much for me. I picked this up when it was on offer in Boots for around £2 I believe so that I could finally give it a go.

Overall it's a great product; you really don't need a lot. Two even sprays on each leg is more than enough for your legs to feel fully moisturised with no product wasted and that moisturised feeling lasts all day long. It's definitely not a greasy product and you really can get dressed instantly and be on your way. Would I buy this at full price for £5.99? Probably not, purely because at the minute I have far too many body butters and moisturisers to work through. However this is such an easy product to use and such little product is wasted that I definitely might change my mind once I've made a decent dent in that pile.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Friday First | One Heck Of A Blot


We all know how much I love a good Soap & Glory product, although amazingly I've never tried any of their makeup products. Shocking right? The One Heck Of A Blot powder is the one powder that everyone tells you that you must try and I'm amazed it's actually taken me so long to finally get my hands on if I'm being honest.

One Heck Of A Blot is Soap & Glory's "super-translucent mattifying powder". It claims to be able to offer "world-class shine control and oil-absorption" while being "ultra-light" and while giving "skin a traceless, smooth, velvety finish". One Heck Of A Blot is only available in one shade, however claims to be suitable for al skin types and skin tones. It claims to be so light weight that one sweep of powder across "your nose, forehead and chin - or anywhere you want to shine no more" is more than enough (boots.com).

So is One Heck Of A Blot that lightweight and that mattifying? Okay so maybe testing it out on the second hottest day of the year probably wasn't the best idea to begin with. Basically it wasn't so much oil-absorption, more like literally everything was melting off my face and the powder was just making me look less of a disco ball. On the normal days when I'm just at my normal oily levels and not melting like I have been this powder really does work wonders and holds my makeup all day long. I use it to set my foundation in the morning and I top up throughout the day when I'm starting to shine a little. I swear by Rimmel's Stay Matte powder and it will always be my go to daily powder, however I think I'll be reaching for One Heck Of A Blot on those days where I need my makeup to hang in there a little bit longer or I have an occasion.

Will I continue to use One Heck Of A Blot? Definitely. You only need a little bit of powder and you're whole face and makeup are totally refreshed and ready to carry on facing the world. Even in this mini heatwave it's helped me to look a little more presentable than I would have been otherwise.
Would I repurchase One Heck Of A Blot? With a price tag of £12 I can definitely say that's what stopped me picking this up for so long. Although with only a little bit of product being needed I think this powder will last me a lifetime, but I'd definitely pay £12 again for this powder.
Would I recommend One Heck Of A Blot? Definititely. If you're on the hunt for a powder that is going to keep you matte all day long but not make your makeup look cakey then this is definitely the powder you are looking for!
Overall score out of 5? A 4. I don't use the little puff that is supplied in the compact and I apply it with my powder brush instead. You lose a little bit of product when doing this and you do have to go in a few times to freshen up, but it's not too much trouble.

Have you tried One Heck Of A Blot? Would you ever try One Heck Of A Blot? Do you think there is a powder out there that is similar to this? Let me know!

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Beauty | If You Like Piñita Coladas


Okay so if you know me at all or ask anyone who knows me then they will tell you that a Piña Colada is definitely my drink of choice. It's the cocktail I will always go for, when I'm in Costa I will always get a Tropical Fruit Cooler when it's warm because it tastes just like a Piña Colada, so could you imagine my excitement when it was announced that The Body Shop were releasing their very own Piñita Colada range!

I somehow still haven't had a chance to get my hands on every thing from this range, every single time I walk into The Body Shop or I look online the two pieces that I still want to try from this range still seem to be out of stock, so I'm keeping my eyes peeled for the body sorbet and the body scrub.

I have been able to get my hands on the shower gel and the body butter which I have been loving throughout the past few weeks. Let's start with the Piñata Colada Shower Gel, it's a soap free shower gel which lathers up incredibly well, it takes a few moments of working it up but once you get it going it lathers up really, really well. The beauty of this shower gel being soap free is that you're left feeling squeaky clean but your skin isn't left feeling tight and stripped like some soaps and shower gels can do to your skin. Just like everything in this range it smells great and you feel like you're on holiday the minute you use it. Unfortunately with the shower gel the scent can be swallowed up by any other scent you apply on top of it, but if you don't apply any other scent or if you follow it with anything else from the Piñita Colada range you'll be smelling like a tropical paradise all day long!

The Piñita Colada Body Butter is the biggest surprise I've ever tried. It looks like a creamy texture and it is compared to a lot of body butters that I've tried, but it's still also very solid in texture. I'd describe it more like a whipped cream texture, but it's still incredibly lightweight and sinks into the skin with such little effort. A little goes a long way and the moisture that it provides is so long lasting it stays around till the next day. The scent again is incredible, and once again you're left feeling like a tropical paradise!

I'm slightly heartbroken that this is a limited edition range because it's very quickly become one of my favourites from The Body Shop, I'll definitely be stocking up on this before it disappears!

Friday, 5 August 2016

Friday First | Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


"It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places."



I promise I'm going to keep this short and sweet because I know that people are either really, really bored of hearing about Harry Potter or somehow haven't had a chance to read it yet so I don't want to spoil it for anyone who doesn't want to have it spoiled for them.

I know there has been a lot of divide amongst this book this week but let me just set the record straight, I absolutely loved it. Okay so I'm probably slightly biased because I'm one of the biggest Harry Potter fans ever. Don't get me wrong the plot wasn't perfect, and I can appreciate what was wrong with the story and I can see why people might have their issues with it but I really enjoyed it personally.

I think the story was a really good development of the story we were left with, to say we're revisiting Harry and his family nineteen years later. It was really fun seeing Harry in the father role, purely because it was a role I never envisaged Harry Potter in. I loved how classic scenes were revisited in a very sensitive and clever way and the emotion just pours from the page. Character development is something that jumps from the pages; with both characters that we know oh so well and characters that are very new to us and that we're taking under our wing and learning to love.

I'm writing this on the Tuesday as The Cursed Child came out on the Sunday and I've seen mixed reviews all over Twitter and I've read mixed reviews online and in every single paper it seems. I personally loved the script, and I knew full well that it was a script because surprise I'd done my research and JK Rowling also made it really clear in February it was the script being released. At many points while reading it all I could think was how a certain scenes would be portrayed on stage, because in my head I was imagining them so amazingly. I also think that Jack Thorne has done justice to the Harry Potter universe; I think he's been able to take us back to the Harry Potter nineteen years later in such a beautiful way.

Would I recommend Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? If you're a Harry Potter fan then obviously The Cursed Child is an absolute must; it's a natural progression of the story. However it works quite well as a stand alone story too which is really quite interesting and it's been done very well. I've seen a lot of young children buying the Cursed Child which makes me incredibly happy because Harry Potter really is reaching a new generation.

Would I re-read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Let's be honest, when it comes to my yearly re-read of the Harry Potter series the Cursed Child will definitely be added to the list. Like I've already said I think it was a great natural progression of the story and I really enjoyed it.
Overall score out of 5? An incredibly high 4. We got to see Harry, Ron and Hermione all grown up and we got to meet new characters who we got to take under our wing and fall in love with them. I read it in 3 and a half hours, so I'm now desperate to see how it would all unfold on stage.


Have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Have you been lucky enough to see it live yet? What are your thoughts on the Cursed Child? Let me know!