Monday, 24 March 2014

Mother's Day gift guide for every budget!

Mothers Day Gift Guide

With Mother's Day fast approaching (this Sunday in case you're not sure!) I thought I'd put together a quick gift guide to suit every budget!

This year will be the first year since 2010 I'll be able to spend Mother's Day with mum so I'm super excited. For the last 3 years I've been at uni, strap for cash and in the middle of deadline season (ooft I feel for any of you writing your dissertation or studying for finals, it gets better, I promise!) so haven't been able to make it home. This year though, I'm just looking forward to spending some valuable time together, nothing like mother/daughter cuddles! 

1) Marc Jacobs Daisy* - I think perfume is such a lovely gift, for any occasion really, but especially Mother's Day! Perfume is something everyone loves but you rarely buy for yourself. My mum LOVES perfume, it's almost all she ever asks for so this is the perfect gift. Daisy is such a beautiful scent, floral but light, perfect for spring/summer and comes in the cutest bottle EVER! This gift set that includes a generous 50ml bottle of perfume as well as a body lotion & shower gel is available from Fragrance Direct at the moment for £45. With free deliver on orders over £40 (FREEDEL40) it makes for the perfect gift, if like me, you can't always get home for Mother's Day. 

2) Movie night - I've used the Great Gatsby to illustrate (although I'm pretty sure it'd be a firm fave with most females, oh Leo ) but the point here is to buy or rent or download (ahem) a film or a couple and have a film night! I think too often people get caught up in buying expensive gifts when really, time spent together is what's most valuable. So, grab a movie, a bottle of wine (or two), chocolate and set some time aside to cosy up on the sofa for a mother/daughter night in! Perfect! 

3) Pamper time - similar to the idea above this one is all about spending time together. If money is tight pampering your mum is the perfect gift. Grab some cheap face masks, some Lush bath products & pull out all of your beauty products (I know you have a hoard somewhere!) - offer to give your mum a facial or a mani/pedi or BOTH. Mum is ALWAYS trying to get me to do her feet and I know she gets very little time to relax these days (if it's not Dad, its the dog she needs to fuss over) so spending some time to make her feel pampered this weekend is on my to do list. 

4) Flowers - er do I need to explain this one? I don't know anyone who doesn't like a nice bunch of flowers! They don't have to be expensive though, daffodils are criminally cheap and perfect right now. Bluebells (Mum's favourite) are also just about in season & while you can't cut them from the wild, you can buy them from garden centres (or cut them from your grandparents garden, which is what I normally do...aha).

5) Candles - Another one of those things I know Mum loves but wouldn't usually spend on, the Easter Yankee scents are super beautiful and if your mum isn't keen on sweet scents Yankee has something for everyone! (I have a Yankee candle called snow, I bet you thought snow didn't have a smell right?) 

6) Afternoon tea - This one will work wonderfully if there's a few of you! Everyone chip in and buy or bake scones, cakes & sandwiches and give your long suffering mum a break by serving her afternoon tea. This is a great one for involving younger siblings too and you could even invite all your Gran & Auntie too (as well as your cousins for a joint effort). Just remember to clean up the kitchen afterwards! 

There we have it, 6 ideas to suit any budget, I hope that's helped some of you! What will you be doing for Mother's Day this year?

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Skin Care Update...

Flowers & Freckles Skin Care Update



I feel like I’ve finally found a skin care routine that’s working for me! Those of you who’ve read my blog for a while will know that in the last year or so I’ve had a bit of a skin battle on my hands. While Falmouth was beautiful, living in a damp and mouldy house played havoc on my skin. It was dry and sore, especially around my eyes and nothing I used would make it any better.

Now I’ve settled in Bristol, in building that comes with its own built-in dehumidifier , my skin has been so much better and I’ve been able to put together a skin care routine that’s really doing some good.

Evening:

Make up remover & cleanser - I take off my eye and face make up using Bioderma, then I'll use Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish hot cloth cleanser to clean away the rest of the days dirt. I forgot to photograph it but if my skin is feeling a little dry or I just fancy a quick pamper I'll use a cleansing balm by Elemis (read the review here). These first two steps are really important and while I love Liz Earle I am thinking about switching up here to the Korres wild rose cleanser (mainly because I love the smell of rose). 

Anti-imperfection - Next we move on to La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo - do I really need to explain this one? It's a holy grail product. I've never really suffered with much congestion but this works like a charm on any imperfections that do pop up. I also tend to use it as a preventative on any 'problem areas' like my chin. 

Eye cream - I can't for the life of me remember where I read it but some blogger suggested that eye cream should always come before face cream because you're eye area will only absorb so much and regular face cream will act as a barrier for your eye cream. I wasn't too sure if this was true but since switching the order of my eye/face creams I've actually noticed a huge difference in the skin around my eyes! I'm using Bobbie Brown's hydrating eye cream, another holy grail product - you can read my review here

Serum - I like to use either a serum or a face oil most evenings, I think they make sure a difference to your skin! I'm really enjoying Avene's Soothing Hydrating Serum*, it's so calming and moisturising while sinking into the skin super quickly! 

Finally, face cream! At the moment I'm using Liz Earle's moisturiser and it's ok, it does the job, but I'm not in love with it, I really want to try Antipodes Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream!

Morning:

Cleanse & Tone - Again I use Bioderma in the morning just to wipe away any residue from the night, some beauty expert (I think I need to start writing these things down) said your face shouldn't be dirty in the morning, just a quick cleanse should be enough! Then I use Liz Earle's skin tonic as a toner, it's really great at tightening pores. 

Effaclar Duo again, of course. 

Moisturise - Lize Earle's face cream again, this time skipping the serum & face oil (unless my skin is feeling super dry). Then I use La Roche Posay's mattifying moisturiser which helps keep any excess oil at bay during the day. 

Primer - Laura Mercier's original foundation primer, which is a water based primer so no silicon nasties! 

Have you tried any of the products I've using at the moment? Have you any recommendations?

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Monday, 10 March 2014

Currently Coveting...

Currently Coveting
Shop the post:


I have SUCH a huge wishlist at the moment, I would blame the new season but lets be honest, I always want to buy all the things haha. 

Just look at those shoes. Have you ever seen such a thing of beauty? Please someone, put these in my life, they're like the perfect transitional shoes to Spring, warm but a little more summery. I'm also all over the orange lip right now. I love orange as an alternative to red and as we move into Spring & Summer it's going to be bang on trend. I'm a huge fan of the new Revlon Colourburst Matte Balms (review to come soon!), I have the red shade 'Striking' and the pale Orange shad Mischievous but I'm hankering after the coral-orange Audacious - perfect for summer. Continuing with the Matte theme comes Topshops Matte nail polish, I'm aware these aren't a new thing but oh matte pastels for Summer 

As far as arm candy goes I've never been a watch person, but I can't help but be oh so impressed with the beautiful simplicity that is Olivia Burton watches - they're the kind of watches you could wear with anything and they definitely take after the oh so expensive but of so heartbreakingly beautiful Daniel Wellington watches. Speaking of beautiful, smocks, can we just take a moment to appreciate the most comfortable and flattering of dress shapes? They were a big hit last summer and thankfully the fashion gods have granted us another year of flowie oversized goodness. Oh and THERE'S DEERS on this ASOS one, just, I can't even. 

Minkpink, why must you steal my heart and my pennies with these sunglasses? Could they be any prettier? Only if they were this beautiful ASOS necklace! So pretty & dainty, perfect with EVERYTHING. 

And last, but certainly not least, I can't get enough of The Strokes right now - I don't know why but I've been rediscovering them lately, take a listen. 



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Sunday, 9 March 2014

Lush Bath-time Fail: Rose Queen Bath Bomb Review.

Lush Rose Queen Review
Lush Rose Queen Review
Lush Rose Queen Review

After my first very successful sensitive skin Lush bath-time (that you can read about here) I was super eager to try out one of the other bath bombs I'd bought! After a bit of umming & ahhing I decided on Rose Queen - rose is one of my favourite scents, the website promises that it'll quench thirsty skin and well, it's bright flipping pink! 

As I'm sure you can tell by the title this isn't going to be an entirely positive review but lets start off with the good stuff shall we? 

The smell is beautiful, not the old-school rose (think proper turkish delight) that's my favourite, but floral and beautiful non the less. When you pop it into the water it goes mental fizzing and dancing around the bath releasing clouds of beautiful light pinkness into the bathwater. 

The colour & the smell, that's really where the positives end for me. 

I'd done a quick google before hand to decide which one of my bombs I should try next and noticed that Rose Queen released, real flowers. Initially, I was pretty happy about this, rose petals in the bath, doesn't that sound nice? Wrong. Like, bits of flowers and leaves, aside from the glass shattering realisation that I'm allergic to pollen and grass (I know, woe is me) so this bath was probably going to irritate my skin, it also just felt dirty. I'm sure the flowers are, I dunno, sterilised before being made into a bath bomb, but it just felt wrong. I don't think I'd have minded if it was proper petals but bits of leaves and stem and stuff? Yuk! And when I got in, my eczema did sting a little, not lots and lots but enough and then it started to itch and then I was just like, why am I sitting in this bath of leaves and stem and stuff that's making my skin feel bad? So I got out. 

I also have to confess that because of our stupid boiler (and me temporally getting distracted after leaving the cold tap running) the bath wasn't all that hot either, probably adding to my, 'ergh, this is so unpleasant', feeing. 

Anyway, after I got out, my skin felt really dry and not at all as lovely and soft and nourished as it did with Butterball (maybe I should just go & buy 10 of them?), there was also lots of bits of leaves and stem and stuff stuck to me which was gross. Did you ever play under the sprinklers when you were a kid? You know when you stopped and you had grass stuck all over you and you just felt gross and like you needed a hot shower to feel better? Yeah well, that. Except, because of our stupid boiler, I had to wait like an hour for more hot water. 

I also had to spend ages picking the leaves and stem and stuff out of the bath & plug hole, not ideal. 

All in all a massive bath-time fail. I'm sure if you a) don't have sensitive skin b) don't mind all the leaves and stem and stuff, you'd love Rose Queen. The smell really is lovely and the colour very nice to look at but for any sensitive skin types or eczema suffers I wouldn't recommend this one. 

Fingers crossed the next one I'm going to try, Honeybee, will be better! 

Have you tried Rose Queen? What did you think?

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Pinterest Vs. Reality: Blackhead Remover

Pinterest Vs. Reality: Blackhead Remover

I use Pinterest everyday, I think it's an amazing resource but I rarely actually try out any of the things I pin! So, I thought I'd run a little series called Pinterest Vs. Reality where I can test out some of my favourite pins. 

Pinterest magic blackhead remover:

First up we have this magic blackhead remover - you can see from the picture that the results look amazing and the process is pretty simple, a quick lemon & bicarb of soda face mask. 

Pinterest Vs. Reality: Blackhead Remover

You will need:
- Half a lemon (I haven't tried it with lemon juice out of a bottle)
- 4-5 heaped teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda. 

So here goes. First thing to note is when you initially mix the lemon juice and bicarb of soda if fizzes up like you wouldn't believe, you definitely need to do this in a bowl. Second thing to note is that you need a lot more bicarb than you'd think, I used the juice of half a lemon & needed around 5 heaped teaspoons of bicarb. Anyway if you persist with the adding of the bicarb and the stirring, eventually the fizzing subsides and you're left with a pastel yellow paste. 

It wasn't exactly easy to apply, the paste isn't as smooth as you'd think but with a bit of persistence you get there. And that's it, I set the timer for 20 minutes. During this time I could feel a teeny tiny sting, which I expected with the lemon and the paste set like a regular face mask would - I didn't expect it to do this! 

Pinterest Vs. Reality: Blackhead Remover

After 20 minutes I rinsed with cool water and done! 

First impressions were, obviously, that I still have black heads, but that they do look smaller, my pores feel smaller too, my skin feels softer and smoother and tighter and I wish I'd put it on my inner cheeks where I get big pores because I think this is more of a pore closer than a black head remover! 

There we have it. No, no amazing results like the pinned picture would suggest but something which I might use if I have something special to go to to help close up my pores. I think I'm going to carry on using it on my nose & chin every so often to see if there's any other improvement - I'll be sure to keep you updated if there is! 

Pinterest Vs. Reality: Blackhead Remover

Have you tried this before? Do you have any pins you'd like me to try out? OH and leave your Pinterest links below so I can follow you :) 


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