Saturday, 26 December 2020

Essie Nail Polish Suitcase Gift Set -AD


Sometimes things come to you at the perfect moment and after a really awful week this beautiful gift box from Essie dropped through my letterbox... or if we're being pedantic 'was kindly handed to me by the postman'. 



I am a big fan of Essie polishes, they have really great shades for every day and striking bold colours when you want something a little more special.

This is the Essie Nail Polish Suitcase Gift Set which contains 10 of their best selling shades and I am in love! The presentation of the box makes it the perfect Christmas present for any nail polish lover. It’s such a great collection of really wearable colour which work well all year round. There’s a pale purple in the which you all know I love and the sparkly red is gorgeous for Christmas. Anyway let me talk you through them properly... 


First is Ballet Slippers, a sheer pale cream shade with an ever-so-slight pinkness to it. Rumour has it, it’s a favourite of the Queen, don't ya know? It’s the perfect shade for a french manicure and subtle enough for everyday to make your natural nails look a little more ‘done’. It needed 3 coats to be opaque and looks very chic. 

Essie Ballet Slippers

 I’ve been on the hunt for my perfect red and Fishnet Stockings may just be it!  A dark red with a lovely depth to it that reminds me of Louboutin soles. I feel vampy and ever-so-glamourous in this one! I find reds tend to have good formulas and this went on eventually with 2 coats. 

Essie Fishnet Stockings

I've seen a lot of swatches of Meet me at Sunset and they really seem to vary. Personally, I'd say it's a vibrant deep orange but in some lights it looks more red.  Let's go for fiery red-orange! It's a gorgeous Autumn shade anyway. formula-wise it's great, it only took 2 coats to be opaque and it gives a gorgeous pop of colour. 

This is it next to 'Fishnet Stockings' and it definitely looks more orange here!

Essie Fishnet Stockings and Meet me at Sunset

Another gorgeous red in this box is Bordeaux, a rather festive deep wine red.  A gorgeous winter shade that feels really sophisticated and elegant. Imagine the parties this would look great at that I can't see me going to any time soon! It was slightly streaky after two coats but after one more it was perfect.

Essie Bordeaux

Moving on to Lady Like, oh I love this one! It’s a soft mauve/nude. The muted browny-grey tones make it a shade that just goes with every look. It applied effortlessly, I barely had to take my eyes off the tv, two coats for the perfect manicure. 

Next is Romper Room which is more pink than 'Ballet Slippers'.  It also has a slightly nicer formula as it only needed two coats. Sweet, cutesy, very pretty and reminds me of strawberry icing!

Essie Bordeaux, Lady Like and Romper Room

 Aruba is a frosty sapphire blue metallic shimmer frosty dark but brightened with shimmer. I got a lot of love for this one on Instagram. It has a great formula and is very striking. 


Another striking shade is Let's Party which is a beautiful red shimmer with a slight pinkness to it. The glitter is so fine it almost makes it look frosty and metallic. It looks very pink one the first coat by after  2 or 3 coats you've got the perfect festive party red. 

I've compared the 3 reds so you can get a better idea. Fishnet Stockings is definitely my favourite.

L-R - Essie Fishnet Stockings, Bordeaux and Let's Party

I absolutely adore a lilac nail so I've tried a lot in my time. Lilacism is a classic and although it feels more like a spring shade, the pale lilac is such a soft,  fresh colour that I feel like it can go through to the colder months with a frosty morning feel to it. That's my excuse anyway! It's too nice to save for one season!

Romper-Room-Lilacism-Lovie Dovie-essie
Index finger- Romper Room, middle finger- Lilacism, ring finger- Lovie Dovie

Lastly is Lovie Dovie, a cool-toned flamingo Barbie pink. The lovely creme finish makes it a dream to apply in two coats. This one is going right through to Summer - it's going to be a firm favourite of mine for toes! 

L-R Lovie  Dovie, Romper Room,  Ballet Slippers

It’s  available in Boots for £40 which is an absolute bargain when you think individually the polishes are £7.99 each. If this goes into the Christmas sale it will be an incredible saving! Keep an eye out! 


*This was kindly gifted to me but all views are my own.


Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Femme Luxe Loungewear for Lockdown

Lockdown has been a bit weird hasn’t it? Having no real routine is the biggest change to me. Without having to  do the school run I’ve often found myself thinking 

‘what is the point in getting dressed today?’ 
but getting ready for the day is good for me and separates things up a bit. All days were starting to merge into one, they just felt never-ending so breaking up the days a bit has really helped me.


The last couple of weeks have been really hot, it’s like an oven in my flat. New builds have some crazy insulation so I spend most of my time in shorts, but over the weekend the weather has cooled down massively and I’ve switched my shorts for something cosier. 

Femme Luxe got in touch and asked if I wanted to try out some of their loungewear sets. I don’t actually own a lot of loungewear. I’m either dressed up ready to go out or a complete mess - hair tied on the top of my head, any old t-shirt and some pyjama bottoms. To have some outfits that are fit for comfort but still let me feel like I had my sh*t  together - that’s just what I needed. 

Two fun facts about me, I don’t like the feel of socks around my ankles or tops around my waist. I still fold my socks down like I did back in my school basketball days (did other do this?!) and it’s why most of the time you’ll notice my tops are of the cropped variety. The cropped loungewear  was perfect for me and there is a great selection to choose from.

 I stepped out of the comfort-zone of my black wardrobe and tried a grey set. The off the shoulder 'Blake' set is so comfy. 


This has been good on the milder evenings when I chill out on the sofa. Something like this is perfect for someone like me who sweats at the sight of anything knitted or fleece lined. It’s just the right amount of comfort without being stuffy. The legs are slim so it feels a bit smarter than the type of joggers I’m used to. The tie up detail on the front is just for decoration but Mila loves to sit and play with it so it keeps her quiet! I’ve actually been living in the joggers, teaming them with cropped tops or vests while I get on with housework. 

I actually have my eye on a few more of their off the shoulder loungewear sets. I know I’ll be tempted to stock up as it gets colder again at the end of summer.

I was also sent the ribbed two piece 'Suzi' co-ord set which is so comfortable.  I love how the trousers feel and I would go out in this but it also feels light enough for logging around comfortably. I love a cropped t-shirt so this top is perfect for teaming with denim shorts or ripped jeans too. I really loved the look of the Jade green version of this but it was out of stock. Green is a colour I’m loving at the moment.


I'm really pleased I've got some bits to make lockdown more comfortable. Definitely check them out.


*these sets were kindly gifted but all thoughts are my own


Tuesday, 25 February 2020

False eyelashes haul

As well as it being half term it was also National Lash Day last week which gave me the excuse to have a play about with some false eyelashes without feeling too overdone on the school run. Even if I was only going to town for a coffee just to get out of the house. 

Although I wear make-up everyday I tend to try and keep it pretty toned down on the weekdays so I don't stand out at the school gates. I know this shouldn't bother me at all and I should do what makes me feel good so I'm working on it. I've worn a red lip a couple of times lately so I'm getting there.

While having my lashes done was lovely, after having Mila I just couldn't keep up with regular salon visits to keep them looking perfect. I've always loved strip lashes that I can apply at home. It gives me the freedom to chop and change between looks. I used to wear them all the time and they became a regular in my day to day makeup.

Now they are reserved for slightly more special occasions. I love how
false eyelashes can really transform a look. I can go from 0-100, from grim to glam and erm... squinty eyed to... slightly wider eyed. 

I was kindly sent a lovely little package from to try out a couple of different brands they stock. 


The first set to really catch my eye (pardon the pun) was the SOSU Premium lashes   in the style ‘GIGI’.
 SOSU is a brand by blogger turned business woman Suzanne Jackson who wanted to create affordable lashes that can be worn day and night. The invisible lash band helps them blend in seamlessly and worn with natural makeup they really make my eyes pop. The different lengths give a textured whispy look which really opens the eye. They’re nice and lightweight too. 

I was really pleased to try out the Eylure lash adhesive. It's a latex free  glue which dries clear and comes in a generous 4.5ml bottle. I'm forever losing the fiddly little bottles that come with strip lashes to a larger tube makes more sense to me.

I find holding lashes out to let the glue get tacky a bit of a pain and this dries nice and quickly which makes everything much easier. The complete game changer is the false lash applicator tool which is designed to hold the lashes help to position them as close to the natural lash line as possible. They're essentially tweezers but with a longer grip. They’re really great for securing those corners in place ensuring everything looks seamless. I absolutely love them. 


I've been a big fan of the Ardell Demi Wispies for years, they are lovely fluffy lashes which feel glam without weighing your lashes down.

Sam and I  went for dinner last weekend which was a nice excuse to get a bit dressed up and these really added a bit of glamour. I like how they are slightly thicker at the ends which give a subtle cat-eye effect, it was perfect with a smokey eye.

You can rewear lashes again and again if they are taken care of properly and Oh my Lash  make that really easy to do with their little case to keep them safe. These lashes are perfect for a date night, they add a bit of drama and volume. We've got a cocktail evening planned so these will be brilliant for that. It really is the packaging that make these stand out from the rest, it's a nice change from what we normally see on the shelves.


These have given me the motivation to up my eye make-up game and start experimenting with new looks for Spring. You never know, I might start getting a little more glam on the school run now!

*I was kindly gifted these lashes but all thoughts are my own


Monday, 3 February 2020

January Round Up

So back in around 2015 I did this monthly round up. It was a way to feature a few things without dedicating a whole post to them as well as being a bit more open about what I get up to.
I stopped this after a while. I guess I felt a bit exposed, it’s always the ‘haters’ that seem to be your biggest fans and watch your every move so I felt the need to kind of hide away a bit. 
As much as I'm well aware that this kind of thing still goes on *waves!* I am a lot more laid back about it now. I want to get my writing mojo back and this seemed like a nice way to look back at each month while kind-of keeping in touch with you all!

So, January.  I’ll start with the cliche 
'It was a long old month, wasn’t it?!'

We’ve had a lot more lazy days which I’ve been very much in need of.  I've been loving family time more than anything. Sometimes being in our own little bubble is the best place to be. We've been more careful with money and I'm feeling the need to make every second count. 


What I wore-

Similarly to all Januarys past I’ve been living in jeans and leggings. Both of which are easily dressed down with a sweatshirt for the school run and then I’m in my usual fitted tee by the afternoon after a lot of running about after a mischievous 11 month old. This short jersey top top was a gift from my parents at xmas and has been a big favourite of mine for quick trips out for coffee or catching up with friends; whether it’s tea in a pub or a burger with all the sides!


What I ate-
We headed down to Cafe Rouge in Esher for a little afternoon tea. Washed down with Prosecco (apple juice for M) it was the treat we very much needed. One thing that makes Cafe Rouge’s afternoon teas different is that the sandwiches are croque monsieurs and naturally being a french restaurants they are devine! The french chocolate mousse and the carrot cake are particularly delicious too.


What I read-
One thing I read that resulted in a lot of discussion was this article that asks Why do people have affairs?
Men and women with children who admitted to committing adultery explained what it was that made them cheat. I’ve previously spoken about this subject in this post asking what kind of woman would find it ok to be part of an affair and also found from polls I did on Instagram and Twitter that the majority of people knew of affairs that went on in their workplace. It is way more common than you think!

"Chances are if you haven’t 
experienced infidelity directly,
 you know someone who has."

 The article asks whether it's sexual attraction that is to blame or if it's something more that would make someone risk breaking up their family. Some said it was a release from boring home life, others said  becoming parents killed the passion in their marriage. One put it down to a need to feel alive and desired. I found it interesting hearing the views from this side of things but it amazed me how little remorse there was. 

What I bought-

I was given a Boots voucher for my birthday back in November & I just haven’t had the chance to spend it. I knew a couple of bits in my makeup bag needed replacing so I took advantage of L’Oreal’s 3 for 2 offer. I love the Infalliable Fresh Wear foundation and wanted to try out the True Match foundation which is slightly lighter coverage. I never seem to buy the same shade when I get a new foundation, my skin tone really varies throughout the year so it’s nice to have one that matches my pale January skin!  I also picked up  a new Paradise mascara which is so so good. For some results take a look hereL’Oreal do really great mascaras, you just can't go wrong. 


What I watched-
The Masked singer is something that sounded utterly ridiculous (and it is) and it shouldn’t work but it does! We put it on to give it a go but now we are invested in it! Each week I feel like I get closer to guessing who someone is but a new clue throws me right off. It makes for some very unusual conversations throughout the week randomly going ‘the hedgehog is definitely Jason Manford!’ And the unicorn just isn’t dancing well enough to be John Barrowman’. It’s trash tv at it’s finest and something we all needed to brighten up a dull January. 

What I used-
I’ve definitely been more of a lipstick girl over the last few years but Soap and Glory have helped me revive my love for gloss. I got the sexy mother Pucker lip gloss in shade ‘Bare Enough’ with the Beauty-Full House  set and I’ve been popping it on before heading out most mornings. A natural colour makes it easy to wear and I don’t have to be precise when applying it either. 


I always feel good once I get through January, it's all great from February onwards. We've got Mila's first birthday and Valentine's day, half term and a couple of days with friends and family planned. I'm feeling really motivated and productive and there's some great things on the horizon. 

Well done guys, January is DONE!


Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Sale Bargains and Gifts

I wanted to get back into sharing my opinions on here. I want to try this 'open book' thing again and just get my thoughts out there. Sometimes it will be about serious stuff, sometimes just what I've been buying. I just want to open up a bit, kind of like I used to. 

As you might of guessed this is about some items I picked up in the sale and a couple of bits that I got for Christmas too. I like sharing, and if some of this is still out there to buy I hope I help you find a little bargain too. Or look at this as some inspiration for a birthday that's coming up. 

As I mentioned last year, I like to save my Boots points throughout the year and spend them on a treat at the end of the year. The boxing day sales is where you can pick up some right bargains. 

I usually take this opportunity to stock up on some skincare but I went in a slightly different direction this year. 

First I was drawn to the rose gold and the glitter in the  Real Techniques Sheer Glow set which has three brushes (the 204 Buffing brush, 308 Medium Shadow brush and 413 Highlight brush), and also a compact mirror and lash curler. I have one of their buffing brushes but to be honest it has seen better days and I've been meaning to get a lash curler too. The set was down from £20 to £10 which is pretty damn good for 3 brushes alone. I really love Real Techniques brushes so this was great.


 Sticking with the make-up theme, The Soap and Glory Beauty-Full House set was originally £20 down to £10. The contents are worth £58 if sold separately so it was a pretty hefty saving. 


There's 6 full-sized products prefect for everyday. A couple that I've used and loved before and some others I wanted to try. The set contains a Thick and Fast High Definition Mascara which offers no flake all-day wear; a Supercat Liquid Ink Eyeliner Pen which is my favourite liquid liner; an Archery Brow Defining Crayon which has an angled crayon for precise filling and sculpting and a tinted gel with brow brush applicator to groom brows. a nude Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss which tingles and makes your lips plumper; Their One Heck Of A Blot Instant-perfecting Power Primer which helps hide imperfections, makes your make-up last longer and is enriched with vitamin E. And lastly, a Love At First Blush Rosy-Radiance Shimmer Powder. I go into more detail about these here but this was a great way to try out some new bits from Soap and Glory that I wouldn't usually think to pick up.

If Sam ever hears me go 'oooooh!' while on my phone it's usually at a picture of a nice nail shade. There's a slightly higher noise for a dog picture. Over Christmas golds and glitters were in abundance on my Instragam feed and  '50 Shimmering Years' from China Glaze's  'Sesame Street, 50 Years And Counting' collection looked perfect for me. The first coat it's just your average gold glitter but with the second coat it transforms to something beautiful. 


I feel like I'm pretty old school. I constantly write lists with pen and paper rather than on my phone, I prefer to draw with my pencils, not my iPad and I have always used a paper diary. I've always been more organised when I have things written down and it's a place to put doctors letters and school reminders too. So when the hype around the gorgeous Papier Diary went around I knew that would be the brand for me for 2020.

I actually looked at these before Christmas to get for my sister-in-law as a gift as she's a big Disney fan and their selection is lovely - but I wasn't sure if I was actually alone in using a paper diary to get organised so decided against it. 


Their  hardback diaries can be personalised and I absolutely love anything that I can make unique to me. I spent a LONG time deciding on which design to go for - honestly if you order one, get yourself a cuppa and settle down for a bit! I ended up adding a photo from our holiday last year, along with my name cos it looks all fancy. 

Each month has a page divided into 4 quarters for monthly goals, important dates, to-do lists and wish lists which is something I love! I like to get a bit more creative with my diaries and it ends up being full of a lot more than just dates and reminders


One thing I really love is the extra dotted, lined and grid paper  pages at the back for additional notes and doodles- perfect for a bit of procrastinating  down time. 

The diaries are £21.99 BUT I have a 
which gives you £15 off.
This applies to anything on the site so you can get yourself a notebook if paper diaries are not your thing or you have one already (as I am writing this post in the middle of January!). 


When it come to dry shampoo I've always been loyal to Batiste, but I've always been tempted to try out Colab as I've always heard good things. This is another Boots points treat, The Happy Holla Daze set was was £6.25 (down from £12.50) and had two cans of dry shampoo inside which are normally £3.49 each. There are two different scents, Glam and Unicorn which smells of jasmine and vanilla. Along with the dry shampoo there's two scrunchies and two hairbands. All things I need and I really love their packaging. Dry shampoo is a must-have for me lately as I'm always in a huge rush in the mornings so I need to be stocked up.

Weirdly, both of my sister in laws gave me bath products from Revolution. I actually had no idea they did bath stuff so I'm interested to give these a go. They look really fun- though there was loads of plastic packaging on them! The Peach Bath Fizzer  smells incredible so I'm hoping it's just as good in the bath. I need to make sure I put some time aside to try these out. 


As much as I love everything, I'm not much of a present person, I really enjoy finding the perfect gift for someone and probably spend far too much time researching what to get someone but I like stuff like that. Time with everyone is most important to me and I really hope my kids see it that way too. I can already see it's massively important to Mason. 

Christmas was busy and it was lovely spending time with family and experiencing Mason's first Christmas as a big brother. We had a few days at Sam's Mum's which I absolutely loved, it was so chilled and full of great food and drink - just as Christmas is meant to be. Now I'm counting down to Spring time! I'm ready for some warm weather!