Sunday, 28 May 2017

Life | A Much Needed Escape

If you take anything away from this post; I want it to be this. Music is our happy place, it's our safe place, it brings us together no one will ever tear us apart.

You all know I'm moving house so you're going to have to put up with the subpar photo for this week! I'm also loving life at Slam Dunk today, so I'm treating you to a second blog post this week! You'll have seen my Instagram post earlier this week where I was telling you all how much I was loving the new single from the local band to me Venetian. My life is now in boxes, and while I've been packing up 20 years worth of memories I've definitely needed some background noise; most music hasn't been cutting this for me and I've been turning to podcasts a hell of a lot.

Echo is different, it's a song I've had stuck in my head since I first heard it and it's a song I'm wanting to play out loud every time I hear it. Echo isn't like anything else I have in my library; Venetian have three very distinct voices, all which come across beautifully on Echo, but all equally marry together perfectly. If you're looking for a song that is easy listening, but also stands out a mile above the rest then you need to listen to this song.

So where can you find Venetian? Well, right here; Official Site | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramEcho Video

Friday, 26 May 2017

Friday First | Newtons Labs Skincare

Nothing is genuinely more exciting than a brand that you're already quite fond of contacting you and asking you if you'd like to review some of their products. Let me be honest, when I'm travelling in between home and Leeds all the time, skin care needs to be accessible for me; so I just simply borrow whichever face wash Ryan's Mum has in the bathroom... Don't say I'm never honest with you all! So, Newtons Labs just happens to be the brand that more often than not I will reach for when I'm at Ryan's. When the lovely Rhiannon told me that they would be sending me out some samples to try, I really did not expect full sized products to try!

Let's start with the product I'm already most familiar with, the T-Zone Blackhead Fighting Scrub that "deeply cleanses pores and helps clear out spots" by using "natural exfoliants [to] unblock and visibly leave the skin fresh and radiant from day one". All which the magic ingredient "tea tree tackles spots head on". I always follow up with the T-Zone Clear Pore Facial Wash, enriched with tea tree and salicylic acid as it can then "help prevent spots and spot-causing bacteria". The beauty of this was it that as well as cleaning my skin, it also works to "prevent the build-up of dead skin cells", "guard against over dry skin" and "leave great-looking and shine free skin". The next little wonder product I was kindly sent is the T-Zone Skincare Spot Zapping Gel which "rapidly targets, prevents and calms spots and blemishes" as it "combines naturally acne-fighting tea tree and witch hazel with skin-clearing salicylic acid... in just 4 hours!". Now, what really caught my eye was the T-Zone Skincare Charcoal Black Cleansing Wipes. I personally haven't used face wipes for years, but these promise to "effectively cleanse the skin, remove makeup residue instantly and absorb dirt and excess oil", so I have high hopes (!

So let's break all of that down. The Blackhead Fighting Scrub is definitely one of the softer exfoliators I have ever used on my skin! I can definitely feel the exfoliant effect on my skin, but my skin doesn't feel half scrubbed to death and doesn't feel sensitive afterwards either. Despite it being super gentle, I can definitely tell the difference in my skin and those annoying dry skin flakes don't seem as obvious anymore! My skin definitely looks fresher, but does it clear out spots? It helps keep them at bay and keeps them from coming to head; but just like everything else, it doesn't seem to stop those horrible deep ones. But, it does help reduce the swelling. So I naturally follow with the Clear Pore Facial Wash, which doesn't leave my skin feeling stripped and tight, a definite nice touch! I can honestly, hand on heart, say that my skin has not felt dry since I introduced both of these face washes into my daily routine; something that with combination skin can be a nightmare to manage.

So the two products that definitely caught my eye. The Spot Zapping Gel reminds me very much of products that I have tried in the past which have promised to target my spots quickly. The Zapping Gel claims to be invisible, now I personally didn't find this and I personally don't like wearing this kind of products under my makeup. To make this work for me, I use this at night to let it work its magic without being disturbed. This is my wonder product, I can't lie. I can go to bed with the biggest demon on my face, but by morning it is definitely under control and has been reduced visibly... As you can imagine this works wonders for those really deep, but sore spots. The Charcoal Black Cleansing Wipes were something I wondered how I was going to fit into my routine. I don't use face wipes to remove makeup anymore, but I tried using these after I'd removed my makeup with my micellar water. The amount of makeup that is still removed with these is absolutely shocking; it's also so weird seeing all that makeup on a black face wipe. My skin feels great after using the Charcoal wipes, something I definitely wasn't expecting as face wipes usually leave my skin feeling horrendously dry.

So has Newtons Labs replaced all my current skin care? Definitely not, but instead I've fit it in quite nicely. Both of the face washes fit into both my morning and evening routine for cleansing, and the zapping gel and cleansing wipes have slipped into my evening routine so easily I haven't even noticed the extra few minutes!

Will I continue to use Newtons Labs skincare products? Definitely! They have fit into my current skincare routine so easily, I don't even have to think about reaching for them.
Will I repurchase Newtons Labs skincare products? They are so easy to pick up in my local Superdrug I'd be stupid not to. I'm also really looking forward to trying out some of the other products they have in their range.
Would I recommend Newtons Labs skincare products? I personally think that Newtons Labs is a totally underrated brand that not enough people are talking about. They're super affordable, and their products contain all of the magic ingredients that are brilliant for your skin! I'm going to be telling everybody that whether they have an established skin care routine, or are just looking to get into the skincare then this is a brand they need to consider.
Overall score out of 5? A 4. Naturally, it isn't the wonder product that I always dream of and it hasn't completely cured my skin. However, it's come pretty damn close. Clearly the products I'm using for my skin are working some form of almost miracle, and Newtons Labs has definitely had it's part in this!

I was sent these products for free in return for a review. I have not been paid for this post, all opinions remain my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Friday First | Batiste 2in1 Shampoo & Conditioner

Let me introduce you to one of the worst hair products I have ever used on my hair, and I genuinely mean I regretted using this the minute I woke up. So ask anyone for a dry shampoo recommendation, usually, Batiste is the name you will be given. I can't lie, when I heard that they were coming out with a 2in1 dry shampoo and conditioner I was excited and couldn't wait to see how it worked, but I was also incredibly dubious at the same time. When it was released, I definitely wasn't keen on the price tag for something I wasn't overly convinced on, so I was so relieved when I received a mini in my Birchbox! So, Batiste promise that their 2in1 Dry Shampoo & Conditioner is "perfect for dry, coloured and curly hair" and promises that their "new formula refreshes roots and nourishes ends". For this to happen you just have to "spray... from roots to ends""give your roots a massage to add some volume and get rid of any excess oil" and "work it through with your hands or a brush" ( The new 2in1 has the scent of vanilla and passion flower, which is suddenly my new favourite scent. Also, if a brand is going to boast about "18-hour conditioning" then they've got a lot to live up to (!

Seriously, I've never woken up with greasier hair than when I used this. I always put my dry shampoo in just before I go to bed so that it can really soak in and be absorbed overnight. Naturally, I put all of my faith into my dry shampoo to work it's magic overnight; not to make me look like I've not washed my hair in two weeks. No amount of massaging my hair further saved this, and I had no option but to use my trusty dry shampoo that has never let me down before to save the day. I can't say the ends of my hair felt anymore nourished either, in fact, you wouldn't even know that I'd applied this to the ends of my hair.

Will I continue to use Batiste's 2in1 Shampoo & Conditioner? That's not even an option, it went straight in the bin after I woke up with 3-week old looking hair. The only thing about this that I enjoyed is the scent, it did absolutely nothing for my hair.
Will I repurchase Batiste's 2in1 Shampoo & Conditioner? I'll never even think about it. For nearly £5 I'm expecting miracles, purely because I use a couple of dry shampoos which are just over or just under £1 and they work incredibly well on my hair without even a sign that I've used dry shampoo.
Would I recommend Batiste's 2in1 Shampoo & Conditioner? Oh hell no. I've got so many people telling me how it's one of the best things they've ever used on their hair and I'm not quite sure how. I'm not quite sure what I'm missing, but I'd definitely recommend everyone to stay away from this.
Overall score out of 5? A 1. The scent was the only saving grace of this product. I went to sleep with hair that looked fine and woke up looking like I'd not washed my hair for 3 weeks; not a great look trust me. For me, conditioner is something that can only be left in while hair is damp, not added when hair is dry.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Friday First | Pixi Glow Mist

So while repurchasing the famous Glow Tonic from Pixi, I spied the shelf full of the mists and the biphase Glow Mist definitely caught my eye. Looking at just how the Glow Mist worked it promises to give "a glowing, luminous and smooth complexion" as the whole bottle is packed full of "13 natural oils plus propolis, aloe vera and fruit extracts". The oils included aren't actually mentioned, so instead I looked the ingredients list and oils such as evening primrose oil, jojoba oil, macadamia oil, and lavender oil filled me with total confidence. So the Glow mist promises that it "hydrates, protects and nourishes" as well as boasting the ability that it "refreshes makeup, hydrates and adds glow" and that it can also "set[s] makeup, adds a dewy finish and protects skin". Now I have tried everything to add oil into my daily routine, and I have failed miserably. So for me, Glow Mist with its basic instructions of "use in the AM and PM or when needed, shake to mix, close eyes and mist over face & neck" sounded like the product that was perfect for me (

So has it been the easiest way for me to add oil into my daily routine? Most definitely! The best thing about Glow Mist is that it sinks into my skin easily and quick, and it doesn't leave my skin with the layer of oil till it sinks in. I have tried the Glow Mist in every way it states it can be used. I've tried using Glow Mist twice a daily but, as I mentioned in my Bio-Oil review, my skin can't handle using oil twice a day, so I tend to use my Glow Mist after I take my makeup off and let it sink in overnight. I have also tried using Glow Mist as a setting spray, but it just didn't set or hold my makeup in place the way I needed it to. Although, misting my face with Glow Mist after I've applied my makeup does give me a natural looking glow.

Will I continue to use Pixi's Glow Mist? I use my Glow Mist on a daily basis and I've barely made a dent in my bottle, so I'll be using this up till every last drop is gone. I love how my skin has improved since I introduced Glow Mist into my routine.
Will I repurchase Pixi's Glow Mist? Definitely. I love how it's made adding oil into my routine a breeze and how my skin has improved. For £16 I've barely used any product and I've been using this daily so it's definitely worth the price. I'm also already eyeing up some of the other mists from Pixi that I'd like to try.
Would I recommend Pixi's Glow Mist? Without a doubt. If you're looking for a way to easily introduce oil into your skincare routine then definitely give it a go; you don't even have to think about what you're doing. So many different oils are packed into one little bottle you really can't go wrong.
Overall score out of 5? A 4. I can't use Glow Mist in every way that it states you can do, and it definitely cannot be used as a setting spray. However, the benefits that I've seen to my skin since introducing this into my routine daily outweighs absolutely everything.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Skin Care | Tony Moly Sheet Masks

Okay so, not long after moving my cousin and his wife came to visit us and they bought some bits and pieces with them. Just imagine my excitement when I discovered that they'd left me some TONYMOLY sheet masks! Korean beauty is something that I have been interested in for years and I have done so much reading into it, and of course, TONYMOLY will always be a brand you come across when reading into Korean beauty and skincare.

Alicia kindly gave me two I'm REAL sheet masks; one for clear skin and one for skin purifying. The first one I tried was the Clear Skin sheet mask. Clear Skin is a sheet mask that is infused with rice extracts and natural oils, designed to provide elasticity and brightening effects for the skin. Then one night in bed while feeling a bit shit, I threw on the Skin Purifying sheet mask which is infused with mineral oils and fermented rice wine extracts, that is designed to refine skin for a smoother complexion. So both sheet masks work in the same way; make sure your skin is clean and dry, apply the mask for 20-30 minutes and pat the excess into your skin.

So the TONYMOLY sheet masks are made up of 3 layers that are soaked in three different types of essence; they come in water-type, microemulsion type, and milky lotion type, all of which are designed to maximise the hydration for your skin. I genuinely have no idea which essence I had in either. Both of these masks were freezing cold, which is insanely soothing on the skin and it's something I really do enjoy. TONYMOLY give you the tip to stick them in the fridge for an extra cooling and soothing effect... Unless you like feeling like you've stepped into a freezer I really think you can skip this step. These masks are absolutely saturated so you have so much excess left over when you remove this, now I leave mine to just sink in naturally.

Quick Update: I was worried about the availability of TONYMOLY products in the UK, however instantly I've found that they are available on Cult Beauty, Selfridges or a website dedicated to Korean beauty products!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Friday First | Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm

Let's talk all about this tiny Emma Hardie cleansing balm! I honestly thought I'd be getting through this insanely quickly with it being so small, but you need so little it's going to last me a lifetime! The Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm "is a balanced daily cleanser that thoroughly cleanses[s] deep in the pores, moisturises and calms all skin types" that also "removes all traces of face and eye make-up and is so pure pure it doubles as a soothing and hydrating mask". The Moringa Cleansing Balm contains so many different ingredients that are good for your skin, let's just list them all;
  • "Grape seed oil and sweet almond oil rich in essential fatty acids help to plump and soften"
  • "Moringa seed extract, wild sea fennel and vitamin E balance, purify and help to minimise the appearance of open pores"
  • "Essential oils of orange, neroli and mandarin rejuvenate and revitalise the skin whilst calming the sense"
  • "Jasmine and rose help to recondition dull, dry, dehydrated and mature skins" (
With this being such a small pot it's the perfect size for travelling with those weekends when I'm at Ryan's in Leeds and it's also really nice to have some of my actual skincare with me, as opposed to just my micellar water and moisturiser. You only need to use the same amount of product as a 5p coin, which at first really didn't look like it would be enough to remove the makeup from my entire face. This definitely sinks into the skin straight away and really does break down all my makeup; however, does it really wash it off? Whether I'm wearing a huge eye look, my winged eyeliner or even just mascara I end up with major panda eye which I struggle to get rid of, even with a muslin cloth. I often have to go back in with an exfoliating kind of wash to make sure that every trace of makeup has been removed. My skin definitely does feel more hydrated after using this cleansing balm, and even more so if I follow it with my muslin cloth. What's also really nice is that despite being infused with many essential oils the scent isn't overwhelming and doesn't affect my skin in the slightest. I haven't yet attempted to use this as an overnight face mask, but I'll update you all on when I do and how my skin feels!

Will I continue to use the Moringa Cleansing Balm? It's currently living in my makeup bag to make sure that it comes with me every other weekend when I travel up to Ryan's as it's such a convenient size to throw in. I enjoy how it makes my skin feel after using it, although my eyeliner is an area where it struggles to not leave me with that much sought after panda eye look.
Will I repurchase the Moringa Cleansing Balm? I highly doubt it, for £38 it doesn't really convince me to turn my back on my trusty cleansing balm from The Body Shop. I feel it does exactly the same job and I can't say my face feels any better or any worse with either.
Would I recommend the Moringa Cleansing Balm? If you're someone who is struggling to find a cleansing balm that works for you then I'd highly recommend you giving this one a go. If you're someone who has highly sensitive skin then I'd definitely give this a go, with all the essential oils it could definitely give your skin what it's missing.
Overall score out of 5? A 4. It definitely cleans my skin deeply, although it does have the tendency to leave me with a panda eye look when I've been wearing heavy eye makeup, nothing that can't be solved with extra cleansing, however. Despite being packed full of every ingredient under the sun which is good for your skin it isn't overpowering and it doesn't irritate your skin. It's definitely one worth trying!