Monday, 21 August 2017

CaBella Makeup Masterclass | Smoky Eye Secrets Revealed

When it comes to full-on glamour, nowhere in Nottingham does it better than independent beauty boutique CaBella.

A treasure trove of makeup, glitter and all things girlie, it's tucked away off the city’s upmarket Bridlesmith Gate and offers serious pampering. If you’ve always wanted someone to decode the mysteries of that Insta-perfect look, this is the destination.

Whether it’s a special occasion or just a night out, Cabella offers makeovers, beauty treatments including injectables and the chance to shop some great brands that can be harder to get hold of in the UK, such as Milani and LA Girl.

To say I was excited when they invited me along to a Bloggers’ Beauty Masterclass is a bit of an understatement.


Thursday, 17 August 2017

Easiweft Styling Station | A Must-Try for Extensions

Sometimes, a product comes along that’s just such a great idea, you wonder how you managed without it. And for anyone who uses hair extensions, I think I’ve just found one!

Most people are a bit surprised when they find out I wear clip in extensions regularly, mainly because I like them to look subtle. If you don’t know I have them in, that’s the goal!

I have several different sets, and a couple are purely for volume – they’re the same length as my real hair. I also wore very natural clip-in extensions on my wedding day, because I wore my hair in a half-up half-down style with a beehive and plaited sections, and I wanted to have enough hair to do all that and not have the bit that was left down look too thin and scraggly.

As a busy working mum, with very little time or patience for hair styling, it’s a massive advantage to me if I can pre-style some extensions, clip them in and go. But washing, styling and caring for extensions can be a fiddly job.

Luckily, Easiweft has now arrived to help take care of those problems!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Beauty Haul | Hylamide, Rodial, Too Faced & more

Don’t you love a good haul? It’s one of the oldest posts in the book (along with ‘What’s in my bag?’ which I also find endlessly fascinating!) but it’s always a good one!

This month’s beauty haul was one of those that creeps up you -  do you ever have those? You don’t think you’ve been shopping but then you seem to have quite a lot of stuff at the end of the month. Oops…


Monday, 7 August 2017

Natura Siberica Northern Soap | Review

What do you think about when you hear the word ‘Siberia’? Arctic oceans? Snow leopards? Frozen tundras?  Would you think of a region rich in natural plant life that has developed the properties to survive in harsh wintery conditions?

Well a new line of skincare from Natura Siberica has opened my eyes to the rich natural flora of the fertile black earth found there.

When Natura Siberica got in touch to see if I’d like to try out their Northern Soap product, I was excited to discover what it could do for my skin. Following a philosophy of using wild-harvested Siberian herbs the brand is proudly ‘Born in Siberia, Made in Europe’.

The plants that do grow here are exceptionally rich in protective, anti-oxidant properties in order to survive. If these herbs are hardy enough to flourish in some of the most challenging conditions on earth, what would their goodness do for my skin?


Monday, 24 July 2017

Birchbox review | July 2017

Can you believe another month has gone by? It doesn’t seem live five minutes since the June Birchbox landed in all its candy-striped glory, and now here we are with the July offering.

This month’s box is printed with tropical palm trees, and the theme is definitely high summer – far-flung adventures and getting away from it all. But would the products that made the edit have me dreaming of cocktails on the beach? Take a peek…


Friday, 21 July 2017

Life, Lately | July 2017

Well, it seems like this is it. Summer, I mean! Finally here in full force, just when we least expected it.

Of course, this being the UK there has to be the odd day where it plummets back into midwinter after a week of blazing sunshine, so it’s never quite safe to pack away your winter woollies entirely. But generally, it's been really nice.

Have you been making the most of it? I feel like there is a pressure to be doing stuff because it's so uncertain that summer is actually here to stay.  We need to do ALL OF THE THINGS before the sun abandons us!


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

OOTD | The Metallic Mini

As parents, it's not often that we get a night out. I could definitely count on one hand all the times we've been out since Theo was born- and he's almost two!

That is our choice though. Having babies certainly changed my priorities - I used to love my nights out but I'd sooner spend time with my son now. Plus, hangovers aren't great when you're likely to get woken at 5am by the baby!

It is important to let your hair down sometimes and reconnect with friends though - and remember who we are when we aren't being mummy and daddy. Theo is old enough to stay over at his Granny's house, which makes things a lot easier as we're not worried about getting back to relieve a babysitter and we can get up a little bit later than if he was at home!

Of course, I couldn't resist the rare event of getting my glam on to do an outfit post - when you're normally covered in mashed biscuit and sticky handprints you have to make the most of a night off!


Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Dyson Supersonic | A Game Changer Turns One

Sometimes, a beauty tool comes along that redefines the way we do things, it’s just that darn good.

And when fashion and beauty bible Vogue describes something as a ‘game changer’, you know it’s serious! Global technology company Dyson, who pretty much revolutionised home appliances, have turned their hand to hairdryers, and the resulting best-in-class product – the Dyson Supersonic – is celebrating its first birthday.

So I was excited to be invited along to an exclusive party at John Lewis Grand Central Birmingham to find out more.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Soap & Glory Thick & Fast HD | Review

Being a beauty addict means being constantly on the watch for the next big thing - the cult product that's going to make it big, or the under the radar item that's set to be a new hot favourite. 

So even though I definitely have my holy grail items when it comes to beauty, I'm always keeping one eye open for the latest to see if it becomes my next must-have.

One area where my head is easily turned is mascara. I think it's fair to say I'm lash obsessed. Long, fluttery lashes are an essential for me- an instant mood booster and something I don't feel right without. 

As a lash addict, I wear subtle falsies almost every day, but I'm always hoping that one day a mascara will come along that really will live up to the hype a lot of them have about making you throw your false lashes away! 

Monday, 19 June 2017

Six Game-Changing Summer Beauty Buys

Before I begin to talk about makeup, I just want to acknowledge that there’s been a lot of dark and horrific things happening in the world lately.

Of course, there’s always been evil out there, but in the last year or two it seems to have ramped up to epic proportions, and not a month is going by without news of something unimaginably dreadful.

Sometimes, writing about beauty seems like too much levity when things out there are hateful. But so much of the internet is full of catastrophe, that I actually think this is what’s needed. Let’s reclaim the internet for its higher purpose – the world needs more cat memes, more videos of babies dancing and dogs skateboarding, and definitely more pretty, sparkly things.

It won’t take away from the darkness outside the window, but it is a sort of two fingers up to all these unhinged extremists who would seek to crush any joy from the world and make it a sad, drab place. Let’s become their worst nightmare – educated, independent and wearing all the lipgloss we damn well please!

We seem to be hitting what might almost be summer (I live in Britain, it’s never a definite here…), so I thought I’d share my newest beauty essentials, products I’ve discovered lately and have been really enjoying using.

The change of seasons is always a good cue to change up your routine and discover some new products to love. And the best part? All the products below are effective and kind to your purse…


Friday, 16 June 2017

Discovering Stella & Dot | Accessories Haul

Have you discovered Stella and Dot yet? The on-trend jewellery and accessories brand has been on my radar for a while, but I’d never actually ordered anything until a few weeks ago.

I took the plunge and ordered one piece, then got another couple for my birthday at the beginning of the month and all of a sudden I’ve started to develop a little collection.


Monday, 12 June 2017

Birchbox Review | June 2017

Another month, another Birchbox. And although I think the glory days of receiving full-size luxury products are all but gone, I thought this June’s offering was actually pretty nice. So no cancelled subscription yet!

This month, instead of a box, the goodies came in a reusable bag. I absolutely love this idea. They did a bag last year and I still use it now – in fact, I’d be thrilled if they did a bag every month, because I’m sort of harbouring a low-key obsession with cute little pouches.

This one was a pastel striped zip pouch with a little rope grab handle, which I’m sure I’ll find a great use for! The bag design is inspired by Brighton Beach, which is a place I have happy childhood memories of, so it made me smile – watercolour sunsets, chalk-coloured beach huts, sorbet ice-creams and sticks of rock. I really like that this pouch is different from the last design they had, both in design and in dimension.


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Another Slice | Beauty Pie Skincare Review

Have you heard of Beauty Pie? The brainchild of Bliss Spa and Soap and Glory founder Marcia Kilgore, the brand is a new way of buying beauty products that makes bold promises of 'liberating women' - as well as selling them mascaras and lipsticks at factory price.

I signed up excitedly a couple of months ago, but my first order of products was a bit of a mixed bag, and overall I wasn't hugely impressed  - you can see my initial Beauty Pie review here.

Basically, you pay a monthly membership fee in return for being able to order the products at a low 'member's price'. You can still buy the products if you aren't a member, but it will cost you dear.

The products are supposedly formulated to the same specifications and in the same factories as big name luxury brands that cost top dollar. Beauty Pie won't state which, but a little search engine sherlock-ing will reveal a few products where those who are especially keen have done line-by-line ingredients comparisons and worked it out.

Last time, although there were a couple of products I liked, there were equally a few disappointing ones that left me feeling like I wouldn't be renewing my membership. You have to sign up for three months at a time, but last month I didn't order anything. This month though, I decided to have one last bite of the pie before cancelling my subscription.


Sunday, 4 June 2017

OOTD: The Midi Moment

Let's talk about midis. The style so named for hitting at the mid-point of your leg is having a loooong moment.

The length has been popular for several years now, and it's probably taken me all that time to get comfortable with it (full disclosure: I'm not generally what you'd call an 'early adopter' when it comes to fashion trends. It takes me a while to work out how to make a new theme a part of my look). 

I think the reason I've struggled with it is because it's generally a style that requires heels to look it's best, and I'm queen of the flat shoe. I just can't stand my feet to be in any pain, and I'm already tall plus I have a toddler to run around after, so heels are definitely the exception to the rule for me.

But I've worked out that you can just about get away with a pointed flat, which lends a slightly lengthening effect. 

Midis are also quite sweet and ladylike, and anyone who knows me will appreciate those two qualities are not my strong points! To make midis work for me, I had to find a way to counter the dainty vibes and balance out the look. 


Friday, 2 June 2017

The Birthday Post

Yesterday was my birthday! I always used to do a post about the day, but then I stopped last year for some reason. I've decided to revive the tradition and do a post about yesterday.

Traditionally, I haven't been a huge fan of birthdays. I'm not sure why, but something about them makes me feel a little bit sad.

As soon as I got to 18 and could do everything I wanted to legally, I sort of stopped looking forward to them. But I've decided that is the wrong attitude, and I should use them as a chance to celebrate another year, not be sad it's over!


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

14 deep life truths I'll teach my son

will be a part of the fabric of your life because my thoughts will have been taught, my example will have been seen and my love will have been felt your whole life.

It's not often I stop to really think about the enormity of bringing up a little human being. 

Almost too massive to process, the scale of the responsibility can be a little daunting, to say the least. You tend to get caught up in the day to day learning – manners, sharing, how to fasten shoes – which are all important in their own way. 

But when I think of the future, I know that I want my son Theodore to grow up with certain values. One of the great secrets that adults hopefully kept hidden from you back when you were little is that we're all making it up as we go along. While kids can – and should – see mum and dad as the all-knowing authority with everything under control, we know that isn't the case! 

So while becoming a mummy has made me grow up in an awful lot of ways, I don't feel especially wise. I'm still learning myself! 

As I move through my 30s, however, there are definitely some truths that I'm living by. Perhaps I've always known them. But its taken me until recently to truly accept them, to dismiss the negative internal voices we all have and concentrate on living my life by the truths below. If there's any way to be immortal, its by passing on some knowledge or some of your spirit to someone else. 

So here's what I'm hoping I can teach Theo as he grows:


Friday, 26 May 2017

I Heart Makeup | Golden Bar palette | Review

The rise and rise of TAM Beauty – the emerging make-up giant behind affordable-but-coveted makeup brands Makeup Revolution. Freedom and Makeup Obsession – continues to be a disruptive and alluring force.

On the one hand, they make very desirable, high-performance products that have a lightning-fast lead time and crucially, are really purse-friendly.

On the other hand, almost their entire strategy revolves around 'duping' (or, to put it more unkindly, 'ripping off') premium brands.

I'm never sure how I feel about this. I was an early lover of Makeup Revolution as it really did offer fantastic value and products that performed just as well as higher-end ones.


Monday, 22 May 2017

Birchbox Review | May 2017

I’ll come right out and say it, I was less than inspired by this month’s offering from Birchbox. I do find that with beauty subscription boxes, they go in cycles. You’ll get a couple of so-so boxes, think about cancelling, and then something killer will come along that makes you want to sign back up.

I was almost going to cancel this month as the May Birchbox pretty much made me want to go to sleep, but I’ve decided to keep it running for next month and make a decision then. Perhaps brighter things are just around the corner!

This month, I felt like there was a lot of recycled stuff in there that’s been in previous boxes, and I hate that. It means you’re essentially getting the same thing twice and that’s lazy. Then there were a couple of the usual suspect – there are a couple of brands that just seem to be eternally popping up in these boxes and you never see them anywhere else, and I get sick of receiving them.

The theme of May’s box is ‘little changes that can make a big difference to your daily rituals’. It remains to be seen if any of these will be game-changers for me, but I’m not feeling positive about it! The box itself is a gorgeous marbled affair with touches of rose gold – very pretty! If only the contents this month were as exciting as the box itself…


Saturday, 13 May 2017

Spring drugstore beauty haul | Bourjois, NYX & L'Oreal

Sometimes nothing beats a good old drugstore haul, does it?

When it comes to makeup and skincare, what I look for is results- and I believe that you can get that with both high-end and affordable products. My favourites certainly come from both ends of the spectrum!

There's something really nice about having a wander through Boots and seeing what's new. I did just that recently and here's what I picked up to try....


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Letters from Lake Garda | Day 6 OOTD

Shock horror, I'm a few days late with my final holiday outfit post. We've been back since Monday afternoon, but on our last evening in Italy we just wanted to relax.

Monday was wiped out with travelling - why does it always make you feel so tired and wretched, even though youre literally sitting there doing nothing?

Then straight back into reality and a busy day at work, so the posting had to take a back seat.

We've had an amazing week spending time as a family. Theo is growing and changing so fast at the moment - every day its a new word or something hes learn to do - so it was so precious to spend all that time with him uninterrupted.


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Letters from Lake Garda | Day Five OOTD

I can't believe that this week has gone so fast, but doesn't it always when you’re having fun? I'm already planning where we can go away to in September!

Today in Garda the weather has not been so great, and actually it's not going to be that nice for the next couple of days. We had considered getting the train to Florence, as I've always wanted to go there.


Saturday, 6 May 2017

Letters from Lake Garda | Day Four OOTD

I'm a day behind with my daily holiday outfit posts, mainly because last night I spent hanging out in the garden with my husband once Theo had gone to bed, drinking some rather good Italian red!

Yesterday, we hired bikes to ride around the lake to Sirmione, an absolutely stunning little village that we came to last time we were in Garda. It has a beautiful castellato as you walk into the city.

The bike ride has to be the most beautiful one I've ever taken, whizzing around the shore with the mountains in the background and the sun shining down. It was such a nice thing to do as a family. We had a front-mounted bike seat for Theo, so he felt like he was steering the bike himself!


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Letters from Lake Garda | Day Three OOTD

Day three is when you really start to relax into your holiday, isn't it? Home and all its cares begins to seem very far away.

Of course, holidays when you have a toddler are a little far removed from what you may have been used to, pre-kids. For a start, they still involve waking up at the crack of dawn - but when you get woken up with a cuddle from your little one it isn't so bad.

The days are pretty busy too, and I haven't actually read a single book yet, which is definitely not like me on holiday. But I have been busy making some great memories with my little boy.


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Letters from Lake Garda | Day Two OOTD

Day two of our trip has been a little more of a mixed bag with the weather. It was forecast to be thunderstorms all day, so we weren't sure what we were going to be able to do, but luckily although it rained a little in the morning, it cleared up to a sunny afternoon.

We decided to hop on the train and go to Verona, which is only 20 minutes away from Pescheria. We visited Verona and Venice on our babymoon a couple of years ago, and although it had always been my dream to see Venice, I actually fell more in love with the laid back vibe and beautiful cobbled streets of Verona.


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Letters from Lake Garda | Day One OOTD

I'm writing to you from the shores of the fabulous Lake Garda, where we are currently taking a family holiday.

Work and home life can get a bit crazy sometimes, so its always special to be able to escape for a few days.

As you may have gathered, Italy is a really special place for our family and one we love to visit. We last came to Garda when I was pregnant, and at the time I vowed to come back with my baby to enjoy the deep peace, awe-inspiring views and il dolce vita that it has to offer.

We weren't staying here last time, so its been good to spend some proper time.

I'm going to be doing a daily outfit post while we're here for the next week. I love seeing what people's holiday style is when they're away, so if you have any similar posts, please link me below.


Sunday, 30 April 2017

Postcards from China

How exactly do you describe a first time visit to China? All the way home on the long flight, I thought about this. I knew that when I got back, people would be asking me how it had been.

What would I say? How would I sum it up? The truth is, I’m still not sure.

China defies description from the perspective of one visit – its so vast, so full on apparent contradictions, so complex. Almost any adjective you can think of would describe some part of it – vibrant, tranquil, traditional, cutting-edge. China seems to be all these things and more.


Monday, 24 April 2017

My Essential Pieces for Winter to Spring Trans-seasonal Style

When it comes to putting together outfits, more often than not it’s the weather that throws a spanner in the works.

Increasingly, it feels as if seasons are less important than individual weeks, as the weather ricochets from warm sunshine to torrential downpours through frosty mornings and back again.

Globally, the weather is becoming less predictable, which on the catwalks has led to a huge sales surge for ‘resort’ collections – clothing that can be styled for any type of weather. Magazines seem to be full of articles on ‘transeasonal’ dressing, and this is how I like to build my wardrobe, because in Britain you can never be sure what weather conditions you’ll get from one week to the next.

Wardrobes need to work hard and they need to work smart, otherwise you end up with piles of summer dresses that don’t get worn.


Friday, 21 April 2017

Birchbox x Boden Review | April 2017

After a run of really good boxes over the past few months, I had high hopes for the April Birchbox.

These boxes always seem to go in cycles in terms of how good the contents are, and it has usually happened that there will be a couple that I don’t like, then I’ll decide to cancel my subscription, only to see something unmissable that lures me back in.

So I go back and forth with what I subscribe to. But would the April offering from Birchbox have me celebrating or hating? Take a peek…


Monday, 17 April 2017

Life, Lately | April 2017

Hello my lovelies!

I’m writing to you from a surprisingly sunny and hot China at the moment, which is quite different from my usual surroundings.

Life often seems to race by in a blur at the moment, and its been quite a few months since I last posted anything personal. Since I love reading these sort of posts on other blogs, and getting a little glimpse into other people’s worlds, please drop me a link below if you’ve done anything similar lately.


Monday, 10 April 2017

What's In My Travel Makeup Bag?

So, I think we’ve safely established that I’m somewhat of a packing geek.

I’m obsessed with the idea of packing light, capsule wardrobe rules for travel, and using fashion maths to avoid baggage fees.

What I like just as much are posts about what travel toiletries and make-up people take with them. I can, and do, go down the Youtube and Bloglovin rabbit holes for hours looking at this kind of content.  

It seemed a wasted opportunity not to put together my own post on what make-up and toiletries I take with me when I travel, so here’s a quick peek at what’s in my bag when I go away:


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

How to Pack Light for an Overnight Business Trip

One of the best ‘adulting’ skills that I’ve learned over the years is how to pack light. And when I say ‘light’, what I really mean is ‘smart’. You can save yourself a whole lot of headaches, not to mention baggage fees, if you manage to master the ‘smart pack’. I wrote previously about how to pack light for a week in Europe, and now I’m going to cover packing for an overnight business conference.

You could be one of those people that like lots of choices, and I am too. But with a smart capsule trip wardrobe, you can get that feeling of having lots of different options -  through being able to combine what you’ve packed in many different ways. I know I value the feeling of travelling without lots of heavy baggage more than I do 12 different shoe options(10 of which I won’t wear anyway…).

The rules vary according to length of stay, destination and purpose of visit, but there are few basic tips that stay the same wherever you’re going:


Friday, 31 March 2017

Birchbox Review | March 2017

The March Birchbox crept up on me – as did the month of March itself – and I cannot believe that we’ve almost landed in April without me mentioning it.

As you know, I’m very on and off with Birchbox, having cancelled by subscription and reinstated it several times. Last month’s spoiler item convinced me to stay for another month!

The theme of the March box is travel and adventures, which is very handy for me as I have so many trips coming up – London, Italy and China – in the next few weeks and will need to stock up on lots of travel minis! So, what was waiting in the box this month?


Friday, 24 March 2017

Slicing Into Beauty Pie | A Revolution In Luxe Makeup?

Have you had your share of the pie yet? Beauty Pie is a brand new subscription model cosmetics club that is buzzing loudly at the moment in the beauty community.

Founded by Marcia Kilgore, the brains behind Bliss skincare and high-street favourite Soap & Glory, the brand certainly seems like it has the credentials. But how does it work and more importantly, does it live up to the enormous hype?

The products all sound tremendously exciting, but getting your head around how the model operates is not the easiest. Beauty Pie is not a subscription box, but you do get charged a monthly subscription fee of £10.

For this, you are paying for access to buy the cosmetics at a ‘membership price’ that’s quite low – typically under £5 an item.

You get an ‘allowance’ of £100 per month (at the full price of the item, not the lower members' price) to spend on the site, which will get you about five or six items.

The whole idea is that the products are produced to the same specifications and formulas as designer brand cosmetics in Italy. They don’t say which (I suspect that would be throwing open the doors to lawsuits galore) but with a little search engine Sherlock-ing, you can easily find out the dupes, including Nars, Charlotte Tilbury and Armani.


Monday, 20 March 2017

Wunderbrow | Is it worth the hype?

If there’s one thing I wish I didn’t have to think about when it comes to beauty, it's definitely brows.

A well-executed arch can literally do wonders for the face, but when I’m all bleary-eyed in the mornings they’re the first thing I mess up. So I’m always hoping a product will come along that makes it quick, easy and foolproof to have groomed brows.

Wunderbrow kept popping up in my Facebook feed accompanied by glowing testimonials, but I was always sceptical about it. It just seemed like one of those gimmicky products that get sold out of shopping centre kiosks – the kind that always makes miraculous claims but very rarely delivers. And at £20 it wasn’t something I was going to risk.

Yet I kept seeing this parade of perfect arches on my feeds. So when Amazon had an offer on Wunderbrow for £10, I decided to find out what all the hype was about…


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

My New Skincare Routine | The Ordinary by Deciem

Do you find skincare a bit of a mystery? I think many of us are really unsure as to what exactly we should be putting on our skin to address individual concerns.

We know one size doesn't necessarily fit all when it comes to formulations, but beyond the classic ‘dry/oily/sensitive/combination’ groupings, struggle to see through the marketing hype.

Skincare companies are generally very good at claiming theirs is the cream that will erase all our skin woes in one hit. But are these expensive creams really worth it? Do big skincare companies hide behind jargon too much, convincing us that commonplace ingredients are ground-breaking and worth vastly inflated prices?

Enter Deciem, the brains behind a new way of caring for your skin. The company have made headlines with NIOD, their first line, and even more with The Ordinary – often described as budget-friendly products for skincare geeks.


Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Birchbox x Papier | February 2017 | Review

My relationship with Birchbox is so on and off, it's ridiculous. I’ll get a couple of bad ones, realise I don’t need a collection of hundreds of mini moisturisers and hair masks that I never use, and cancel. Then I’ll see something amazing in the next month’s box, and sign back up. Everytime I cancel, they decide to roll out the good stuff.

After seeing the February box, I signed back up late, because it seemed like there were a couple of things I really wanted in this month’s collection. So, here it is. Take a peek….

This month’s box design was a collaboration with haute stationery brand Papier, and featured a choice of two beautiful floral print designs, a really nice introduction to the brand,


Friday, 24 February 2017

OOTD | Origami Fox | Bloggers' Brunch

What kind of a blogger would I be if I didn’t squeeze an outfit post out of the lovely bloggers brunch event I attended a couple of weeks ago?

At first, I was unsure about posting this, mainly because I didn’t have time to get any proper shots of the outfit on, just a quick mirror selfie. But I couldn’t resist the chance to post about my bargainous blouse, which is literally my internet find of the year so far, so I’m posting it anyway!


Friday, 17 February 2017

Tili Box #3 | Still the best beauty box going?

Another Tili box has landed! I feel like I’ve been waiting an absolute age since box number two. As soon as I saw it appear, I hit order.

Sadly, there was a problem and my first box went missing, but it all got sorted out in the end, although I had to wait longer than I wanted to get my hands on it.

If you haven’t met Tili before, it’s a beauty box curated by shopping channel QVC, who are actually one of the biggest beauty retailers in the UK.


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Galentine's Bloggers Brunch | Intu | Caffe Rizzoli | House of Fraser

What would you say to a prosecco brunch and makeover on a rainy Sunday?

Well, if you’re anything like me, you’d say ‘Yes please!’, and that was exactly what I did when I was invited along to Intu Victoria Centre by the lovely team there for some nibbles, pampering and a whole lot of fun.

Now I’m juggling full-time work and mummy duties such opportunities for girlie pampering are almost non-existant, and I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a coffee without having to be simultaneously on toddler-wrangling duties for quite some time, so I was champing at the bit to get involved for an afternoon of indulgence.


Saturday, 11 February 2017

BareMinerals Divine Decadence

BareMinerals is one of my beloved brands – and one that just seems to keep on upping the game.

They’ve always been innovators, from their original foundation that inspired a host of copy-cats to the skincare line based on plant actives that’s just been expanded. Beautiful stuff.

The BareMinerals Original Foundation is one I always come back to. It’s super-easy to apply and blend, offers a lovely level of coverage that’s easy to adjust and is kind to your skin. I’ve used it on and off for years, and I usually have a pot on the go at any given time.

So when this beautiful 8-piece Divine Decadence set caught my eye, I entered serious make-up addict mode.


Friday, 10 February 2017

Messy Money? | Six Tips To Sort Your Spending

Why is our money so messy? If you came to this post, it’s probably because, deep down, at some level, you think that you’re ‘no good with money’. But great financial behaviour is not a talent – it’s a series of things you can learn.

There’s a certain group of girls I identify with. The ones who are dazzled by new, shiny things. The ones who are always surprised by how much they’ve spent at the end of the month. The ones who get a certain bag/gadget/makeup palette in their head and can’t stop thinking about it.

Financial detail feels so cold, so dull, so impossible to understand. Money feels distant and abstract.

So you sail on without much control over what’s going on. Perhaps this works okay for months, or even years. But eventually, you’ll run up against some big purchase or important goal in life and realise that this approach leaves you powerless. Your money is a tool -  and it’s up to you, and only you, to make it work for you.


Monday, 6 February 2017

Five products to fall for in February

It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to love. The shops are full of hearts and flowers and everyone around us is gearing up for Valentine’s Day.

Whether you like it or not, it's undeniable that love is in the air. And there are not many purer forms of love than that between a beauty addict and her favourite products!

So with that in mind, I’m sharing my five products to fall for in February. Beautiful? Yes. Heart-stopping? I'd say so! Can’t live without? Definitely. It was love at first use for these special things…


Monday, 30 January 2017

Birchbox January 2017 | Review

Have you got beauty box fatigue yet? I kind of feel like I have. I used to look forward to getting my monthly parcel of happiness like a child looks forward to Christmas.

What could be better than a box of bite-size beauty treats, shiny and new, in amongst all the bills, Talk Talk offers and takeaway fliers that seem to make up the bulk of direct mail today?

But over time, I’ve definitely begun to fall out of love.

Repeat products, uninspiring face wash samples and the realisation that I never used most of the products, but just hoarded them in a drawer for ‘when I go away’ have taken their toll.

I just feel utterly ‘meh’ about most of the contents these days. Periodically, I’ve cancelled my subscriptions with both Glossybox and Birchbox, only to open them up again – and then wonder why.
The only beauty box that’s excited me in recent memory is the fabulous Tili box, but that’s not every month (I am eagerly awaiting the February drop as we speak).

So when the January Birchbox landed, encouraging me to ‘Sprinkle Happiness’ in this most joyless of months, I was unconvinced. Take a look at what was inside…


Saturday, 21 January 2017

Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint | Review

We beauty bloggers are a fickle bunch, aren’t we? The thrill of the new always gets to us.

It doesn’t matter whether we’ve found our holy grail item or not, some good marketing and some pretty packaging can always switch us on to thinking about the next big thing.

This is especially true for me when it comes to mascaras.

I keep hoping that one will be so amazing, it will completely remove the need for me to use false lashes, but even with the most amazing one I’ve found (Too Faced’s Better Than Sex, FYI…), I still find myself reaching for lashes to give the look and impact I like.

The main problem, for me, is that my lashes are so darn straight. They just refuse to hold a curl, and I haven’t tried anything so far that helps with that.

When it comes to lashes, I like my mascaras to deliver volume more than anything else. I want a fat, dense, feathery look, so that’s the benchmark for me, although everyone is after something different.

Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes formula was something I liked, so I was excited to try their new offering, Tarteist Lash Paint. Take a look to see how we got on…


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Lacura Cuvee Royal Skin Care | Lacura Caviar Eye Roll On | Review

I am a lover of luxury – that elusive sensation of a well-made beautiful product that’s a pleasure to use and delivers results. But sometimes the most luxurious options don’t have to be the priciest.

Economies of scale are a real thing, and in our globalised times, it's getting easier and easier to find luxurious products that don’t break the bank. Especially when there’s a global retailer involved.

Step forward unlikely beauty hero Aldi. Yep, the same place that brought you cut-price Continental foods also serves up some heavy-weight skincare. I’ve used and loved their Lacura Caviar range before – a line of premium-looking creams modelled on La Prairie, stuffed with anti-ageing goodies and packaged in heavy glass jars.

So when I spotted the gorgeous looking Cuvee Royal range, I couldn’t resist giving it a try.

What says ‘luxury’ more than a line of premium skincare made from champagne?


Monday, 9 January 2017

#Project 2017 | Planning my goals for this year

The scent of a new year is in the air, but what does it mean to you? To me, its always a chance for a fresh start. 

I'm actually in the camp that believes that New Years Resolutions don't work, and I also don't think you should wait until a random point in the calendar to make changes that really need making.  

So instead I set rolling goals for myself that can be worked towards. I'm a motivated person that's keen on self-improvement, so having something to work towards is definitely my vibe.  

In 2016, I worked on three main areas of my life – streamlining, activating and experiencing. It was a year of seismic change  in my personal life as I settled into a new home, got to grips with being a first-time mama and changed jobs after coming back from maternity leave.  

So having my goals helped me keep a focus and gave my year consistency. And although there were areas where I could have done better (that's just life, right?), there were also lots and lots of positives.  

Using my experiences in 2016, I've refreshed my personal goals for 2017. Most of them are ongoing ones or evolutions from my 2016 stuff -  and that's important. If there's one thing I've learned, its that change isn't a single, big decision. It’s a series of little decisions every single day.  

So, I thought I'd share my goals on the chance that they might be inspiring to someone out here. Let me know what you're working in the comments below! 


Friday, 6 January 2017

What's In My Work Bag? | Mulberry Bayswater

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I love to do ‘What’s in my bag?’ posts every so often. For some reason, I never seem to get tired of reading and watching other people’s – there’s something oddly comforting about it. Plus, I’m a big fan of handbags in general!

For quite some time after having Theo, I didn’t use a bag at all – I just chucked my stuff into his changing bag. Then when I first went back to work, I was cycling, so I had a rather unglamorous (but necessary) rucksack.

Since starting my new job a few months ago, I’m finally able to put on my adult pants and have a proper handbag again. Yay! And I’m celebrating with this post…

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