Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Life | Goodbye November

Dear November,

What a photo heavy month you are! It actually looks like I have a life and I do something with my spare time!

As well as my usual work routine you've clearly been the month of Snapchat filters, in fact I have been incredibly active on Snapchat this month... So sorry if I've irritated you with that this month! You've also been the month of photogenic lunches, Christmas drinks and Christmas cups.. I've been for a few more Christmas drink dates but nothing is quite as photengic as a Starbucks red Christmas cup.

Obviously November you were the month for Fantastic Beasts, so the Potterhead within me got to be out in full swing once more. My rota fell so I could go to the midnight showing so I was down there in all my excitement and then later that day I was dragging myself to town on such little sleep to pick up the screenplay, have you seen a more beautiful book?!

Shopping wise you've been a great month for myself; I managed to treat myself to the Marks & Spencer beauty advent calendar, I finally got my hands on those Primark boots I'd been lusting after and TKMaxx have really stepped up their high end makeup game so how could I resist picking up some pieces?!

I ended the month by going to finally see my boyfriend preform live with his band, which turned into some self confessed girlfriend promotion which then turned into a night out in which I've genuinely never felt so hungover in my life.. Seriously, even nuggets didn't fix this hangover...

So you've been a busy month for me November, thank you for making me look like I finally do something other than work. I've finally started my Christmas shopping as well so I'm now not totally unprepared!

Next time we speak I'll be looking back on the entire year which is a little bit scary, but let's hope December doesn't run away from me.

Beka. xo

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Life | Lowercase Coffee Shop

I love finding new places to eat, but I always feel like I'm cheating on an old favourite.. Me and Mum recently discovered Lowercase Coffee Shop in the town where we live and I can honestly say that I'm in love. I've been in to Lowercase quite a few times with my Grandma but we've only ever popped in for a drink but the other week me and my Mum fancied something different for lunch so we thought we'd give it a go.

The first time we popped in both my Mum and me went for the soup of the day which happened to be broccoli and stilton which was absolutely beautiful and was served with a savoury scone; which is a fabulous idea and I'd never think about having a savoury scone with soup! The next time we popped in it was a totally miserable day so I opted for a toasted sandwich, because lets be honest it's my total comfort food on a miserable day.

We haven't yet attempted the huge cakes that they offer just yet, purely because the food is just so incredible and has always filled us up so far! Maybe one day we just need to pop in for just a drink and some cake... Lowercase is such a comfortable little coffee shop we can always spend so much longer in there than originally planned because the atmosphere is just so lovely! The one danger with Lowercase is that it's hidden away in the back of The Alphabet Gift Shop, which is such a beautiful shop my bank account is always in great danger... Maybe I'll do a post on some of the goodies I've picked up from there one day!

Friday, 25 November 2016

Friday First | Rimmel The Only 1




So apparently ever since Rimmel released their Only 1 Matte Lipsticks these little tubes have been like gold dust! I cannot tell you just how many Boots and Superdrugs I had to visit to find one that hadn't completely sold out or that at least had a decent selection of colours left. When I finally managed to find some I can't say I was blown away by the colour selection so I picked up the shades 610 High Flyer and 810 The Matte Factor.

Rimmel's Only 1 Matte Lipstick claims to be "the only 1 matte lipstick that wont let you down" by being "bold matte colour with supreme comfort, moisture and staying power". Rimmel's Only 1 Matte Lipstick is "high coverage, full impact colour and a flawless finish in just one stroke" which promises that the "wow colour you see on the bullet will be the one on your lips"; a pretty bold claim to make if you ask me! Rimmel continue to go on to claim that "the lightweight colour and the comfort will stay true for hours and hours", "so supremely comfortable and moisturising it goes on like a dream. A whole new sensorial experience, you'll just want to keep applying it" (www.boots.com).

Some pretty big claims to make, so lets see how the Only 1 Lipsticks actually stood up to them. Let's start with the colour that's in the bullet will be the high coverage full impact colour on your lips.. Well they're not wrong with that. It's definitely a high coverage lipstick; one stroke gives such intense colour to the lips and you really only need a second coat of both colours to just make the colour more bold and totally opaque. The Matte Factor definitely is the colour you see in the tube, however I'd say High Flyer is more of a lighter colour on the lip than it looks in the bullet; it's definitely closer to the coloured strip on the tube. These are incredibly comfortable lipsticks; they apply insanely easily, they literally just glide on and you just forget you're wearing them so easily. They're not the fastest drying lipsticks, but by the time I'm ready and finally leaving the house it's definitely dried down to matte. These aren't drying, they don't crack and they stay so, so well. These went at least 4 hours before even showing a single sign of any need to touch them up!

I'm not 100% sold on the packaging; I can't quite put my finger on what it is but there's something about it I'm not sure on. I do really like the coloured strip at the bottom to show what colour is in the tube though, that's a nice little touch. These have the typical Rimmel lipstick scent which disappears as soon as the lipstick dries down, so if you're not overly keen on that scent I'd maybe avoid these lipsticks.

Will I continue to use Rimmel's The Only 1 Lipsticks? I'll definitely continue to use the two colours I've got; I think I'll get a lot more use of out High Flyer than I will The Matte Factor if I'm honest, but that's because I've got so many dark lipsticks that I'm preferring at the minute and ironically The Matte Factor is actually on the lighter berry side!
Would I repurchase Rimmel's The Only 1 Lipsticks? I'm not entirely sure. I like these lipsticks; I think for a drugstore matte lipstick they're great, they aren't drying, the colour pay off is great and the staying power is incredible. However, the colour selection in the Matte range isn't fantastic and there aren't any other colours that I have my eye on so I won't be hunting any other colours down.. There's a good chance I'll end up repurchasing High Flyer though because I love that colour!
Would I recommend Rimmel's The Only 1 Lipsticks? I think I would. For a matte lipstick the formula of this is great. They are definitely so moisturising and glide on without a care in the world, the staying power is insane and the colour payoff is something else. For a matte lipstick they aren't drying at all which I know is something a lot of people look for in a matte lipstick, so this is definitely going to be a selling point.
Overall score out of 5? A 3. I love the lipsticks themselves, those I cannot knock. However the range itself isn't fantastic; it doesn't have the best colour selection so you might be a little bit stuck for choice.

Have you tried Rimmel's The Only 1 Lipsticks? What do you think to the colour selection? Do you have any matte lipsticks that you prefer? Let me know!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Beauty | Weleda Skin Food


Lets be honest, send me a notebook when sending me an item out to review then you're instantly on to a winner with me.. Just look how cute that notebook is!

You all know how much I love a good hand cream; firstly I'm a nurse so I'm forever washing my hands so protecting my skin is a must for me, my nails mean far too much to me so I'll protect them in anyway that I can, and also with this colder weather I'm forever applying a hand cream till I'm hurting my hands from applying it so much.

However, Weleda's Skin Food* is something else; it's a multi purpose cream for dry skin so you can use it on your hands, face, elbows, feet or wherever you might need a little something extra! Skin Food is enriched with chamomile, viola tricolor, and calendula which are all included in a thick base of oils and beeswax which everyone knows are heaven to the skin!

Now as much as I'm loving skin food for my hands, it really does take a lot of working into the skin because it's so thick. As well as having to really work it in, it doesn't sink in straight away so you can't do anything straight away; so although Skin Food isn't the best to just throw in my bag for when I'm on the go, it is something I really like to use a really thick layer of just before I go to bed to really let it sink in overnight. I quite like the scent, for me the beeswax is the main scent that really comes through and this is a scent that I really enjoy. I haven't yet used it on any other areas, but keep your eye on my social media because I'll definitely keep you updated!

*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, 18 November 2016

Friday First | Soap & Glory No Clogs Allowed


So lately I've been having some major skin issues and I've needed some real TLC! Nothing I've been trying seems to have been working and my usual routine is keeping things ticking over, but nothing seems to have been touching those really painful, deep, angry face demons. I've always only ever heard good things about the No Clogs Allowed mask from Soap & Glory so I grabbed it while I was in Boots the other week and basically prayed for a miracle.

Soap & Glory's No Clogs Allowed is a face mask that "is perfect for weekly use", designed "strategically for oily/combination skin" and is perfect for use "one areas prone to blackhead build-up... more often as a deep-oil-emulsifying, detoxifying face mask and all-round scrubby wonder!" Working to "deep clean and melt away pore-plugging sebum" No Clogs Allowed also "softens keratinised skin cells to prevent breakouts and blemishes".  No Clogs Allowed is a self heating face mask which "uses heat to emulsify stubborn pore-plugging grease" and "changes colour when fully activated on the face" (www.boots.com).

So I personally found that the self heating element of No Clogs Allowed starts as soon as I apply it to my skin; I also can't really say it lasts. Which isn't really a problem but it's also slightly disappointing too. So the instructions are pretty simply; massage the mask onto your skin then just wet your hands and scrub the mask until it turns from white to blue all over. Like I've already said as soon as I start to massage the mask on the self heating element is there but also I can definitely feel the scrub working it's magic. However, I can definitely say that no matter how many times I have tried I cannot get this mask to turn blue. I kind of end up with blue streaks across my face but the mask stays white.. What am I doing wrong? I'm also loving that I only have to leave it on for 5 minutes! I have noticed that for the next day or two after using this mask when I apply anything to my face everything tingles which I'm pretty sure isn't totally normal but it's an interesting feeling! But my face does feel totally smooth and soft like a baby's butt after using this mask and I have noticed the pores on my nose are looking a hell of a lot better, so it's all worth it!

Will I continue to use Soap & Glory's No Clogs Allowed? Using a mask on a weekly basis is always something I've struggled to do, but for some reason I'm able to stick to it with this one. It might have something to do with the fact that you leave it for 5 minutes, it doesn't get tight and you wash it off? I literally stick this on, jump in the shower and wash it off. There also isn't the whole mess that you usually have with face masks which is quite nice.
Would I repurchase Soap & Glory's No Clogs Allowed? I think I will. Definitely not for the self heating element however, that disappears quite quickly. But my skin does feel a lot better after using this. I'm still suffering from a few really deep face demons lately, but I think they might be stress related so nothing is going to fix those.
Would I recommend Soap & Glory's No Clogs Allowed? I would. If you're on the hunt for a easy use, no mess face mask this is the one you're looking for. It gives my skin a really good clean and sort out on a weekly basis without leaving it feeling completely stripped which is a total bonus. Also you don't have to use that much either, so for £11.50 it's going to last me and I'm going to get my use.
Overall score out of 5? A 4. The self heating element is there, but it disappears so quickly... By the time I've applied it all over my face and scrubbed it to make it blue the heating feeling is totally gone. But my skin feels a lot better after using it, so I can totally overlook that bit of it.

Have you tried Soap & Glory's No Clogs Allowed? Have you tried anything similar? Let me know!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Life | Wax Melts


Candles are 100% my thing, if you know me then you'll know just how my collection continues to grow and how I have a really unhealthy habit of buying more candles quicker than I can burn them.

Something that is definitely making my autumn and is definitely going to take me into those Winter nights and days is my Glade Wax Melt Warmer and all my wax melt. I've never been a huge lover of wax melts; I've heard all the horror stories of the wax melts and tealights, and my Mum herself has had a bad experience so I've always stayed well away. This is why the new electric style wax melt warmers are perfect; plug them in, pop on a wax melt and you're good to go!

Naturally I picked up some Glade's own wax melts, but I've also got some of the Air Wick Life Scents, I've got some cheap wax melts I found in home bargains, naturally I have quite a few of Yankee Candle's wax melts and I'm currently loving a wax pop from Bloom Candles!

The perfect thing about wax melts is you don't have to worry too much about leaving them unattended, the warmer looks more like an ornament which is helpful and for some reason they're also just as comforting for an autumn and winter night! Of course there is something super comforting about a flickering candle, but wax melts are currently my new favourite thing.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Friday First | PS... Make Me Matte!




I've been hovering over trying Primark's beauty range for absolutely ages but I could never quite decide what colour lipsticks I wanted to pick up and I just always ended up walking away. However Primark got me in the way they always do; while queuing up to pay for my items I saw this cute little Make Me Matte gift set for £2.50 and I genuinely couldn't resist!

I'd love to be able to write my normal review where I'm able to compare what the product is meant to do and then what it actually did.. Yeah I can't do that; I've literally got no information about the Primark Matte Lipstick or Lip Pencil. I can't even tell you what colour I've even picked up for if I ever wanted to repurchase either of them! Cause that's not annoying in the slightest Primark...

It's a total risk picking up a kit like this cause I could never be 100% sure of the colour and when I applied it I definitely knew it was never a colour I'd normally go for. It was such a paler, pinkier nude than I'd usually go for but the longer I wore it for the more it grew on me. I'd never usually feel the need to use a lipliner with a lip colour this pale but obviously with it being included I gave it a go. I originally planned to use the pencil to colour in my whole lip to give me a solid base, but I found the pencil to pull slightly on my lips and with the lip pencil being the perfect my lips but better shade for me there was no need. The lipstick was incredibly creamy and applied so smoothly. The scent definitely reminded me of a mixture between Revlon lip products and NYX lip products; with that whole vanilla, sweet scent. Application was smooth and colour wasn't patchy, and the colour dried down to being matte pretty quickly without being drying on the lips. In fact this wasn't drying on the lips at all, I forgot I had it on for most of the day.

I purposely wore this the day I knew we'd be going out for lunch so I could put the lipstick fully to the test through eating and drinking. Despite being a matte lipstick this really does transfer, my teacup had the perfect nude lip print on it all day long. It seemed to hold up pretty well during eating, until I got to cake. As usual it wore away from the middle of my lips first, and then it really started to fade from the edges of my lips. With it being such a perfect nude shade it wasn't as obvious and you could easily get away without having to reapply it if you didn't want to.

Will I continue to use the Make Me Matte kit? It's definitely not the colour I'd go for at this time of year normally, but it's nice to have a nude and more subtle option for those days or nights where I don't want a bold, berry or dark lip. I'll definitely get the use out of the lipstick definitely, the lipliner I'm not so sure.
Would I repurchase the Make Me Matte kit? Definitely. Firstly because I literally have no idea what colour I've bought so it's the only way for me to know for sure which colour I'll have. But if Primark can do other colours in these kits that would be great. There also going to make great little stocking fillers!
Would I recommend the Make Me Matte kit? Yes! If like me you're absolutely useless at pairing lipsticks with the right lipliner then this will be your life saviour! Also, Primark's lipsticks are incredibly creamy and soft and really more people should try them.
Overall score out of 5? A 3. I'm incredibly annoyed that Primark couldn't even put a name on the lipstick or lipliner so I can't go and repurchase them when I've used them up. The lipstick is incredible; I love the texture, scent and feel. The wear is pretty decent and the colour is starting to grow on me.

Have you tried any lipsticks from Primark? Have you tried any other makeup from Primark? Are you a fan of lip kits? Let me know!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Life | Lush Halloween & Christmas 2016 Haul

I've genuinely never been so excited to receive an order in my life. I'm a huge Lush fan; naturally like every other girl out there it seems, but I've not been in there for a while because I actually have a huge Lush pile to work my way through. But with this years Halloween collection and the Christmas collection being released, how could I resist?

So this is Halloween, everybody make a scene... Just because Halloween has been and gone doesn't mean I still can't enjoy the Halloween goodness right? Naturally the first thing I had to pick up was the cutest bath bomb I've ever seen; Monsters' Ball, but I prefer to call him Mike... also what is Halloween without a Pumpkin in bath bomb form? Both of these have scents that I absolutely love; lime, vanilla and cinnamon.. I genuinely couldn't ask for anything more at this time of year. I couldn't resist putting a little scare into my night and picking up the cutest little Boo bath melt! I haven't had the heart to use Boo yet, but I can already feel the cocoa butter within melting slightly on my fingers and it just feels so good. Also, what's Halloween without a little crackle.. Well the Lord of Misrule bath bomb will definitely be doing that with all it's popping candy! As well as scents like spicy herbs and black pepper oil, I'm very excited for the popping candy aspect.

I don't want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing I need... and when I was putting in this whole Lush order I knew that I was definitely going for the big 1kg of Snow Fairy, because seriously what is Christmas without it? Now I don't like Christmas Pudding, but this Luxury Lush Pud bath bomb might just be my saviour this year! I'll never eat a traditional Christmas pudding, but I will melt into this bath bomb while it has the scents of lavender and tonka. What is Christmas without a little Mistletoe? Maybe I'm a little traditionalist at heart... but with the scent of jasmine how could I not be? A classic of favourite of mine at this time of year will always be the Star Dust bath bomb! How can anyone ever expect me to get through Christmas without the scents of vanilla and bergamot? Another classic, because what is Christmas without the Candy Mountain bubble bar, it just goes so well with Snow Fairy naturally! Butterbear is a bath bomb that I will always grab whenever I'm near a Lush store at this time of year; who wouldn't with all his cocoa buttery goodness?

Friday, 4 November 2016

Friday First | Sanctuary Spa

Sanctuary Spa is that brand in Boots that I always saw as the luxury brand and I always wanted growing up, but I never actually had anyone in my family that used Sanctuary Spa for me to steal anything from while I was growing up. So just imagine my excitement while on holiday and I just innocently walked into a shop and saw a few Sanctuary Spa products being sold for definitely a lot less than retail price

The first thing I picked up was the Drift Away Bath Float, now called the Calming Luxury Bath Soak just to confuse us all, because when it comes to sleep I'll take all the help I can right now. The main tops three notes of the bath float are ylang ylang, frankincense and patchouli; all of which are known to reduce tension and anxiety, relieve stress, clarify, and calm. It's also enriched with honey and soybean to make sure that as well as being super relaxed your skin also is super moisturised and conditioned.

So in a bath I absolutely adored this; the scent really fills a room, it lingers on your skin afterwards and my skin just felt incredibly soft after using it. Of course I used this in my bath as close to bed as I possibly could and because the scent lingered on my skin I'd quite often catch the scent again when curling up in bed and it really helped me drift off. Now, I don't always want a bath after a really long day at work, or I don't always have time so I've always taken to using this in the shower. When using it in the shower it had exactly the same effect; my skin felt soft and moisturised and the scent really linger so it really did help me relax further in bed.

The second thing that definitely grabbed my eye was the Correct & Protect Hand Cream SPF 12, because you all know how much I love a good hand cream. So this hand cream has apparently been designed to help reduce ageing and protect hands against sun damage, hence the SPF, as well as wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots.. All that can age hands apparently, and all of are stuff that I definitely didn't think about. When I first used this hand cream I could not place my finger on the scent until I looked at the ingredients and saw that quite a few citrus oils such as orange peel, grapefruit peel, lemongrass and lemon fruit are all included and give it this really beautiful citrus scent.

A lot of this goes a really long way, you really don't need a lot of this hand cream for your hands to feel incredibly moisturised. My skin has felt a lot softer, but also stronger and I've also noticed my cuticles feeling a lot better and looking a lot better too, which is a huge bonus! I managed to pick this up for £3 while I was on holiday and it retails for £10, so I've just got to work out how much I actually love it!

The last thing I grabbed was the Youth Boosting Body Moisturiser Serum, although after some insane searching I've now discovered you can only pick this up as the Youth Boosting Body Butter.. A slight annoyance, but nothing too major. This serum is meant to be able to plump, firm and restore skin to help it look younger and it's moisture is meant to last for 24 hours. Packed with cocoa and macademia oil this smells incredible! I can't say I've noticed a huge difference to the firmness of my skin, it does feel softer after using it and it smells nice so that's always a bonus.

Will I continue to use my Sanctuary Spa products? I've already ran out of the bath float, so I think that shows just how much I loved it. I use the hand cream on a daily basis because it's just so amazing and I use the serum often because it's nice, but I don't reach for it as much as I should, admittedly.
Would I repurchase my Sanctuary Spa products? If I can find the bath float anywhere then I will be buying that stuff in bulk because oh my god it is just incredible. Like I said I love the hand cream, I just need to work out if I love it enough for £10 a go... But it does seem to be going the distance so it could definitely be worth that price tag. The body serum I don't think I would repurchase; I have enough body moisturisers and products that do a similar thing and give me a similar nice feeling. Plus there are a tonne of Sanctuary Spa products that I now need to work my way through.
Would I recommend my Sanctuary Spa products? Definitely. I keep going on about it but oh that bath float was heaven; I never knew that something like a bubble bath could help me to relax so much and sleep just that little bit better. The hand cream is my favourite thing, I love the scent and how my hands smell.
Overall score out of 5? A 4. Sanctuary Spa is a brand that has taken me years to try and I'm now not sure why, I think I've always viewed it as definitely a grown up brand; and it definitely has that feel. But why have they now had to change one of the products and make it impossible to get my hands on and why does a hand cream have a price tag of £10? Oh the joys of being an adult...

Have you tried any of the products from Sanctuary Spa that I've tried? What are your favourite Sanctuary Spa products? Do you have any Sanctuary Spa recommendations? Let me know!