Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Harry Potter Tag

the harry potter tag

Once upon a time I was a pretty big Harry Potter fan and when I spotted this tag over on Danielles blog I knew I had to release my inner witch and give it a go! Wands at the ready? Swish...and....flick!

What’s your favourite book?

Goblet of Fire is probably my favouite, so much was happening in that book! I loved reading about the other wizarding schools and all the characters we were introduced to.

What’s your favourite film?

Prisoner of Azkaban! It’s probably the one I’ve watched the most!

Least favourite book?

Oddly enough I think it’s The Philosophers Stone purely because I had to study it in college. We re-read it so many times and had to study it with such a critical eye that reading it for pleasure was never the same again, I’ve even still got all my essay notes in the margins!

Least favourite film?

Chamber of Secrets. I could never take to this film! It’s easily the one I’ve watched the least.

Parts of the books/films that made you cry?

That scene in Deathly Hallows when Harry is walking to his ‘death’ and all his lost loved ones are with him as he makes his way to the clearing. A book has never made me cry like that before, I was an absolute mess, sobbing into my quilt at 2am!

the harry potter tag

If you could hook up with any character, who would it be?

Bill Weasly? I mean he trains dragons! That’s…hot! (bad pun, I’m sorry!)

Favourite character?

Luna was probably my favouite, I loved how she looked at the world and everything in it, she also had some great quotes. Somewhere between her and Hermione, I found a little of myself in the books.

Least favourite character?

Lavender Brown always annoyed me, and the Patel sisters.

Least favourite line?

Can I say every line in the epilogue?? The whole thing was so bad I’ve had to staple mine shut! I literally threw my book against a wall after reading that, I’d have rather had no epilogue than that. Don’t get me wrong I have huge respect for Rowling and her writing but the epilogue?? It read like really bad fanfiction! And I’ve read (and wrte!) my fair share over the years. The whole thing was just unbelievable cheesy and poorly put together compared to the rest of the series!

What would your patronus be?

I’ve come back to this question so many times, I really don’t know! Maybe a dog? Faithful, loyal, a good friend and fiercely protective over loved ones.

If you could have the Resurrection Stone, Invisibility Cloak or Elder Wand, which would it be and why?

Invisibility cloak! Not going to lie, I would use it to sneak into Walt Disney World!

Which house would you be in?

Ravenclaw. I’ve said this since the beginning, and every internet meme under the sun has agreed! I love reading, learning and staring up at the stars. I think I’d settle into the astronomy tower quite 
If you could meet any member of the cast, who would it be?

Maggie Smith! I’d love to take her to afternoon tea, she just comes across as such a lovely person and I bet she’s got a story or two to tell!

If you were on the Quidditch team, which position would you play?

I’d quite fancy playing seeker! For a clutz like me, it’s probably one of the safest position on the team! And I used to be really good at Where’s Wally?

the harry potter tag

Happy with the ending?

Nope. Believe me, I’ve tried to be, I’ve read all the critical essays, the fors and againsts, the endless forum chats that still argue about it today (and probably always will) but I just can’t accept the ending. Personally, it was a bit of a cop out (sorry Rowling!). Harry and Voldemort should have met the same fate – it was the only way the series could have ended. Sure it would have been sad, but it would have been just and satisfying.

How much does Harry Potter mean to you?

I knew nothing of the books until the first movie came out. I remember going to see it with my brother and loving it. On the way home he told me about the books and being the eager impatient beaver I am I stuck my nose right into the 2nd book as soon as we got home. From that moment on I was hooked. I got lost in that world, it was pure escapism for me when reality got to be too much. I could lose myself for entire summers not only in the books but the online community too. It also encouraged me to write and get lost in worlds of my own creation – that in itself is pretty magical!

Anyone else out there a bit of a Potter head? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Monday, 28 July 2014

Make-Up Storage and Organisation

small space make up organisation

An organized life is an organized mind – and an organized mind shuts up once in a while and leaves you be

That’s what I tell myself anyway. Over the last few months I’ve been having huge clear outs, from clothes to toiletries, books and knick knacks, I’ve slowly but surely started parting with the crap I have horded over the years and started to get myself organized.

Watching a ton of videos by Jen has helped too!

I love things but I hate clutter. There’s nothing worse than rummaging through a drawer or storage bin when you should have left the house 10 minutes ago and you still can’t find what you’re looking for! Couple this with the possibility of moving and the thought of taking all of that crap with you and boom you’ve got as good a reason as any to kick yourself up the ass and get organized.

I love looking at small space organization solutions on Pinterest (don’t laugh, you know you do it too!) and seeing a million and one ways to use a Muji drawer but before I go investing in all these fancy pants solutions I want to get myself not only organized, but develop a system that works for me.

Behold – the magic that is…recycled subscription boxes. From Birch Box to Glossybox, those subscription boxes are cute, sturdy and come in pretty handy if you’re looking to get your crap together…literally.

Make up Storage and Organization             

I had a ton of empty Birch Boxes lying around under my bed that were prefect for organizing my make up that was, at the time, rolling around an over filled storage box in my wardrobe.

In the beginning…

The whole point of organizing an area in your home, be it a single drawer or an entire room is to throw away crap, junk, unloved, unused, can’t remember why you bought it things. So I unceremoniously dumped the entire contents of my make up bin on the floor and waded through, only pulling out the items I still used. Everything else went in the bin. Didn’t know I had it? Bin! Couldn’t remember the last time I used it? Bin! It sounds strange but once you start throwing things away it almost becomes a game to throw away as much as possible (or is that just me?).

The boxes…

small space make up organisation

I grabbed my trusty pink sharpie and labelled a few of the boxes; Eyes, Lips, Cheeks, Brushes, and Quick Face. Their contents are pretty self explanatory except for basic face. That one contains everything I need to do a trusty go-to 10minute full face of make-up (If you want a post on this let me know in the comments below!).

small space make up organisation

I also used two larger Glossy Boxes to store my nail varnishes in, organized by colour, and wrote the colours on the front.

small space make up organisation

The pouches are recycled Sanctuary body butter cases that are super durable with a strong zip and a handy dandy clear front window so I can see what’s inside. One is for my Konad nail stamping kit, the other for samples and products I’m not ready to part with yet but rarely use.

Does size matter…

I love that the Birch Boxes are small, it limits what I can keep/store in them which discourages me from buying more products before others have been used up. As much as I want the things, I don’t have the space for them. For the time being I’m limited by the size of my storage space, it’s a pain in the ass but it’s saved me a fortune as I only buy select items!

A box in a box…

I store the oh so organized recycled subscription boxes inside a large plastic storage bin. They all fit in nice and neatly and it takes no time at all to pull it out, find what I need and get going. 

small space make up organisation

With the available space at the side of the box I store my brush cleaner, nail varnish remove, eyelashes and a small make up bag that I use when I need to take my make-up on the move!

small space make up organisation

The entire thing fits perfectly onto a shelf in my wardrobe and the job is done! Accessing my make up and nail varnish is quick and simple and there’s no more flapping over things I can’t find! And when the time comes to move all I have to do is put a lid on the box and it’s all set to be chucked in the back of a van!

Oh and yes, I label my boxes. I can’t buy an actual label maker so I cut up strips of paper and stick them on with cellotape! I knew years of Blue Peter and Art Attack would come in handy one day!

Tell me, how do you organize your make-up? Got any tips for me? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Friday, 25 July 2014

Yoga and me

beginners yoga for stress

I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with yoga. I mean I love that it’s so good for me and all that jazz, but I hate how slow it is. When I exercise, I’ve always opted for high cardio sessions, about the slowest form of exercise I’ll do is swimming, and even then, when I’m not drowning I’m doing my best to slice through the water and knock out 50+ lengths in under and hour. I’m sure, somewhere in that brain of mine, my reasoning for this is the faster the exercise then ; A) the better it is for you, and B) the sooner it’ll be over with and procrastinating can resume.

Yoga requires time, patience, and being still in my experience. I’m in no way a professional, I’ve only tentatively attended a few classes, most of what I know/do yoga wise comes from YouTube and random searches around the internet.

I’ll be honest, I’ve been stressed out for a while, various issues around work, life and all things in between have left me completely frazzled and disconnected some days, and I really dislike feeling that way. You know, when you don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning? Everything aches but you’re not sure why? Run down, lethargic and yes, even my skin is starting to throw a strop – and there’s only so much a cup of tea can solve.

In a bid to chill the F out, reconnect with myself and quite the voices in my head (no, not in a crazy kind of way…then again…) I jumped back on the yoga band wagon and forced myself to be still and patient

For around two weeks I followed the 20 minute beginners workout by Adriene and I did notice a difference. Not physically, but mentally. My head felt clearer, I was getting out of bed with a little smile on my face and I felt able to tackle the day with just a pinch more gusto than previously. Who knew taking the time out to just breath and be still could actually work?

Then I stopped. I let the stress, the drama beat me down, and I gave in to the lethargy and sourpuss mood. For almost 10 days I did nothing, and as the days ticked by I noticed my head started to hurt again, I was irritable and stressing out about everything. I was right back at square one.

So, I stuck my hand out for the yoga bus and jumped back on. I’m not going to lie, it was tougher the second time around, I felt like I was physically having to carve time out with my bare hands and force myself back into practice. I found little joy in following the videos at first but eventually, I found myself getting up, stretching out and loading up a video without even thinking about it and within a couple of days I started to feel much better.

I talked a little at the beginning of the week about taking more ‘me’ time and my mini amateur yoga practices are fast becoming a big part of that. No, I cannot bend over backwards or hold a plank for long but I can close my eyes and stand on one leg! Just a few quiet moments of controlled deep breathing and stretching not only works out the stresses and strains on my body, but it frees my mind too. I find I can see solutions to my problems more clearly; I’m less irritable and sleeping much better too. I’ve also found the quiet moments a great way to work through and develop ideas too.

I think what I’m really trying to say, be it with yoga, a bath or a walk in the park – find something that gives you a moment to just be. To be quiet, to be calm, to be yourself. We live in such a busy and fast paced world, we rarely stop.

It’s not all about how quickly you get to the end of the workout, it’s the experience you have during it.

Tell me, do you yoga? Any tips for a beginner? How about you, what’s your moment to just be? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The British Tag #TeaLovers

Emily May tagged me to do this very British tag after we spent an evening discussing our obsession love for all things tea. Let's face it, nothing says British as much as a really good strong brew. Now, with brew in hand, let's get on with this tag!

1. How many cups of tea do you have a day? How many sugars?

If I'm in work I'll have 5 - 6 cups of tea a day, if I'm home, I'll have around 3 - 4! I’ve never liked sugar in my tea and more often than not, my choice of tea is usually something green or herbal and sugar is a huge no no in those types of tea if you ask me!

2. Favourite part of your roast

It’s gotta be the veggies! I’ve always loved loading up my plate with veggies when I have a roast, then smothering them in gravy! Carrots, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, sweet corn, I love me some veggies! 2nd place goes to roast potatoes – my dad has this fantastic way of making them super crispy on the outside then perfectly fluffy inside, I’m slowly learning to master his spud roasting technique!

3. Favourite dunking biscuit

I’m not much of a dunker but if I had to choose, the classic Rich Tea biscuit does the job for me! I’m a really fast dunker though, I mean nobody wants a soggy biscuit floating in the bottom of their tea cup, that’s a perfectly good brew right there completely ruined!

4. Favourite quintessentially British pastime?

I like going for long walks across pretty postcard picturesque fields and woodlands. That’s pretty British, right? Or can I just say drinking tea and eating cake?

5. Favourite word?

I say awesome a lot, no idea where I’ve picked that up from, probably from watching too many American TV shows! But my favourite word?? Now that’s tough, the first one that popped into my head was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious…does that count?

6. Cockney rhyme slang?

Sorry guys but no, I don’t do cockney rhyming slang, I have a hard enough time trying to explain some of the scouse words and phrases I use (that’s what you get for dating outside your postcode!). The only cockney rhyming slang that comes to mind is;

Dog + bone = phone

7. Favourite sweet/ chocolate
One of my favourite British brands is Prestat. All their chocolates, truffles and treats are made right here in the UK and they’re exquisite! Who doesn’t love scoffing a luxury truffle or two?

8. What would your pub be called?

I’d probably go with The Rose & Crown. It’s typically British but also reminds me of the British pub over in Walt Disney World…I had to get Disney in here somewhere! Mr.Man went for The Pug and the Beagle…because I’ve always wanted a pug, his compromise was a Pugglenow I just need to make this happen!

9. No.1 British person

I instantly thought of The Queen…I’m keeping it British here! I know Mr.Man is going to read this and immediately come up with dozens of more amazing answers that would have looked a lot more impressive than The Queen….I’m hoping he doesn’t figure out the comments function below!

10. Favourite shop / restaurant? 

I can’t go into town without going into John Lewis. Let’s face it, they have everything in there and more often than not I will find myself wandering around picking things out for my imaginary home, it’s like walking through Pinterest!

11. What British song pops into your head? 

‘All you need is love’, you can’t get more British (or scouse!) than The Beatles!

12. Marmite?
Oh NO! No chance, no way, no how. 

Huge thanks to Emily for bringing this very British tag into my life and lets raise a steaming mug of tea to the other wonderful #tealovers who joined me for a virtual brew that night; @khrissieloves, @AuroraDustBlog and @emilymayyyyy 
 I tag YOU to run off and give this tag a go! And make a brew whilst your at it!
 Until next time,

Monday, 21 July 2014

ESPA Foam Bath Review

espa foam bath review

You know how it is, when you’re having one of those days. C’mon now, we’ve all had them. I know I do on a weekly basis sometimes and the whole word just gets to be a bit too bloody much – you want nothing more than to just shut the door, put the kettle on and just be for a moment!
Lately I’ve been making a conscious effort to have more mini ‘me’ moments in an effort to combat the stresses and strains that come with the working week and life in general. This is why I love Sunday nights. They’ve officially become my pamper nights, just an hour or so but it’s made a huge difference as to which side I get out of the bed come Monday morning! 

The star of my Sunday night is Espa’s Foam Bath. Bergamot, jasmine and a hint of cedarwood lifts my mood to dizzying heights and brings me back down as gentle as a feather with a smile on my face. With a tub full of suds and a fragrance that quite literally fills the whole top floor of the house, I grab myself a cold glass of water, a book and put on some very chilled out spa music. (Serenity is my favorite album for this kind of ambiance!) 

The foam bath suds up like it's nobodies business! Around two cap fulls of bath soak and I'm up to my neck in luxuriously moisturizing foam. The bath foam cleanses your skin deeply, leaving a light fragrance in its wake - perfect as a pre-bed bath as it's just so soothing and relaxing

espa foam bath review

The bath soak is a soap free formula making it perfect for even sensitive skin. It gentle and effectively cleanses the skin without stripping skin of its own vital moisture. My skin always feel so smooth and soft when I reluctantly get out of the bath, with a light fragrance left behind from the essential oils in the soak. 

I have the full sized 300ml bath soak which retails for £18. I know, it’s a little pricier than good ol Matey (who remembers that?) but you can’t put a price on a relaxed and happy you. I’ve had a nosey at some of the other scented bath soaks on offer and am loving the sound of the lemon and tonka bean soak! I had a tonka bean candle once and it was amazing! 

Espa has really brought the spa home to me lately, let’s face it most of us don’t have the time or money to go to an actual spa every week (though how amazing would that be?) so we must do what we can to bring the spa to us

How do you spend your me moments? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Monday, 14 July 2014

Matou Liverpool Bar and Terrace Review

matou liverpool bar and restaurant

This past weekend, Mr.Man and I met up with Ginger and her boyfriend for a catch up in Liverpool. The sun might not have been shining all day but it was still pretty warm out so we headed down to the docks and up onto the rooftop bar attached to Matou. I’ve been wanting to try this place since last summer but I’ve never managed to snag a table – with amazing views of the Albert Dock, River Mersey and the Wirral, no wonder it’s so popular! Matou literally means harbour and what a harbour we have in Liverpool. It’s one of my favourite places in the city to go to just relax and watch the world go by.

We started with a couple of obligatory ‘it’s the weekend let’s celebrate’ cocktails, I had a seabreeze – vodka mixed with orange juice, passion fruit liquor and grenadine, and a strawberry daiquiri which was just huge! It was already over flowing and melting down the sides of the glass before it even got to the table; strawberry puree, lime and Bacardi. It’s the perfect ‘grown up’ slushy!

Matou is a pan Asian restaurant offering signature fusion dishes as well as exotic delights from Singapore, Thailand, Japan and Malaysia. Not only are the views of the docks and Pier head breathtaking but the food is pretty damn good looking too. As we had a great spot out on the terrace, we decided to order some food from the bar, which offers a selection of delights giving you just a taste of what the main menu has to offer. 

matou liverpool restaurant review

I chose the Beef Ho Fun because who doesn’t just love that name? And I was craving noodles, I haven’t had them (home cooked don’t count!) in forever and of course, being in an Asian restaurant, I just knew they’d know how to make the perfect noodle. The Beef Ho Fun consisted of a huge pile of flat noodles, lots of thinly sliced beef and a huge pak choi. Now, this is were I wish I was a proper ‘foodie’ because I just couldn’t place the exact taste of the sauce everything was cooked up in – I want to say it was somewhere between oyster sauce and soy sauce – probably more soy sauce, but the menu didn’t specify! Either way, it was delicious, no complaints from me that’s for sure!

matou liverpool restaurant review

Mr.Man went for the Chicken Pad Thai. It looked pretty good from where I sat and he went pretty quiet as he cleaned the plate! I’m pretty sure that’s guy speak for tasty and delicious! We also ordered a side of prawn crackers with a sweet chilli dip. These on their own make the perfect bar snack, they tasted amazing – I just wish I could place the taste of the darker coloured prawn crackers, they tasted very fishy, we’re thinking crab maybe?

matou liverpool restaurant review

The staff at Matou were super friendly and helpful too, so attentive and managing the bar well enough when it got busier later in the afternoon. I was a little disappointed when I ordered a Pimms and it came minus the fruit but it’s not a deal breaker for me. The main restaurant side looked amazing, very swanky indeed. I’d love to head back sometime and try out the restaurant, the floor to ceiling windows offer the most amazing views, I’d love to see it at night!

Have you been to Matou? Do you prefer dining al fresco in the sunshine or indoors under the air con? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

saloca in wonderland

Friday, 11 July 2014

When did 'skinny' become a compliment?

I'm curious, when did the word 'skinny' become a compliment? When did it become acceptable to say to someone, 'you're so skinny' and the recipient would smile, blush, say 'thanks' but coyly claim they were nowhere near as skinny as the compliment suggested but inside, well, inside they'd ride a compliment high.
When did this become a good thing?

 I don't get it if I'm honest. If you went up to someone and said, 'you're so fat' I highly doubt they'd take it as a compliment. We all know it's an insult, we know it's an offensive thing to say to someone, even kids in school are not allowed to say it. Years ago, when I was a teaching assistant in a primary school I referred to Henry VII as a 'fat' man and the kids were mortified. 'Miss, Miss you can't say the F word, it's not right'. And I agree, it's not, and it was wrong of me to refer to him in such a way, but why is it ok to use the opposite word? Why can we use the S word?

I’m on the slim side and I've battled body confidence for as long as I can remember. For me, it started in high school, year 8. There I am, around 12 years old, somewhere between a size 10-12, small chested with a larger lower body, puberty shaping my frame and hormones sending my mind and body into a frenzy. I was convinced, thoroughly convinced that I was fat and that if I could be 'skinny' I would be happier. If I could be 'skinny' then the bullying would stop, I'd be less awkward, life in general would improve greatly if I could just be SKINNY.

But I couldn't be SKINNY. I was already pretty slim but peer pressure and magazines made me think otherwise. For most of high school I spent my summers wanting to change, wanting to go back to school in September a skinnier version of myself. This was a mind set that would stay with me for years, right through school, college, even university. This was all in the days before Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr and Twitter. If I thought things where bad back then, well, it's safe to say I wouldn't stand a chance in today’s social media society. 

What does the word skinny mean to you? What does it look like when you close your eyes? I won't lie, for a long time, the image I had was the one we've all been programmed to see. You know the one, all airbrushed and 'perfect'. Why is that something we've been programmed to attain to? Why do we WANT people to call us skinny?

I don't know about you, but the word itself scares me now. It implies you've been under fed, that you're starving, that you don't look HEALTHY. Now, do you still want someone to pay you that skinny compliment?

I know most people when they say it mean well, they, like me, have grown up in a society where skinny is something attainable, something to strive for. Lets face it, it’s not. We shouldn’t want to be skinny. We should WANT to be happy, healthy, glowing, energetic, full of life, brimming with vitality. Being skinny doesn't carry any of these connotations. We should want to look and feel good in our own bodies, and that is something that is different for everyone. There is NO universal body size, shape or image, skin is not a one size fits all garment. There's a reason we all look different and we need to embrace that, not only in ourselves but in others too.

There are better compliments you can pay someone that don't involve the word skinny.

Thoughts? Feelings? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

I know this is a little different from my usual posts but it’s something that’s been bothering me a lot lately. I’d love your feedback on this sort of thing and if you’d like to see more posts like this one?

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Body Shop Strawberry Body Butter

Everybody loves a good moisturizing session from top to toe, it not only feels good but its great for our skin too, keeping it firm and smooth. I’m a little...addicted shall we say to body butters and moisturizers! As I body brush daily, following this up with a top to toe moisturizer is a must!

Mr.Man got me a huge strawberry gift set from The Body Shop (who doesn’t love them in any form when they're in season?) And with the sun shining and Wimbledon on the TV, it seemed like the perfect time to break out the strawberry body butter and lather myself up!

A 200ml tub will set you back £13 but they have had a ton of 40% events in The Body Shop lately so be on the lookout to grab a bargain! The body butter is a thick, rich and creamy, perfect for normal to dry skin, or skin that’s seen a little too much sun and needs some extra TLC.

The body butter is more like a thick, whipped cream and a little goes a long way. It takes an age to dry into the skin and if your in a rush you do find yourself fanning down and doing the 'fake tan' dance to get it to dry in quicker! Not ideal when you’ve hit the snooze button one too many times!

Now, here’s what I usually love about Body Shop body butters...the fragrance. They're always so heavily scented that you rarely need to wear perfume. The scent for the strawberry body butter is no different. It’s so strong, it reminds me of strawberry flavored Chewits (bonus points if you remember those!). Now, I just happen to love this kind of scent but it was so overpowering that it boarded on being sickly. The scent will linger on your skin all day too, which would be great...if I wasn’t working in a boiling hot laboratory cooking inside my own lab coat!  The scent mixed with general unavoidable body odors just doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t smell bad, but it made me extremely self conscious.

Funky smells aside, my skin felt silky soft and practically glowed with nourishment...but then I noticed the rash. At first I thought it could have been the heat but, as you do when you get a rash, I stopped using any and all products and it cleared up in a few days. About a week later, I re-introduced the body butter and the rash came back. It was only on my stomach too, strange!

All in all a luxuriously creamy body butter with a heavy strawberry scent that is a pleasure to use...on colder days...avoiding my stomach. Oh well, we can't all have the same positive experience. I have continued using this, but only on my legs as a post shave balm and it's kept them silky smooth!

Have you tried any of The Body Shops body butters? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Monday, 7 July 2014

La Roche-Posay Physiological Soothing Toner

You might have been noticing a little brand loving around here lately when it comes to La Roche-Posay! I’ve fell head over heels for their Effaclar Duo+ and the Targeted Breakout Corrector. When it came to trying out the Soothing Toner the standards had been set and my hopes were high.

I picked the La Roche-Posay Physiological Soothing Toner up in Boots on their 3 for 2 skin care offer (best way to try out some new products at a slightly reduced price!). It retails for £12 for a 200ml bottle. The toner is pH balanced, soap and alcohol free, colorant free and paraban free.

The toner is aimed at sensitive, acne prone skin so its fragrance surprised me. It’s the fragrance ingredients in skin care products that really sets sensitive skin on fire (OK, your face won’t actually go up in flames but it sure feels that way sometimes!). Occasionally I do get that 'my face is melting' sensation when using this, usually near my eyes at the highest point of my cheeks. It’s uncomfortable but it doesn't always occur.

La Roche-Posay say this toner has high make up removing power...yet two lines above that they say to use it alone or after removing your make up. Well, that doesn’t make much sense to me! We all know not to use toner near our eyes but, being a brave little blogger, I tried to remove some non-waterproof mascara with this toner. Fail. It took some away but I was left with the ol' panda eyes look.  

I find it works best to remove your make up with another product, and then cleanse your skin. After cleansing, apply the toner to a cotton pad and sweep in gentle circular motions across your face, always working upwards and out. Never pull, tug or scrub with the toner, your skin won't thank you for it! Let the toner dry naturally then continue your regime!

I have really enjoyed using this toner, my skin always feels extra clean afterwards but I have noticed it's starting to get much oilier through the day than it did before I used the toner. The cotton wool pad rarely comes away with any excess dirt so at least I know my cleanser is working well! I’ve decided to move this to an evening only product though in a attempt to control the excess oil I’m getting during the day. I know they say you should tone twice a day but everyone’s skin is different and you’ve got to find what works for you!

In all it's a nice little product that gives your skin that squeaky clean feeling. It’s refreshing and generally pleasant to use but I’m not convinced its worth repurchasing.

Have you tried the La Roche-Posay Soothing Toner? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Friday, 4 July 2014

June Favourites 2014

june favourites 2014

Is it really this time of the month again? June feels like it has barely begun and already it's over! This year is flying by and it's terrifying! Eek!

Let's jump right into what I've been loving this past month!

ESPA foam bath.

I've been loving creating my own at home mini spa experiences on Sunday night; it ends the weekend nicely and gets me ready for the week ahead. I'm head over heals in love with this foam bath from ESPA. It is so relaxing and smells incredible. The bubbles are unreal too! Just a splash of this and your bath will be overflowing with silky smooth bubbles. Pair with some music and a candle and you'll drift off into a perfect state of calm!

ESPA Energising Shower Gel

The opposite of the above, this is the perfect way to wake up in the morning! Its a lively scent that awakens the senses and sets you up to tackle the day ahead. The eucalyptus and peppermint scents are so strong, I love it! The next best thing to a strong cup of tea to wake you up in the morning! 

Benefits Porefessional

I didn't think I'd ever replace my trusty Laura Mercier primer but it looks like the impossible happened! I've been loving using this as a base. It leaves my skin looking smooth, even, and provides as great base for my foundation. You can read my review here!

Washi Hot Cloth

If you've been keeping up to date with the blog or my twitter feed this month then you'll know just how much I've been loving these Washi hot cloths! I use them first thing in the morning and my skin is just loving them right now! If you want to know more about the pros and cons of hot cloth cleansing I've wrote a little guide for you here!

Hot Buns

I'm not very sure if I've mentioned these before but oh me oh my, they're my hairstyle savoir right now! I'm useless with my hair and it's super long now too. If it’s not in a ponytail then it's down straight (occasionally I might even dare a curl!) Sometimes you just want it up and out the way! Hot Buns provides a bobby pin free way to put my hair up in a smooth and sleek large bun, making me look a pinch sophisticated and polished. 

Thirteen Weddings - Paige Toon

I wanted some light summer reading and this was perfect. What do you do when your one night stand abruptly walks out the door, stomping all over your heart as he goes? Just when you tell yourself you’re over him, he comes back into your life, a fiancĂ© on one arm and the remnants of your heart on another. He's confused your obsessed and theirs someone waiting and watching from the wings to make a move. Funny, moving and an easy read, perfect for days in the sun!

How to fall in love - Cecilia Ahern

Easily one of my favourite authors, she hit the nail on the head yet again with this one! You've got a suicidal rich boy and a self-help obsessed recruitment manager who's just walked out of her marriage. They're not just looking for love; they're looking for a reason to live too. Touching with light humour, it definatly made me think about what it really means to love life and everything in it. 

Penny Dreadful.

I'm still trying to decide if I love this show or now. I love the casting and its pretty well written too but I wasn’t expecting an American gun slinger, demon possession, Frankenstein, Van Helsing, vampires, Dorian Grey, orgies and a half naked Billie Piper all in the one show! I am sticking with it for now, but I'm a few episodes behind so if you watch it - no spoilers please!

Well, that's what I've been loving over this gone in a flash past month! I really hope time takes a break and slows down! I'm not ready to start Christmas shopping just yet! 

What have you been loving this past month? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Summer Feet Care with S-Ped by StylFile

s-ped stylfile review

The sun is shining and our feet are out. I find that after a winter in boots and chunky knit tights, my feet need a little extra TLC, but after days in flimsy sandals, sky-high wedges and even barefoot running on the grass, my feet are screaming out for love. It's all well and good getting our feet ready for summer, but the key to perfect summer toes is in the maintenance! So say hello to the S-Ped by Stylfile, invented by Apprentice star Tom Pellereau

Similar to the Ped Egg, which has been around for some time now, the S-Ped, offers a more ergonomic and user-friendly way to file our feet. It's uniquely curved S file shape follows the natural shape of our feet, and as it’s quite long, you don't have to bend yourself into all kinds of weird and wonderful yoga poses to get the job done! 

The S-Ped comes in two parts with a solid plastic base. Attached to the base is the stainless steel micro file, which, if you ask me, looks and feels like a cheese grater! It has hundreds of these torture device looking holes with raised bits that when run along the skin, surprisingly gently removes hard and dead skin from the soles of your feet. You don't have to apply too much pressure either, making this a great little device for someone like my mum who has had carpel tunnel syndrome, which has left both her hands and wrists weak. 

s-ped stylfile review

The removed skin (that makes it sound so torturous, I promise you it's not!) is contained within the S-Ped. Now, here's where I have a tiny problem...removing the file to clean out the oh so nasty looking skin flakes. The S-Ped does have handy indents on the top and bottom to make removing the file easier, but I still find I need to apply some pressure, which causes it to pop off somewhat dramatically and trap me in a skin flake storm. Gross. Instead of opening it over a bin, I find I have to get right in the bin before pulling off the file. A tiny bit awkward but better than being covered in my own dead skin!

s-ped stylfile review

Once you've filed the hard skin on your soles, you then attach the emery board style file to the S-Ped and exfoliate your feet, then switch the file over and give your feet a good finishing polish. If your new to all this or haven't looked at your soles since the dead of winter then you might find it takes a few sessions with the S-Ped system before you get everything looking smooth and even.

I've got to say I much prefer the S-Ped file as a way of looking after my feet, it's just so much easier to hold onto in my tiny child sized hands and it’s quick too. Cleaning can be a bit of a pain but I'm prepared to overlook that as I've been getting great results. If, however your still sporting blisters from those new shoes or broken skin from going bare foot, please let your feet heal before you go anywhere near them with this file!

Always use on clean, dry feet and afterwards follow with a heavy-duty cream. I love The Body Shops Hemp hand cream for my feet; it keeps them so supple and soft! 

Remember, you should only use the S-Ped on HARD skin, there's no point filing away at soft skin, you'll only cause more harm than good! I use it every couple of weeks, mostly on the heels, and have had no problems!

Have you tried the S-Ped by Stylfile yet? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,