Friday, 15 November 2019

Cult Beauty Starter Kit 2019




Oh look it’s only a little beauty post! It’s been a while! I’ve not been playing around with a lot of new makeup to be honest. When Mason is at school and Mila naps and I get some time to wander in the shops I generally head for a coffee shop to sit down to be honest, so playing with new beauty releases has taken a back seat. 

But last week it was my birthday and I was very pleased to unwrap Cult Beauty’s latest beauty box. The Starter Kit excited me a lot as it contained a lot of products I’ve been meaning to try. This almost never happens. I unsubscribed from beauty boxes as I always ended up with some bits I knew wouldn’t get opened. 

cult-beauty-box-2019-starter-kit



So, inside the box is a good little mixture of skincare and makeup.

First is the  Squalane Cleanser from The Ordinary  (50ml). Surprisingly, this is the first product I’ve tried from The Ordinary even though I’ve been meaning to give the brand a go for ages. 

This removes make-up and impurities whilst retaining skin's natural moisture. Plant-derived squalane  hydrates and moisturizes and I really like how it melts into an oil as you massage it into the skin. 
It’s a really affordable £5.50 when sold separately so I think I'll be repurchasing this.

cult-beauty-2019-ordinary-squalene-cleanser



As I’m in my 30s it’s necessary to be using a retinol to replenish the skin and help reduce those lines a bit. The Pixi Retinol Tonic (100ml) was one I was most excited about and it has not disappointed. Peptides firm skin and boost collagen production and Jasmine Flower heals and balances. I find applying this really soothing and it smells nice too. 


I bloody love watermelon. I have watermelon bikini, and any drink or scent with watermelon is right up my street. So naturally I loved the sound of the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask 30ml (which retails at £20.50). While I love watermelon I actually had no idea about the benefits that it had on the skin.

Used in Korea to soothe irritated and inflamed skin, the watermelon extract floods the complexion with restoring vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids. 
The gel-textured formula is full of a whole load of goodness and gets to work while you sleep. It gently exfoliates and moisturises so you can wake up to baby-soft, gorgeously glowing skin  that frankly, smells incredible!

cult-beauty-2019-watermelon-glow-sleeping-mask


Onto the make-up. First is a gorgeous cream blush from NARS  in  shade Orgasm  which is a warm pink with subtle shimmer to it. 

 ‘The Multiple’ is NARS’  original multi-purpose stick for eyes, cheeks, lips and the body -I’ll definitely be using this on my cheeks though.  It’s lovely and  creamy formula and the colour blends effortlessly for a quick flush of colour. It’s so easy to apply either with your fingers or blended with a brush and it’s enriched with Vitamin E and a├žai oil too. This is a small 4g version which is great for trying out, a full-size 14ml is £30

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I love Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks, the packaging alone just feels so luxurious. However I don’t like to part with £25 without knowing I will love the shade. The lipstick in this box is very cute but really tiny! I’m pretty sure it’s going to get lost in my handbag but I’m looking at it as a way to try out the renowned shade ‘Pillow Talk' which is a perfect rose/mauve and the formula is so creamy.  According to CT one Pillow Talk lipstick is sold every 2 minutes - so it’s definitely popular.


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The star of the show has to be the Huda Beauty Topaz Obsessions Palette which is usually £25 alone.

 I actually gasped when I opened this up. There’s nine highly pigmented  shades with hues of gold, brown and amber.  Containing  five mattes and four striking shimmers, it’s the perfect palette for this season. I’m actually inspired to get a bit glam on the school run so this baby doesn’t go to waste! 

cult-beauty-box-2019-huda-beauty-topaz-obsessions-review



Overall this is an absolute bargain at £30 when 2 of the products retail at over £20 alone. Keep a look out on the Cult Beauty site as this would make a brilliant Christmas gift to any beauty lover.




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Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Time for Tea: What kind of woman?

There’s a lot of talk about how men are dicks. Men are to blame for this and that... 
Men do lots wrong and yes, men cheat; I feel like society focuses on that a lot. 
A man will be remembered as a cheater. A name will be brought up and the automatic ‘he cheated on his wife’ response follows. Not to say that it's not forgiven, but it’s always remembered. 


rant-the-other-woman

This might be an unpopular opinion but the woman involved, (and I’m generalising here) or the 'other party' has it all brushed off.

This little ramble stems from a poll I did on Twitter recently. I asked if anyone who had ever worked in an office knew of an office affair, of someone there in a relationship-of -sorts with a partner at home. I think you know where I'm going here, the most common answer was yes.

Over the years I’ve worked in many offices and it every single one I knew about an affair going on. I have so many stories I could tell but there just isn’t the time. Maybe one day I'll write a book. 

One time my (married with kids) boss sent every girl in the office a rose on Valentines day, which was very sweet but I knew it was the way he got around sending his PA a bigger bunch without anyone raising an eyebrow. My eyebrow very much raised as said PA (newly married with a baby) trained me and left her e-mails open while she 'left me to it' (or went to do jobs for her boss but whatever...) A bored temp who can file papers quickly finds ways of passing the time. Those e-mails revealed a lot about what her and the boss got up to and it was much more than making the coffee and booking the meeting rooms, let me tell you!

At another job, a work friendship of mine ended due to her telling the (married to a model, with a kid together) boss that she’d been filling me in on details of their dates and nights in the back of his Range Rover. He swiftly made me redundant too so that was fun. 

I know a very large company which has trips away where almost everyone is up to no good behind their partner’s backs. And everyone covers for each other. Or at least they try to. 

Now, in the cases I’ve mentioned it’s the men that are married and/or have kids. It’s still wrong when it’s someone’s boyfriend but I think it’s got more to it when there’s a marriage or children involved so I’m focusing on them, the husbands. 

The men are cheating with someone. Someone who thinks that’s ok. A girl who would do that to another girl. To someone at home looking after that man’s kids while he has dinners and drinks away at bars, theme parks or race courses. In some cases to pregnant women. What kind of girl thinks that’s ok?! I can’t help but feel that these girls get off scot-free. The men (when they are found out) are outed as cheating scum while the girl moves on to her next victim- never to actually settle of course. Maybe it’s the type of girl that doesn’t suit relationships, she has commitment problems or daddy issues. The need to feel significant for a few hours far out ways any pride or dignity. 

Maybe not knowing the wife makes it easier, I’d like to think if it was a friend of theirs they would act differently but who knows...
All they need to do is block their social accounts and move on. There’s no real repercussions, nothing to lose. 

If a friend of mine sat me down all ‘guess what, I’ve been seeing this guy! He’s married, his wife is pregnant but that doesn’t matter...’ I’d be calling her some names that rhyme with ‘hut’ and ‘ducking tanky itch’.

 It’s just not ok to be ‘that girl’. Even emotional cheating, not quite getting (pardon the phrase) ‘in there’ but implying it; being that one that is on the end of the phone for random texts, selfies and chats about your day, it’s still not right. Anything behind the wive’s back is not ok. It’s not a case of “I’m not married, he’s the one who’s in the wrong- not me!’ No, you both are! You lumped yourself right into the category of wrong when this started. Yes he should address any problems in his relationship with his wife but any woman with any form of moral compass would not move forward til he did so. 


In this age of feminism and having the ‘girls support girls’ anthem rammed down our throats on every slogan tee on the market we should be better. You should be better. So fucking stop it. 



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Friday, 13 September 2019

Zippos Circus

After the hype of The Greatest Showman last year Mason started to show an interest in the circus. The idea of showing everything weird and wonderful is fascinating in a child’s eyes. You can’t deny there’s a real mystical feel that is unlike any other performance. 

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I remember going to the circus in my early 20's with a group of friends. It was a great night out and something a little bit different than our usual trips to the pub.

 When I was offered the chance to go visit this year I knew it would be a lot of fun to watch the show as a family. Mason has been so good since Mila’s arrival, he's been the perfect big brother and a great help to me, not just since she was born but throughout my pregnancy too. He deserves a treat with us and a little time with just Mum and Dad and this looks perfect.


 Zippos Circus is back on the road for with a nationwide Big Top 2019 tour – The
 Magnificent Top Hat. They’re celebrating 21 years since Ringmaster Norman
 Barrett MBE first appeared at Zippos Circus. Norman holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-serving Ringmaster and he’ll be presenting acts from all over the world. From astonishing acrobats and aerialists, amazing contortionists, clever comics and daredevil motorcyclists -they have it all! 

zippos-circus-Norman-Barrett-Paulo-Dos-Santos

With such a variety of acts there’s bound to be something for everyone. I’m really looking forward to seeing  3 foot 6 showman Paulo Dos Santos who is meant to be fantastically funny. And watching daring acts like knife throwers up close is going to be nail biting! 

They are currently in Twickenham until the 17th September, then on to Peckham Rye from 24th-29th September. They are coming to a couple of locations near me but the easiest for us to get to is Bannisters Field in Guildford at the beginning of October and they head on to Rochester, Finsbury Park and Hampstead Heath afterwards. 

zippos-circus-review

Tickets for the two hour show (with interval) start from just £9 for adults (15 years and over) and £7.50 for children. Kids under 2 go free if they don’t occupy a seat.

If you want to head down to see the show I have a discount code that will give you 30% off. Just use ZIP30 when you order. You can find the tour dates and locations  here: https://www.zippos.co.uk/tickets


I’ll be sharing our experience over on Instagram so keep an eye out at the beginning of next month and check out the #zipposcircus hashtag on instagram in the meantime! 






*I've been offered complimentary tickets to attend this event but all thoughts and views are my own


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Monday, 2 September 2019

Our Day at the Beach

I try not to get too bogged down with the competitive side of the Summer break. I say try because naturally I'm always doubting myself when it comes to the kids. The whole ‘you only have ‘X’ more summers with them’ comes with a lot of pressure to make sure you're out and about, making sure you all 'enjoy every moment'.  I don’t think that the child who goes on the most day trips has the best Summer. Never mind the cost of all those days out, it’s good to have some rest days not only for them but for us Mums too! Days just hanging out with family, a quick trip to the park on the way back from the food shop or even just a movie (that they almost never sit through!) day -It’s all fun for them. You don’t need to keep up with what you think the wonder mums are doing, they probably have secret boring days too and if they don’t I bet they’re bloody shattered! 

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During this summer break we've made sure we've mixed in some rest days along with some days out. On one of the more active days we  headed  down to Portsmouth to Kidz island South Pier.


I spent all of my childhood summers at the beach so I've got a real love for the British seaside. It has that old nostalgia and the smell in the air just makes me smile as it takes me back to being young and carefree.



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We live about an hour away from Portsmouth so it's easy for us to drive down for the day when the mood takes us. So one rather sunny day we managed to tear Mason from his Nintendo Switch for long enough to head down for a day at the beach.

 As you walk along the beach you see the traditional Helter Skelter ride on the end of the pier which gives it that authentic feel. Right away I heard the  familiar sound of beeps and songs from the arcade machines and the children's excitement. 

kidz-island-south-parade-pier-portsmouth-beach

We went straight to the ticket booth to get our £7.50 wristband which gave us access to all rides and could go on as many times as we wanted. If you are planning on spending the day here the wristband is your best option but you can choose to pay £2 per ride if you just want a couple of goes. 


There's a good selection of rides which suit under tens. Being 5 months old meant that Mila was a little too small for the rides but she enjoyed all the bright colours around her. The mini planes was a favourite of Mason's. Each plane had a different theme and his wristband meant he wasn't disappointed when the Pokemon plane was taken, it meant he could go on that one on his next go and opted for a different plane for his first go. We are all familiar with a child's mini breakdown when they don't get what they want so this was a massive plus in my eyes!

kidz-island-south-parade-pier-portsmouth-review

He loved the chair swings and the caterpillar roller coaster with the great view out to sea. It looked really lovely on such a clear day. I really enjoyed going on this with him, it was so nice to see him enjoy the things I loved as a kid. It really felt like we had some proper family time.

kidz-island-south-parade-pier-portsmouth-rides

We all took it in turns to have a go on the Dogems. I'd forgotten how much fun they are and they really brought out the kids in Sam and I. I think a date to a fair is on the cards soon!

We couldn't walk past without having a go at 'hook a duck' - a prize every time just makes it worth it. Even Mila got a go! 

kidz-island-south-parade-pier-hook-a-duck

No trip to the seaside is complete without Fish and Chips so we treated ourselves in the restaurant and took the weight off our feet for a bit. We had an ice cream and a play in the arcade before we headed home. 

We visited on a sunny Friday afternoon and Mason walked straight on to every ride. On one occasion he got to go around again on the roller coaster which he loved. 

There is a selection of food stalls on the pier selling both hot and cold food and drink so there's something to keep your energy levels up. We had a paddle in the sea, ate ice cream, managed to keep the seagulls from stealing our chips and I got slightly pink shoulders, All in all a fabulous day at the beach which meant a couple of lazy days were well deserved! 




*We were kindly gifted wristbands for this trip but under no obligation to write review




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Monday, 22 July 2019

Summer Holiday Favourites


I've just returned from a lovely holiday away in Alicante wit the family, time went far too quickly and I'm already looking at booking another getaway. These holiday favourites are a regular occurrence on here but I find them useful when packing for a trip. Not only is it a way to find new things I might try but it’s also a helpful checklist. I’ve even looked back at my own list to remind myself of what I usually take away with me. There are some repeat products that are must-haves for me but I’ve got some new additions too. 

holiday-must-have-products

As it’s battling the elements much more than if would be at home I make sure I'm taking care of my skin so I’ll start with my skincare products.

A no brainer is the SPF. I miss when suncream used to have a lovely coconut scent to it but maybe that stuff just wasn’t doing the job. I apply factor 50 and drop down to 30 if it feels like my skin can take it. The Garnier dry mist sprays are perfect for a quick application and are great for Mason too. I love that they're not sticky and cover quickly and easily. 

For my face I usually use La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-shine tinted sun cream gel SPF50  (£17 for 50ml). It doesn’t feel too heavy but gives me just enough coverage in the warmer evenings to feel comfortable but I know my skin is still protected. SPF which is specially for the face is a must to avoid clogging pores or making you look shiny. Another option is the 

Anthelios Shaka Fluid tinted spf 50 (£17) is water, sweat and sand resistant so it's perfect for wearing at the pool or beach. The easy-to-apply, ultra light fluid is non-greasy with a lightly-tinted finish for a unified look. The improved texture does not irritate or sting your eyes. This one is much more lightweight but still gives you a little glow.

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I keep a hat on to keep my face in the shade as much as possible but I know those UV rays creep in all over the place so you need to protect that fragile skin!

I use aloe vera gel on my body every evening, it's the only type of after sun that doesn't seem to attract bites. I've had gorgeous ones before that smell incredible but I just get eaten alive. I'm still using this on my body now and it dries almost instantly. I apply the L’Oreal Hydra Genius Aloe Water to my face which is lovely and light. Great for after being in the sun but also as my morning moisturiser too. The usual price is £ 9.99 for 70ml but I pick it up when it's on offer £6.66 which is a total bargain if you ask me. I have a full view on it here.

I don’t use wipes at home but on holiday it’s just easier than having bottles and cotton pads. I also don't have a lot of makeup to remove so my in shower cleanser tends to do most of the job for me. This year I tried out the L’Oreal Fine Flowers cleansing wipes, they were on offer for £1.99 instead of £3.99 and I’ve used some cleansers from the fine flowers range so I thought why not. They remove waterproof mascara well and take off the base layer of makeup before I properly cleanse. The 
extracts of rose and jasmine feel really soothing, I’m a big fan of rose oil as an ingredient which brings me onto the Neal’s Yard Rose  Facial Wash which is £17 for a 100ml full size bottle but I have a miniature bottle for travelling. It’s lovely to use in the morning and evening and is one of my favourite products. In fact Neal's Yard's  whole rose range is lovely.

The Origins  Drink Up intensive Over night mask is one of my favourite face masks. It has a gorgeous scent and applying it a couple of nights a week before bed gives me that extra bit of hydration my skin needs after being in the heat all day.

I repurchase the La Roche-Posay Serozinc Face Toner Mist 150ml £10 when ever it’s on offer. I’ve used it loads at home during the heatwave. It tightens pores and magnifies the skin. I absolutely love applying it, it just feels so fresh and soothing on the skin. I use it after cleansing in the morning and evening. It's great before applying make up or just when I want to freshen up. I love love love this stuff!

We did a fair bit of walking about and a good deodorant is a must when you're in a country with temperatures reaching 34 degrees. The Dove Maximum Protection Deodorant (£4.99) is my favourite and lasts all day. My top tip is to apply to your cleavage too cos sweaty boobs is one of the worst things about summer!

When it comes to make up I took my L’Oreal Unbelievabrow longwear brow gel as it was waterproof but I didn't actually use it as I had my hair highlighted before I left and this just made my brows look so dark it just didn't look right with my lighter hair. 

The Lancome Hypnose Mascara (£25.50)  is one of my favourites as waterproof mascaras go. I find a lot can make lashes look grumpy or spidery but this works just as well as any regular mascara. I meant I could splash a but with my kids in the pool which is what family holidays are all about! 


I always pack a couple of bottles of nail polish when ever I go away, I change the shade when I'm there when they inevitably get chipped from being in the pool or sea. I tend to go for a something bright, usually a coral or pink. I take Nail Polish Remover Pads so I don't  have to travel with a bottle of nail polish remover. Knowing my luck that will be the thing that spills all over everything (why do bad things happen to good people?!).


With legs on show 90% of the time I make sure I use my Venus Snap razor (£9.99 but almost always on offer for a fiver). It’s compact and has a case to keep it safe which is perfect for travelling. I think I've used one of these on every holiday since it was released. 


I don’t do anything too fancy when it comes to my hair on holiday, during the day it’s either tied up with a pop band (great for minimal kinks) or under a hat while I let my natural beauty waves do their thing. 

I wash as normal in the evening with what ever shampoo we’ve picked up to take with us, as long as it cleans and gets rid of chlorine, suncream, sand etc I’m happy. I use Macadamia Oil on the ends and apply Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist deep conditioner a couple of times to help with the daily exposure to so much heat. 


I wash my hair before going out for dinner and I pop my Sleep Rollers in after a shower and let my hair dry relatively naturally. My sister in law came to the rescue with her hair drier a couple of times as I wasn't giving myself enough time to get ready and my hair just wasn't drying quick enough on it's own (or with the air con on crazy high because of my annoying finance and his obsession with it!).



This year I had to think about all the bits and pieces I needed for Mila too. Packing for a 4 month old was very new to me but I think we did ok. I'll be posting about how her first holiday went very soon. 




*for clarity everything in this post was purchased myself. However I was originally sent the Macadamia Oil but have since repurchased it several times



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Monday, 24 June 2019

Finding my Strength with Gatorade




I’ve made no secret of the fact that since having Mila I’m tired 90% of the time. A combination of late nights, early mornings, broken sleep and generally running around after two children takes it out of me. 

I haven’t succumbed to the pressure of getting my ‘pre baby’ weight back but I’ve had problems with my back and I want to get stronger. 



I definitely don’t have time to get to the gym but I do manage some exercises to strengthen my back to make lifting Mila easier. It can be tough finding the energy for workouts so I’ve been turning to energy drinks to help keep me going.


gatorade-review


Gatorade is a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink designed to maintain endurance performance and to enhance the absorption of water during physical exercise. Which basically gives me the energy I need to work out efficiently. It helps that the drinks are really tasty. The Lemon flavour is my favourite and the Cool Blue reminds me of a slushy. You lose electrolytes through sweat so Gatorade is great to restore the lost electrolytes to keep you hydrated.


Electrolytes are minerals that have an impact on the brain, muscles and nerves. Whenever I’m run down I turn to anything with electrolytes to pick me up. I suffer with migraines and I find drinks like this really help. They are also great for stomach bugs -basically anything where rehydrating is key. 


gatorade-flavours








Obviously with the sugar content these are not a weight loss drink. Gatorade is designed for the gym or athletic training. If you are working out the sugar will be worked off. I’m definitely not going to judge if you want to drink these as a treat,  cola and even orange juice are far worse for you! It’s a great alternative to caffeinated drinks and a good addition to water and I'm a big fan. 




You can buy a pack with 4 flavours here






*Pepsi (Gatorade) have gifted me this variety pack, but all views are my own.






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Saturday, 25 May 2019

7 Ways To Save On Your Beauty Purchases



Every girl loves a good beauty splurge. Whether it’s the latest eyeshadow palette or a gorgeous skincare product, there’s something about beauty items that feels ultra-luxurious. Let’s face it; it’s a buzz buying them, isn’t it? 

7-Ways-to-Save-on-Your-Beauty-Purchases

However, lots of these items come with a pretty steep price-tag, which isn’t such good news if you’re working to a tight budget. The good news is – you can still get your hands on the latest, greatest beauty items, if you adopt a savvy approach. 

7 ways to save money when buying beauty products 

· Recycle (and get stuff back!). Recycling is not only great for the environment, it’s awesome for your bank balance too. Some shops let you return used product packaging, then in return, they give you free items! For example, when you return six packaging containers to MAC, they’ll give you a complimentary lipstick in return. Now that’s tempting. 


· Gather some samples. Beauty product samples are everywhere. You find them in the pages of magazines, you can request them in department stores, and most perfume shops are happy to let you try out their products for free too. Sometimes you have to ask though, so don’t be shy! You can also request free makeovers at your local department store, which is really useful if you’re going out for the night. 


· Get the ‘inspired by’ versions. Ask yourself – does it have to be designer? Some ‘inspired by’ versions of designer items are really convincing. For example, Copycat Fragrances’ perfumes feature many of the same ingredients as the big-brand originals, but for a reduced price. Also, when you see make-up that you love in your favourite fashion magazine, check the high street shops – many of them offer catwalk-inspired equivalents. 


· Rescue your make-up. Whatever you do, don’t bin your old make-up – chances are there’s life left in it yet! When your nail varnish goes gunky, add a few drops of nail polish remover, then stir. This helps to smooth it out again. If your eyeshadow smashes, squeeze a tiny amount of argon oil into the container, then press the powder back in with a spoon. Likewise, tiny remnants of lipstick can be melted down and added to lip balm to create a tinted lip colour. 


· Wait for the sales. Okay, so this is a bit of an obvious suggestion – but it really does pay to wait for those Christmas and summer sales. Shops often knock huge amounts off the retail price, which means you’ll get a great product for way less. Keep an eye on your favourite brands throughout the year too. Many offer exclusive discounts and freebies, so it’s worth following them on social media or subscribing to their newsletter. 



· Make your own. If you’re the creative type, this will be right up your street. Creating your own beauty products is pretty fun, and it means you can tailor them to suit your tastes (and skin type). Easy products to make include exfoliators, moisturisers, make-up removers, lip colours and more. Apparently, this ‘DIY’ approach can get quite addictive – so you have officially been warned.






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