Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Sephora Mask & Play set

sephora mask and play review


As soon as I found out there was a Sephora within walking distance of Disneyland Paris, I instantly got online and started to make my shopping list - and of course, the top of the list was Sephora’s own face masks. After filling my basket with two of everything, I came across this cute little Christmas Mask & Play set for €24.95!

sephora mask and play review


Dubbed the Mask Magazine, this set unfolds to reveal 7 Sephora masks, and a selection of games and skin care tips. I’ll be honest, the packaging annoys the hell out of me, it’s excessive and pointless but that’s coming from a 30 year old woman and I feel like this is targeted at a much younger audience. What did intrigue me was the contents and the value. Individually, the masks retail for €25.65 so there’s a tiny saving there, which we all love at this time of year. The masks included are;

  • Coconut hair sleeping mask
  • Algae face mask
  • Green tea eye mask
  • Charcoal nose strip
  • Rose lip mask
  • Aloe Vera hand mask
  • Lavender foot mask

Top to toe pampering all in one package. I swapped out my individual choices for this as it felt a little more restrained and gave me everything I was looking for. A complete masking experience, this is ideal if you’ve never tried the Sephora masks before or are looking to experiment with some multi-masking at a relatively good price. 

sephora mask and play review


I picked up a whole bunch of the Sephora face, lip and eye masks last year when I was in Florida and I loved them, they all left my skin feeling really soft and were ideal for using in the bath (pamper Queen over here ladies and gents!). There are no variations on these packs though so if coconut isn’t your thing, you might be better off picking up seperate masks as the savings on this set are pretty small. 

sephora mask and play review


If you’re going to find yourself lucky enough to be near a Sephora sometime soon, this little mask set would make a great stocking filler or a gift to you, from you, to find under the tree this Christmas - and the annoyingly excessive packaging at least makes it easy to wrap!

Have you tried any Sephora face masks?

Until next time, 





Monday, 11 December 2017

Entertaining unexpected guests this Christmas



Ah, Christmas, filled with mice pies, board games, stupid jokes and family and friends popping in unexpecedtly on an almost daily basis. What do you do when guest turn up unannounced at Christmas? Or maybe you knew they were coming (lucky you) but you didn’t expect them to bring an overnight bag. What do you do? Pull up those Christmas stockings, get the kettle on and get ready to be given all the answers when it comes the having to entertain unexpected guests this Christmas!

Out and about


Keep your guests entertained by letting them entertain themselves this Christmas! Take them out to a local Christmas market or your nearest shopping centre. It’s not unusual for me to bundle guests out the door and over to visit Liverpool One, they can grab a hot chocolate and pose by the Christmas tree. Maybe snag a table for lunch and let someone else take care of the washing up. This works a treat, especially with guests from out of town who haven’t seen your local decorations or still have treats on the Starbucks festive menu to try! Have a look online at what’s happening in your area and make a note just incase you need to entertain your visitors.

Quick clean!

You’ve had your 5 minute warning, they’re parking the car and you’ve got no time at all to get your place sorted! Don’t loose your Christmas cool, start by arm wiping every surface, knocking dust, rubbish and knick knacks into a bag which you can then hide in the room you’re going to dump their coats in (nobody else ever goes in this room). Get the scented candles lit. Throw the pillows at the wall to fluff them up and air out your frustrations at last minute visitors. Put the kettle on and grab the rubbish out the kitchen bin, be popping it in your wheelie bin with a smile on your face as their mitten clad hands wave frantically from the front gate. Nailed it. 

Double up!

Pick up extra holiday snacks this festive season, perfect to whip out with a brew when the neighbours drop by with your christmas card. Mince pies, Pringles, nuts etc. I always keep a tub of chocolates under the coffee table and some Mr Kipling Christmas special editions in the cupboard. Hey, if they don’t eat them all then more for you once they’ve left!

Movie marathon

Struggling to make any more small talk? Or you can’t shut your visitors up for 5 seconds? Wack on a Christmas movie! There is no such thing as a bad Christmas classic. From Miracle on 34th Street to National Lampoons Christmas Vacation or The Polar Express, make sure everyone has a drink in hand and a mince pie within arms reach and rejoice in 90 minutes of bliss. 

The Emergency Gift

We’ve all been in that situation, when someone passes you a beautifully wrapped gift that you weren’t expecting at all. You look under your tree, no tag has their name on, and although we don’t give to receive, they’re smiles are starting to turn upside down as their outstretched hands are still coming up bare. 

“Let me just go grab yours” you say with a smile. Run up stairs and fly around the spare room looking for anything and everything you could pop in an ‘it was always here’ gift bag.

Put your festive fretting to one side and set up an emergency gift box in said spare room. Fancy biscuits, bottles of gin, posh note books, a pretty scarf and, of course, socks. The emergency gift essentials will have every random gift giver covered and going home smiling. And what you don’t gift, is a gift to yourself!


If all else fails you could always avoid the unplanned guests by turning off the tree lights and hiding behind a wall until they go away….but that’s not exactly in the festive spirit of things is it?

How do you prepare for unexpected guests over the holiday season?

Until next time,


visit liverpool one christmas


This post is in collaboration with Liverpool One. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. See my disclaimer policy here.
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Monday, 4 December 2017

Currently Watching #10

netflix shows to watch


Before I head into pure festive feel good tv shows and films, I thought it was about time I shared what’s been happening on my box recently! A few new shows, a few new seasons of old favourites, let’s grab the remote and dive right in!

Punisher

It can’t be denied, Netflix know how to do their shows and they do them so well you will loose 4 hours on a Sunday morning unable to stop watching. Punisher was jaw dropping, heart breaking and breathe taking. The action was on point, violent, squeamishly gory and everything you expect Punisher to be. The casting is perfect and the last few episodes are just, oh blimey, OH MY, just go see for yourself! If you were a fan of the original film you won’t be disappointed!

Mad Men

This is one of those shows that everyone has been telling me to watch for years and finally I’ve sat down, popped it on and I am hooked! There’s just something about that era in history, the male/female dynamics, the attitudes, the dresses, it just totally sucks me in. I’ve never known a show that has me really disliking nearly all the characters - especially the main guy, Don Draper. URGH!! 

Outlander 

Season 3 is well and truly underway and this show just keeps me coming back for more. Just when I didn’t really think they could go anyway else with are time-parted lovers, they really really do and the adventures, the romance, the drama, is all sails to the wind and full steam ahead! I really want to give the books a try but I’m worried I’ll come across spoilers! 

The Good Place

I thought this would just be feel good fun background tv but I’ve actually gotten really into it, it’s funny, endearing, plot twisting, just a totally unexpected interesting watch! 

Star Trek Discovery

I’ve been struggling with this one since episode 1! I’m actually really enjoying it but I just can’t see it as a prequel to the Star Trek we already know and love. I’ve watched a lot of the original seasons and this just looks and feels too modern for me. But, if I think of it as something completely separate and on it’s own, it works for me. It looks great, the story is semi-compelling and it’s an easy watch.

Stranger Things

I think it’s safe to say we blitzed through the second season in record time and bloody hell was it a good one! I love how the kids have grown, the music choices, the storyline, Hopper! I recently started rewatching season one with my Dad and it was even better the second time around! I don’t know how anyone could not love this show!

But now the tree is up, the festive playlist is on the go and it’s all about Christmas films, christmas specials and vlogmas YouTube binging all month long!

What will you be watching this holiday season?

Until next time, 





Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Reading Round Up #6

reading list ideas


The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K - Sarah Knight
I remember seeing this doing the round somewhere between this year and last, though mostly as a blogging photo prop! I've got to say, I didn't get a whole lot from it, except that even the word fuck can lose all meaning when used twice in every sentence. I get what Sarah is saying, you can't go around giving a toss about anything and everything just to please other people, and you can be selfish without being an arse but none of it was new to me giving some of my recent reads. If you find you are a people pleaser and will not so happily spend your weekends at baby showers, fun run sidelines or in other it makes them happy but not me situations then it's worth a read - and if not, it really does make a lovely photo prop!

Hygge - Charlotte Abrahams
Maybe it's the time of year, all dark nights and crunchy leaves, but I have been looking at Hygge more and more lately. Charlottes book starts off with a look at Hygge in design, it's influences on furniture and light fixtures, something that wasn't my cup of tea to begin with. Afterwards though she gets much more in the Hygge lifestyle, talking family time, meal time, Hygge in the workplace and her own journey through two divorces and several of life's curve balls. At times, it was actually a heart warming read, about how she has introduced Hygge into her home and her life, how that's impacted on her and her children, sharing tales of Hygge successes and failures. If you've not picked up a book about Hygge yet, this one is a great place to start!

The Marble Collector - Cecelia Ahern
Just when I think I've read every Ahern book out there, I see this on the shelf in my local library. How  I missed it is anyones guess! I can't get enough of Aherns books and this one was brilliant, and a great improvement on the last I read by her, Lyrebird. Flitting between the past of her father and the present of Sabrina, as well as her fathers current situation in a residential home, this is a beautiful tale of what is lost, be it objects or memories, might not always be found, but that doesn't mean we can't create new ones along the way. 

The Time Machine - H G Wells
I feel like I've been picking up a few classics when it comes to my sci-fi choices this year, and H G Wells' The Time Machine has really got to be one of the top sci-fi classics. Turns out that this book was the first to talk about and use time travelling in fiction. Aged as it is, it took some getting used to the language and the superfluous style but once I got past the first few chapters, I was hooked. The Time Traveller goes eight hundred thousand years into the future, and even Marty and The Doc couldn't predict this future. Lush green lands, the frolicking and simple Eloi, the dark and dangerous Morlocks, I wasn't gripped but I was intrigued. This book wasn't just a work of sci-fi, it was Wells' take on how society would eventually end up if the Victorians kept this distance between the haves and have nots. For me, it was a circle journey, going to the future was almost a step back in time, all our advances, our creations and creativity lost, evolution reversed. It was such an interesting look, after all, how many times does the distant future not revolve around flying cars and space travel? 

The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena
A recommended read by both Antonia and Hollie, this book was friggin brilliant. I'm not going to lie, it took a predictable turn or two which I found disappointing, until, it took some very unpredictable turns. When a couple go to a dinner party next door and leave their new baby home alone in the crib, what could possible go wrong? I had to laugh, I mean as if your baby going missing wasn't bad enough, what this couple then go through together and separately I couldn't have guessed in a million years. Just when you think you have it all figured out, Lapena doesn't throw a curve ball, she drops a wrecking ball on top of you. I love a good crime novel that focuses on the crime and the people effected over the investigators and this book does that so, so well. A gripping page turner, I found myself getting up early on a Sunday because I couldn't stop thinking about the last chapter I had read before bed the night before - that's how good this book is!

What pages have you been turning recently?

Until next time, 





Monday, 27 November 2017

A Merry Very Christmas - #VeryParty 2017


christmas gifts on very


Are you ready to get festive around here? Because I am! I friggin love this time of year and Christmas really can’t start soon enough for me! I was recently invited along by the lovely people at Very to check out their Christmas showcase, from sequins to skincare, they’re ready to get you ready for the festive season!


christmas gifts on very


When it comes to Very and Christmas, it’s all in the details this party season, and most of those details revolve around sequins. Dresses, jump suits, tops and bottoms, you will sparkle like the Christmas star this party season. I’m not one for the all out sequinned party wear, I can’t pull off that disco ball look to save my life, but I do love me some detail. 


christmas gifts on very


I fell in love with this beautifully soft grey jumper from Very’s petitie line, embellished with various pearls along the collar and sleeves, it’s got such a classic feel about it and packs a pretty, yet subtle, punch. 


christmas gifts on very


Taking the detailing up a notch, embroidery is still topping the trends this winter and just look at the detailing, I mean really, how intricate are those flowers? I struggle with statement necklace but with all that detailing going on, who needs accessories? Let your clothes do all the talking! 


christmas gifts on very


New to me, and an exciting brand to get acquainted with, Skin Doctors were on hand to give us a run down of their beautiful brand. Skin Doctors offer clinical strength products as an alternative to surgery and invasive procedures. Their newest offering are these Vitamin A and C ampules which I got up close and personal with on the day! I love ampules are they dispense out the perfect amount in a clean and controlled manner, minimising any bacteria and nasties being transferred to your skin. 


christmas gifts on very


I’m super excited to try their Beelift cream, a paraben free mixture of bee venom and manuka honey, this claims to reduce and delay the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin and ageing overall. Hey, I’m in my 30’s now and these things are going to happen sooner rather than later! I want to be prepared!


christmas gifts on very


When it comes to delicate, dainty and sparkles, my inner magpie was drawn to Lola Rose. Yet another new brand to me and one I instantly fell in love with. Famed for their statement gemstone pieces, they have brought out a divine collection of elegant and understated bracelets. I have pathetic, child sized wrists so when it comes to bangles and bracelets, they are never my jewellery of choice. Lola Rose bracelets come on adjustable chains meaning they are the perfect fit for each and every wrist. I had a little go at styling my own stack, and just, oh, you don’t need me to tell you how friggin gorgeous these look, right? 




Well, I know what I’m going to be looking for under the Christmas tree thanks to Very this year, how about you? It looks like it’s going to be a Very Merry Christmas this year!

What are you most looking forward to this Christmas?

Until next time, 






Monday, 20 November 2017

Argan+ Moroccan Rose Night Time Facial Oil

argan moroccan rose facial oil review


Price: £12.99
Pros: Smells amazing, easily absorbed, great for winter beaten skin
Cons: Greasy residue
Would I buy again? Yes.
Score 3.5/5

I have no idea how the Argan+ Oil Moroccan Rose night time facial oil came into my posession, I want to say it was in an event goodie bag? Maybe? Most likely? But to say I’m glad to have found it rolling around the back of my skincare drawer is an understatement. I’ve really gotten into facial oils this year, some more successful than others. I used to avoid oils like the plague, convinced it would make my oily prone skin worse - oh, what little did I really know! Facial oils have totally changed my skin care routine over the last 12 months and I wouldn’t be without one in my routine now!

The Moroccan Rose facial oil smells like turkish delight which I am far from complaining about - it makes me crave a piece or 3 every time I apply! Made with 100% natural oils, the rose oil is perfect for balancing your skin, and super soothing and nourishing. Since the cold has finally snapped, my skin usually starts to appear lifeless, dull and extremely dry! I’ve been using the facial oil as part of my evening routine  for about 2 months now and have defiantly seen an improvement. 


argan moroccan rose facial oil review


One thing to note, I forgot to pack the facial oil when I went to Disneyland Paris earlier this month and having not used it for 4 nights, the state of my skin was ridiculous. Dry, dull, breakouts everywhere. Granted I hadn’t had the best diet for a few days, but I haven’t had my skin go from zero to oh holy hell in such a short amount of time since I left my teenager years behind. 

The oil is easily absorbed but it does leave a greasy residue behind, however this does eventually get absorbed so if you can, apply it around an hour or so before bed. I hate the feeling of going to bed with product still drying in on my face, I feel like it just gets wasted, rubbed all over the pillow and bedding. 

For the price, I think this is a fantastic facial oil and I would totally re-purchase it. After just over 2 months I’ve not even hit the halfway point on the bottle. My skin feels really soft and supple and after those pesky Paris breakouts, they seemed to reduce in redness and size after two nights of getting back to using it! 

Does a facial oil feature in your skin care routine?

Until next time, 



Friday, 17 November 2017

Clarins - Multi Active Eye Cream

clarins multi active eye cream review



Price: £35
Pros: Applicator, light consistency, easily absorbed.
Cons: Price.
Would I buy again? No.
Score: 3/5

I’d tried so many sample sized tubes of the Clarins Multi Active Eye Cream that it seemed a great investment to go ahead and buy the full sized, 15ml tube with the snazzy applicator attached. At £35 a pop, it’s not exactly budget friendly, but having loved the samples so much, I was happy to hand over my cash. 


clarins multi active eye cream review


The applicator was a major selling point to me after experiencing the eye cream being applied with it during a facial at the Clarins beauty bar. The instant cooling effect is so soothing around the eye area, especially first thing in the morning when you’re still waking up. The applicator not only ensures a smooth, comfortable application, but it helps to reduce puffiness and decongenstion around the eyes. The eye cream itself is very light weight and pearlescent. It has a very wet texture which I don’t mind, as it absorbs so quickly and easily into the skin. 

The pearlescent cream does have a brightening effect which can make tired peepers look much more alert and lively, something that at this time of year, is much appreciated! My eyes always seem to look so grey and tired during the winter months!


clarins multi active eye cream review


I’ve been using this twice a day for about 3 months now and can honestly say, I have seen zero changes around my eye area. I’m lucky as I seem to have somehow, unknowingly, slowed down the ageing process, so my eyes are relatively line free right now. (Watch me wake up as one giant wrinkle tomorrow!). So does it improve fine lines and wrinkles? I have no idea. As delicate as the skin around our eyes is, I always feel like slightly thicker, more heavy duty eye creams have more bang for their buck. 


clarins multi active eye cream review


Because the buck, is the problem. I don’t mind splurging on my skincare if it works. I’m not saying this doesn’t, it really is a lovely eye cream, but it feels no different to my £2.99 Simple eye cream I’ve used for years. The applicator is my favourite part, but I wouldn’t pay £35 for that alone.

Not one of the worst, but not one of the best!

What is your go-to eye cream?

Until next time, 




Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Magical Money Saving at Disneyland Paris 2017

money saving at disneyland paris


Oh these Disney blues, they get me every time! Having been home a week already, I can’t stop thinking back to my Disneyland Paris trip! It was fantastic - but friggen hell is Disneyland Paris expensive! Maybe I’m too used to Walt Disney World prices and a better dollar exchange rate, but everything just seemed so pricey! So, just incase you’ve got a trip coming up soon and you’d rather spend your Euros on mouse ears, here’s a few easy and simple ways to save money at Disneyland Paris!

money saving at disneyland paris


Snack Drawer

Pack your suitcase with as many snacks as possible. Breakfast is a bit hit and miss in Disneyland Paris so we took a lot of breakfast foods with us, as well as one too many snacks to take out to the parks during the day. We had no issues taking any food into the parks and not only was it great to whip out the Squishes in the queue, but it saved us a fortune. Most snacks in DLP were coming in at €5+ a go! 

Snacks to pack for Disneyland Paris;
  • Porridge Oats (the ones where you just add hot water)
  • Dried fruit and seed toppers for your porridge
  • Nutella B-Ready
  • Belvitas
  • Squishies
  • Multi-pack chocolate bars
  • Multi-pack crisps
  • Mints

These add barely any weight to your suitcase so don’t worry about them pushing you over your limit!

money saving at disneyland paris


DIY Tea & Coffee

Did you know, any food and drink store in the Disneyland Parks will give you a cup of hot water for free if you just ask? So we packed a bunch of coffee, latte, and tea packets - basically anything you don’t need to add milk to. Some places gave you bigger cups of hot water than others, e.g Cafe Hyperion gave us really tiny cups of hot water, but Fuente del Oro gave us large ones. I found most of the smaller snack stands throughout both parks that sold drinks gave you larger cups too. We also packed thermos flasks/mugs and transferred the hot water into these as they had better lids so we could pop them in our bags when going on a ride and know our drinks weren’t going to spill out! 

You can also ask for free cups of cold/ice water too (bottled water comes in at around €3.50) so why not pack a flavouring shot if plain water isn’t your thing? I kept a water bottle in my bag and filled up at the water fountains whenever I found one - note, they are hard to find! They can usually be found at the bigger, outdoor toilet blocks. 

Free drinks in the hotel

When checking in, a cast member told us that we had €4 worth of drinks on our room keys a day. We stayed at Disney’s Newport Bay so I don’t know if this is a perk at all Disneyland Paris hotels. On every floor near the lifts there was a drinks machine that dispensed a variety of coffees and hot chocolates. Each drink, though small, is only €1 and that includes the espresso shots! They don’t dispense tea or just hot water though - so ask for a kettle when you check in, they’re free too! 

money saving at disneyland paris


Prices based on location

We loved heading to the bar each night for a glass of wine and a chill, perfect after a day in the parks! A standard white wine came in at €6.50 in both Disneys Newport Bay and Disneys Hotel New York but, when drinking in the Disneyland Hotel one night, the same glass of wine was €7.50. You’re paying for the privilege of drinking in their fanciest hotel, and for us, the experience was worth it. It’s well worth keeping in mind if you’re on a really tight budget though! 

Photopass

If, like me, you’re more experienced with the Walt Disney World photopass, then the Disneyland Paris one will be a bit of a disappointment and at €80, I just don’t think it’s worth it! Hands down, 90% of character meet and greets did not have a photo pass photographer, and all of the cast members who came with the characters were more than happy to take our phones and cameras and take pictures for us. I believe you can get some ride photos put onto your photo pass but honestly, how often do you ever look back on them? We just snapped the ones we liked on our phones, not the best quality but good enough for the rare times we look at them!

 Have you got any magical money saving tips?

Until next time, 




Monday, 13 November 2017

Winter Hand Saviours


winter dry skin hands tips


My hands take a battering year round, working in a laboratory for the day job, I find myself washing my hands about a million times a day (if only you could see some of the things I have to handle!). I constantly seem to be battling dry skin, cracked knuckles and creeping ivy cuticles, not to mention the fight I’ve been having with my nails this year being so brittle and downright pants! But when it comes to winter, all of those problems are hyped up tenfold! There are not enough layers of gloves it seems to protect these delicate digits. After much experimenting and lotion lathering I think I have finally cracked winter hand care problems! So, before your cuticles get you, here’s a run down of my winter hand saviours!

winter dry skin hands tips


Elemis Body Exotics hand & nail cream

These might be a little luxury but I love having them in my bag when I’m on the go. Not only do they smell amazing, but they’re a lovely, lightweight cream that leave my hands feeling like they’ve had a hug! I find they work really well on softening hang nails too. 

winter dry skin hands tips


Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat


I discovered this in a Tili box and it has replaced my beloved Sally Hansen nail strengthener. A slightly pink tinted formula, not only does it give au natural nails a beautiful shine and hint of colour (think french manicure) but the strength it has put back into them in very noticeable. It recommends one coat, but I tend to do two, around twice a week when I’m not putting a colour on them. 

winter dry skin hands tips


Carex moisture plus hand gel

Doing the job I do plus working in a hospital means I am constantly reaching for the hand gel - it’s like I can see the germs dancing on the hand rails about the place. I find most are super drying but this Carex with added moisture is like slapping a moisturiser on at the same time. It dries in super quick so now wafting my hands about either. 


The Body Shop Almond nail & cuticle oil

I have been using this almond cuticle oil for years! If you’ve been around for a while this won’t be new to you! I swear by this cuticle oil. I usually use it once a day in the evening, just brushing a little on around each nail, give it a minute then rub the oil into the nail beds. When I’m painting my nails, I’ll pop the oil on and use the rubber tipped topper to push back my cuticles which keeps them from ruining the polish!

winter dry skin hands tips


Bee Good Intensive Hand Repair

Every night before bed I pop a pump of this onto my hands and work it in for a few minutes. It’s very thick and very stubborn but it’s worth the effort. This instantly nourishes and repairs any dry patches I have, especially my knuckles! I always notice my hands start to feel that tight, stretched feel when I forget to use it for a few days. 

How do you keep your hands in tip top condition through the winter months?

Until next time, 





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