Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Consent is Sexy

Back in my youth  magazines were filled with 'hilarious' articles titled 'When Sex Goes Wrong'. These were usually tales of somebody getting their toe stuck in a tap or shouting 'Ahh Bisto' at the crucial moment. Fast forward  ten years and the tales of sex going wrong are a far more sordid affair; Sex being used as a form of currency, revenge porn, the excuse of 'lad banter', and boundaries that just aren't being respected. 

Thankfully slut shaming is on it's way out, women are talking about their experiences and sex is less of a taboo. We're all being a lot more open and sexually liberated. This was most apparent to me about 5 years ago when I was on a packed train surrounded by (mainly) women proudly reading 50 Shades of Grey before starting their working day. While it's great we're open to being a lot more adventurous we're being reminded that consent is massively important, whether in a relationship or not. Unlike Christian there's no grey area. It all boils down to two key elements, respect and communication.  

We want to be able to be as adventurous as we like but we have to respect our partner at the same time, make sure you're both on the same page. It's important to understand the boundaries early on.

Whether in a long term relationship or a new fling it's all about communication, not just in the nature of safety, but it will make the whole experience itself a lot more enjoyable! Talking about what your partner is into gives you an insight how to rock their bloody world! If you're a bit stuck in a rut it's a good way to bring a spark back to the relationship.


One way to spice things up a bit and dip your toe into the water (so to speak) is to try out some new underwear. This can be a cute little set from the high street, swapping your trusty spanx for 'genuinely tiny knickers' (a nod to Bridget Jones there) or a cute came. Basically anything that makes you feel sexy will do the job. 

For something slightly more provocative head over to Twisted Lingerie and take a look at their gorgeous selection of underwear. Their mission is  'to empower women to embrace their desires'. They were founded as there was a severe lack of affordable erotic wear available so they have made it easy to find something adventurous without breaking the bank. We all know January has been the longest month ever (it's still not over- how?!) and you don't want to be spending a fortune when you're experimenting. I've always been of the opinion 'why would I spend hundreds of pounds if I'm only going to be taking it off?' So don't worry, these are not Agent Provocateur prices, they even have a student discount!

One of my favourite pieces is the Xenia Gold Playsuit. It would actually look great under a sheer blouse in replace of a bralette. A little hint of the garment underneath is quite exciting and the mixture of mesh with the satin straps makes it really sexy without getting immediate fetish club vibes. 


I like how the a gold metal adds a nice bit of detail and the adjustable straps ensure you have a comfortable size.

Twisted have a great selection and it's an easy way to pick the pieces you like  to create your own set. You can even get some strappy knickers and pair them with a bra of your own or get a mesh bra with some silky knickers from Primark - you have the freedom to do what you like and that's a good message to take with you to the bedroom. 

At some point before getting partially naked with someone you should do as Salt-N-Pepa said in the 90s and talk about sexy, babyWhat you've done before, what you'd like to try and especially the definite no no's.

Not to get too serious but  health conditions might be worth mentioning if you get high blood pressure or something -nobody wants a embarrassing trip to A & E in your new bondage gear clutching your inhaler. If you're into the really kinky stuff and want to tie someone up be sensible and don't cover both the mouth and the nose. It's just common sense. Also agree on a word or gesture that means stop, it's very important to make sure both people (or all people -I'm not one to judge!) are happy.

The average persons sex drive is higher in winter so it's no wonder we all seem to know loads of people with birthdays in September, October, and November - you're thinking about it now, aren't you?

With Valentines Day coming up and with it being too damn cold to go out it's preferable to have nights in with your lover/bae/loved one/tinderella. And what better time to get a bit adventurous...

*sponsored post 


Friday, 19 January 2018

Lush Valentines 2018

It's been a little while since I did a little Lush post isn't it? With the Valentine's range on the shelves and the Spring products on the way I'm getting a little more excited about what Lush has up their sleeve. Christmas bits are great, but I get a sick of the clove, cinnamon (pine? Christmas cake...?!) scents very quickly. I really like their fresh, sweet and floral scents so these are more my bag!

 Last year  I loved the Lush Valentines bits and pieces and I'm loving the look of the range so far. Now I say 'so far' as I have only had a look online. The 2 products I have were kindly picked up by my wonderful fiancĂ© so he is in the good books at the moment. 


He knows I am a fan of the  Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar (£4.50), it's one of the products I stock up on. 

It's such a sweet and calming scent. The Ylang Ylang oil and Lavender is really soothing, I always feel great after a bath using one of these. I tend to break mine in half and use it for two separate baths because I am cheap thrifty.

Another ingredient is neroli which I am already a big fan of. Lush says-
 “Neroli oil increases serotonin levels in the brain which makes us feel contented and cheery, so you can ponder the existence of magical creatures while building a fairytale landscape of feel-good, fragrant bubbles” …don’t mind if I do. 


The Love Boat bath bomb (£4.25) is a new one for this year and boy is it CUTE! The little heart on the front and the colours... just... yes! I popped this in the bath the other night and it fizzed about beautifully leaving trails of pink, blue and yellow which leaves the bath a lovely lilac.

The scent of Sicilian lemon oil, sweet orange oil androse oil filled the bathroom and left the skin smelling gorgeous. Definitely one to pick up as a Valentines treat (for yourself!).

I'm looking forward to taking a closer look at the rest of the range, I'd love you hear your Lush recommendations. For videos when I use the products keep up to date over on my Insta Stories.


Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Maybelline Total Temptation Collection

Last week I headed into London to attend the launch of Maybelline's Total Temptation range. This included a palette, mascara, brow definer, and 9 shades of their Matte Ink lipsticks. 


The event was spread out over 3 floors and consisted of a ball pit, a furry wall, a huge pile of cushions (which I jumped in of course!) and lots of pink treats. Maybelline know how to host an event! If you want a closer look at the event head over to my Insta Story Highlights


After one of the gorgeous make-up artists worked her magic with the new products I was sold on this collection. The mascara really opened up my eyes, my cheekbones were highlighted and I had the perfect nude for my skin tone. I was a happy bunny!


The packaging of these is similar to the Gigi Hadid collection with its pale pink plastic casing and I like that it stands out in my make-up bag. 

I've got a couple of the products to share with you so you can have a closer look. 


I love Maybelline mascaras, I think they are one of the best on the high street, so the Total Temptation Mascara was one I was most excited about trying. Firstly this one is infused with coconut extract which lengthens and adds volume while also conditioning the lashes. Gotta love that coconut huns!


This doesn't really add a curl like a couple of my other mascaras do but the lashes are definitely fuller, appear longer and are so soft! It's nice that the lashes don't feel hard or crunchy at all. You can see the before and after below which shows the difference it makes. Much like the other mascaras by Maybelline it's reasonably priced at £8.99


The Total Temptation Brow Definer is a cream formula that sweeps on easily and it's the applicator that makes it so simple. Rather than being a flat rectangular tip it's a thin diamond shape so you can use the thinnest edge to be really precise with the ends of the brows. 

There's a round spoolie on the end to blend and brush the colour through. I have the Deep Brown shade which originally seemed too dark for me, however the medium brown is a litter warmer toned so this one is actually a better match. This retails at £7.99.

maybelline-2018-total-temptation-brow-definer-reviewI love a liquid lipstick, they are so low maintenance and still give that great colour I'm after.  Maybelline's Matte Ink lipsticks are seriously impressive, if you are after something that really doesn't budge all day then these are perfect for you. 


I'm that person who comes over for a cup of tea and leaves the mug covered in lipstick, but as this one stays so well I don't have to feel guilty for ruining the fine china ( who am I kidding? I wouldn't be trusted with anyone's fine china!). They have some really great bold shades in their collection and have now added some 'UNNUDES'. 

Yep, now they've released 9 nude shades, I guarantee you will find a colour perfect for you to wear day to day. Nudes are my go-to through all seasons as they are so easy to wear, to dress up or down and the Matte Inks are so good for applying in the morning and not having to worry about reapplying all day. I like to just kind of forget about my make-up once it's on. 

I've got the shade 'Poet' which is a warm peachy nude and I think it is perfect for me, it may just be my favourite nude! The doe-foot applicator great for applying along the lip line and the coloured packaging makes it easy to see which shade you're picking up -cos you're going to want a few of these!


I've seen some people say this takes ages to dry but that is only the case if you apply too much product. I find the best thing to do is add a thin coat and add another if needed - though these are so pigmented I rarely need to add more product.


As the staying power is bloody excellent you will need an oil based remover to get them off - swatch them when you're next in Boots and you'll see what I mean! These babies don't budge. They are £9.99 each and I would definitely take advanced of the 3 for 2 offers and get a couple of bits from this collection.

*these were kindly gifted to me by Maybelline but all views are my own


Thursday, 4 January 2018

Christmas Presents and Sale Bargains

There has been a little controversy about people posting about what they got for Christmas. But one thing I have learnt in 2017 is no matter what you do, you will probably piss someone off so just do what you like. Life is too short to worry about what other people 'might' think.

I personally really enjoy seeing the blog posts on how people spent their Christmas, all the family events they went to, the arguments over board games, their own little traditions - it's really interesting.


Social media means we get a real glimpse into people's lives and Insta Stories have provided a lot of entertainment to me over the last couple of weeks. It's so nice seeing people happy and if that is because somebody has bought them an iPad, then that's great! It's important to remember we don't see the other side of social media, like a photo album we only really show the good times so all might not be as it seems so just take everything with a pinch of salt and just enjoy life. Don't let what others are doing get you down, Live and Let Live.

This year we were lucky enough to have two Christmases, one at my parents the day before Christmas eve with my brother and sister (my youngest brother is travelling and in Bali at the moment). Then Christmas day was the first time it was just the three of us - and the first Christmas day since I was about 11 where I didn't apply any makeup or even properly get dressed! It's all about much more than presents, we like to spend real time together playing, watching films and making amazing food. This time of year is the perfect excuse to spend a lot of quality time with the people that matter.

Along with the 'gift of time' with my family I was lucky enough to get a few lovely presents and I picked up some great sale bits too. We all love to be a little nosey at times, don't we? So I'll share some of them with you.

I'll start with the bits I got in the sale just in case anything is still in stock and you want to go and grab one for yourself! I get asked 'what would you like for Christmas?' by my family and there are a lot of things I like but wouldn't ask for as I know after Christmas they will be so much cheaper and I wouldn't want them wasting their money on me. This is where my Boots points come in handy, I save them up and at Christmas I like to treat myself so these next two gift sets were essentially free. 


I mentioned the Benefit Galifornia Love Set  in my Beauty Lovers Wish List post and I said it was a bargain at the original price of £24.50... well imagine how I felt when I picked it up for a mere £16.33! Pretty pink dome packaging aside, there are 3 products, all of which I love. A full size Roller Lash mascara is usually £20.50 on it's own so you're essentially 3 products for the price of one. Along with the mascara there's a full size High Brow pencil (perfect for highlighting the brow arch an really defining the brows) and a mini of Benefit's newest blush 'Galifornia' which I've been tempted to try. I'm rather pleased with this, I must say! 

My beloved Cleanse and Polish had just ran out so I was planning on purchasing another. When I noticed it was inside the 'Liz Earle -Make Every Day Radiant'  set I added it to my basket straight away as it meant I could try out some new products. I've already got the Instant Boost Skin Tonic so it's always good to have another in my stash, it's lovely to use after removing my make up. The best thing about this set was the moisturiser, another product I was slowly running out of and I wanted to try something new. The reviews on the Superskin Moisturiser with natural neroli were excellent and the scent of this is divine! Alone this moisturiser would cost me £39 and it's a full size tub too. This lot, along with 2 muslin cloths cost me £28 of Boots points when originally the set was £42. ABSOLUTE BARGAIN MATE.


Another one on my wish list was the Stila 'Play It Cool' Stay All Day liquid lipstick set. Sam actually tried to get this for me for Christmas but he couldn't find anywhere that had it in stock that would deliver in time. Typically he left his shopping til last minute. I'm kind of glad he did as it went down to £14 from £20. There's 3 gorgeous mini lipsticks and I've been wearing the middle one 'Patina' constantly since I got it. They really stay put and are so lightweight I will definitely be picking up some full sized ones over the year. 


I never think to look at shoes in Marks and Spencer but as I was cutting through to get to the car park I saw these boots on a mannequin and I was drawn in by those red laces! I kind of forgot about them til boxing day when I thought to check online to see if they had gone in the sale. I was delighted to see they were now only £25 and in stock just down the road from me. I popped out and picked them up- I made sure I got in and out quickly though, there were some determined looking bargain hunters and after a day of far too much cheese, turkey and chocolate I was in no mood to wrestle for a bath bomb. I was home with a coffee, wearing in my new boots before my boys were even out of their pjs. 


Now on to a couple of bits I was lucky enough to be given for Christmas. My best friend got me a whole host of goodies including a bag of Yankee votive candles. She knows I like to chop and change and can't commit to one big candle (what that says about my character, I don't know!) so she picked out a selection of scents. She told me she was sniffing around the shop like a sniffer dog picking them out and I adore every one of them - girl did good! 


This Sainsbury's mug sums up a lot of people I know (including me!). I love the colour of it too. 


Sam did some research and spent  a fair bit of time chatting in the art shop and got me some lovely new Brush Pens to play with. Anyone who knows me knows I'm into my drawing and I'm really excited to get creative with these.


Sam also got me these pretty glittery shoes from Schuh. It's a kind-of tradition that I get shoes for Christmas and you can't go wrong with sparkles! My parents got me a big bottle of my signature scent Dior Addict, it's been my favourite perfume since I was about 18 - I love it. 


Christmas came and went so quickly as always and I'm so grateful to have such lovely generous people around me. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I'm really looking forward to an exciting 2018!


Monday, 1 January 2018

Looking Forward, Never Back

I wanted to write a new years post, I started this thinking 'but 2017 was a bit rubbish' -yes it had some amazing ups but the downs were so draining! 

And you know, I sat down to write this and I had a look back at how I felt at the beginning of this year. I was reminded how much of a pain the year before had been, how I was determined to not let 2017 get to me. At first it got me down but it made me realise that although I thought 2017 was a little on the crappy side, the year before was worse so it's getting better. It's all moving in a positive direction. Things take time, often longer than the 365 day time limit we give ourselves in January. 

It's made me more determined than ever before to put the effort into this year and make it what I want. I've learnt from the year before and I can use that experience to make 2018 a little better. This year is going to have it's differences, maybe some things will stay the same. I'm going to focus on the things I did right to make the last year a whole lot better and the thing that stood out was how I could finally stand up for myself. Taylor Swift was my spirit animal, I was finally done taking all the sh*t (not just from others, but from myself too) and ready to move on. The weight off my shoulders when I realised this was incredible. 

I'm not even writing this post worrying about how some might read it and twist things or take offence - I just don't care any more. 

The people that matter don't mind and the people that mind don't matter


I won't list the things I achieved in 2017 because I know how well I did and I'm proud of myself - that is what matters. 

So this isn't going to be a long post. I saw this little template a few years back and I like how it's a quick way to think about the year ahead. 

In 2018 I will-

 Quit  Chips, I don't cook them at home and I only have them out as something to dip in a good sauce (maple mayo is incredible, guys!). There are better sides out there. I can go a year without chips. *watch me regret this when I take a trip to the beach!

 Start  more conversations. I find people fascinating, starting up conversations with people can only be a positive thing.

 Visit  Liverpool. I've been meaning to go again for ages and I will do it this year! I will also try to resist speaking in an accent when I'm there. 

 Accept  that other people don't do things the way I might.

 Honour  my first instincts, they're very accurate.

 Make  more cards for people. I enjoy doing it and I love giving people something that has meaning.

 See  another West End show. I have a few on my list to see.

 Learn   a lot more HTML bits and peices even if it does make my head hurt.

 Give  my time to people that appreciate it and mend relationships that need it.

 Eat  more veg as snacks to stop relying on biscuits to get me through the day.

 Have  money left over at the end of each month.

 Be  stronger, in all ways.

 Act  how I feel, not how I think I 'should act'.

 Grow  my Instagram and work with more brands that I love.

 Invest  in good skincare -I only have one face, and one that isn't getting any younger!

But in all honestly, in most cases I'm going to continue doing as I'm doing. A new year isn't about a 'new me' it's just tweaking the parts of me that need work and continuing doing the things I'm ace at. 

I'll say what I tell everyone each year, remember it's ok to love yourself and don't take life too seriously. Happy New Year!