Dolce + Gabbana Polishes Ft. Direct Cosmetics

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Dolce and Gabbana nail polishes from direct cosmetics
L- R: 220, 100, 210
When I was given the opportunity to try out a few products from Direct Cosmetics, I couldn't say no! I have only tried a couple of 'designer' polishes and I have been impressed so I chose three polishes from Dolce and Gabbana. The photographs of the swatches above show the polishes with just one coat. 

Firstly, I have to mention the stunning packaging! The boxes are so chic and luxe as are the polish bottles themselves. The lids have Dolce & Gabbana printed on them as well as a cute floral lace pattern. I think these polishes would make amazing gifts, I know my friends and aunties would love them! 

*Dolce & Gabbana Lace Nail Lacquer - Perfection 220

I chose all three Dolce and Gabbana shades from Direct Cosmetics as they all looked gorgeous and to be honest, who wouldn't want super fancy designer polishes! The shade I tried first was 220 and it is a gorgeous, chic cool toned deep beige, in my opinion. The polish is darker and more cool toned in 'real life' when compared to the college above. This polish is definitely my favourite as it is such a wearable shade, it is easy to apply and it is very pigmented. I can get away with just one coat but two is better and the longevity is pretty good too. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

*Dolce & Gabbana Lace Nail Lacquer - Pink 100

Again, the packaging is just gorgeous and so pretty! The polish is a milky pink shade so I think it would be great as a french manicure polish. The shade is quite sheer with just one coat as you can see from the photographs above but it can be built up however the more coats you add of any polish, the longer it will take to dry and these polishes by no means have the quickest drying formula. This shade would be great if you just wanted a light wash of pink on the nails but nothing over the top or too bright; it would be great for work. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

*Dolce & Gabbana Lace Nail Lacquer - Nude 210

Lastly, a summery apricot shade. As with the Pink 100 shade, this one is quite sheer and needs a couple of coats for a good level of opacity but again it would be nice as a sheer wash of peach/apricot on the nails. As I have ghostly pale skin, I find that this shade looks quite yellow on me but I think on a darker skin tone it would look summery and bright but still on the natural/nude side. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

Overall, I love the 220 and 100 shades, they are so wearable and pretty on the nails. All three polishes apply well despite the relatively thin brush and if built up in thin coats they do dry fairly quickly. The longevity is good and as they are more natural shades, when they do chip and wear, it won't be very noticeable. The polishes are currently on sale on Direct Cosmetics are only £9.99 each which I think is a great price for a 'designer' polish. I have my eye on a few other items from Direct Cosmetics now!

Have you tried any polishes from Dolce and Gabbana? Have you purchased from Direct Cosmetics?

Boots Beauty Box: Best Selling Skincare

Monday, June 29, 2015
I was first introduced to skincare by my mum who bought me my first skincare products when I was around 13 years old and it was the Boots own cucumber range which is so nostalgic to me and they worked well from what I remember. I have reviewed a few Boots own skincare products on my blog years ago (here). Now at the grand old age of 22 *23 in August, cries* I have moved onto more natural and more expensive skincare which my bank balance doesn't thank me for. However the Boots own skincare range, including the Botanics products, are fantastic and I was kindly sent a range of their best sellers!

Firstly, lets start with the nostalgia, I have the *Boots Cucumber 3 Minute Clay Mask (£1.50, 50ml) which takes me back to my teen years! The mask claims to cleanse and draw out impurities and excess oils. Myself and my sister have used this mask, I just apply it with a foundation brush to my t-zone and leave it on for 3 minutes. I found this mask to be mattifying and cleansing on my t-zone which can become really oily and congested at this time of the year. The results aren't as good as my Caudalie Detox mask but this product is only £1.50 and the Caudalie mask is around £20! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

Sticking with the detox, cleansing theme, I also have the *Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Deep Cleansing Facial Scrub (£3.21, 150ml) which again myself and my sister have tried out and we both really like - we have very different skin types and it works well on her combination, blemish prone skin and my more sensitive, dry skin. The scrub is dark grey which may look scary but it feels quite spa like to me and it smells medicinal/clean. The scrub is quite exfoliating and it does a great job but it isn't too abrasive. I would personally only use it on my t-zone as that is the only area I have where my skin can be oily and in need of a full deep cleanse. Overall rating: Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

The final product targeted towards more blemish prone skin is the *Boots Skin Clear Ultra Rapid Action Spot Gel (£3.99, 25ml). I personally don't get that many spots, they only occur every few months but when they do, they take ages to reduce and they usually leave some form of pigmentation behind. I have tried a few spot gels/treatments in the past but none of them really help. The only product I've tried that has a noticeable rapid effect is Sudocrem. I tried this product on one faded blemish and the next day it was definitely smaller, less red and less noticeable! However my sister tried it on more recent blemishes and it didn't work as effectively. In my opinion, it is well worth a try especially for the low price point! Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

Next up, a couple of Boots Botanics products which is the Boots skincare range I have tried the most from. I wrote a rave review of the Botanics Skin Relief Serum and the Hot Cloth Cleanser both of which I would re-purchase (here). I recently tried the *Botanics Micellar All Bright 3 in 1 Cleansing Solution (£1.49, 250ml) which I've been using on and off for the past couple of weeks. I find that it is fantastic at removing my makeup, apart from waterproof mascara although most other micellar waters struggle with waterproof mascara, in my experience. It doesn't irritate my skin or dry my skin out. This product contains AHA's (alpha hydroxyl acids which are found in fruit, for example) which exfoliate the skin and have anti-ageing benefits. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

The second Boots Botanics product is the *Botanics Radiant Youth Hydrating Eye Cream (£4.49, 15ml). One skincare product I always forget to use is eye cream however in my 20's I think it's a great time to start using them; also I do have very fine lines under my eyes already! This eye cream definitely helps hydrate and reduce dehydration lines under my eyes which I have most of the time. It leaves the skin looking and feeling moisturised, radiant and it provides a great base for concealer. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

Now onto the last couple of products, I have been using the *Boots Simply Sensitive Protecting Day Moisturiser (£1.74, 125ml) on and off for a couple of weeks and from the first use I was so impressed by it, as was my sister. The moisturiser doesn't irritate my skin, it is moisturising enough and it leaves my skin feeling SO smooth/soft. It isn't too heavy for my sisters combination skin and it has the some smoothing effect. I'm so impressed by this moisturiser and considering the price it is an absolute bargain! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

Last but not least the *Boots Cleansing Wipes For Dry Skin (£1.50, 25 wipes). Facial wipes are viewed by the blogging and online beauty community as a skincare no-no and on the whole I have to agree. I only use makeup wipes for swatches, changing my lip colour and for my full on halloween looks. Although I used to use the Boots cucumber wipes all of the time as a teen and my skin was always pretty good (apart from occasional eczema). I have tried the wipes and for once they don't feel like they strip my skin but I did experience a small amount of irritation; however my sister really liked them! Overall rating: ★★★☆☆, 3/5. 

Phew, there are my opinions on the Boots own skincare best sellers and I have to say there is only one product that I am slightly disappointed by which are the wipes but as I said, I don't use wipes anyway. I think the Boots own skincare ranges are absolutely fantastic especially considering the low price and the range is massive so you are bound to find products suitable for your skin type that are in your budget. 

Boots currently have a few offers on skincare. Their Essentials range is currently 3 for £3, the Botanics products are on a 3 for 2 offer and most of their products are currently discounted as I'm writing this on 26/07/2015. You can also receive a free Botanics Instant Moisture Mist when you spend £25 on selected skincare. 

Have you tried any Boots own skincare? If so which products did you try? Have you bought any of the products I've featured?

B. Blush Brush Ft. Product Testing UK

Sunday, June 28, 2015
b blusher contour brush product testing uk
When I noticed that Product Testing UK were looking for beauty bloggers on twitter a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance. I was kindly sent the *B. Blusher/Contour Brush which is one of Superdrugs own brands. I haven't tried anything from the line but I've heard great things and as a beauty blogger there is no way that I can say no to another makeup brush, it's just not possible! 

Firstly, Product Testing UK is a product testing website where you can sign up for the chance to test certain products such as makeup, household items, tech or services. Some of the beauty related campaigns currently on the site include the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara (which was a monthly favourite of mine), Magnitone Lucid (which is pretty great) and mystery shopping opportunities. You just need to write an honest review

Now onto the brush, as I said I haven't tried anything from this line before so I didn't know what to expect but I am pleasantly surprised. The brush seems really well made and durable. The bristles and soft/smooth but quite dense so it buffs out contour, bronzer and blush quickly and easily. I've been using this brush for the past couple of weeks for my contour (NYX blush in Taupe) and it has been effectively and easy to use because the brush is quite thin as well as tapered. I think if you are new to blush, bronzer or contouring then this could be a great multi-use easy to use brush.

Overall, I'm really happy with the quality of the brush and I can definitely vouch for the performance. I love it for contour and bronzer as it blends powder products like a dream. Overall rating: ★, 5/5. 

Have you tried anything from B.? What do you think of Product Testing UK? Have you applied for any of their campaigns?

Busy B List Pad

Saturday, June 27, 2015

It's no secret that I'm a stationery addict, it's one of my many obsessions and the lovely people at Busy B are not helping my stationery obsession and wish list! I've been looking at their stationery for ages but I have refrained from buying as I do have quite a lot of notebooks, memo pads etc but I can always find room for more. 

I chose the *Busy B Large List Pad (£6.99) which is one of their newer products. I love making lists, whether it's a to do list or shopping lists I always have at least one list on the go at all times! Making lists and writing notes keeps me organised and on top of everything *most of the time* so this list pad is just perfect for me. 

The list pad looks so adorable, it is so colourful and well designed; I love the grey linen around the top spine of the pad. There are 20 pages which alternate from a notes page, things to do page and a checklist page which I think is the one I will get the most use out of. I love the checklist page as it has circular tick boxes on the side - it's the little things. I've been using this list pad so far to write some blogging notes, my blog schedule and my blog to do lists. It's so pretty though I don't want to write in it and ruin it! 

Overall, I love this list pad, it is so cute and very handy especially for blogging! I love the spring/summer floral design and the size as it isn't tiny. If you are a general stationery addict like me or if you love making lists then you need this in your life! I have quite a few of their items on my wish list now. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. Here's my mini Busy B wish list:



What do you think of this list pad and have you bought anything from Busy B Stationery? 

Summer Holiday + Staycation Essentials

Friday, June 26, 2015
Photos taken in Florence, Ajaccio and Vatican City 2013
Summer is here and some of you will be going on holiday soon, I won't be going abroad this year *cries* but I wanted to share my summer holiday essentials for holidays in the sun or a staycation! This is a sponsored post. 

My first holiday essential is a decent camera. You can pick up some fantastic cameras at really reasonable price points. I always take so many photos on holiday so having my bridge camera is essential as it’s sturdy and really high quality especially for the price. Bridge cameras are a fantastic option, not just for holidays, as they can in some cases perform as well as a DSLR camera but they aren’t as cumbersome, bulky or as complicated to use. I also always pack an SD card with a large capacity as I don’t want to run out of space! 

My second holiday essential has to be sunglasses, I have only recently started wearing sunglasses as I used to hate them. However, I won a pair from Marc Jacobs (via The Sunglasses Shop) and I’m in love - see photos above. They are so handy and I think they can easily make an outfit. I always keep mine in their original case in my bag so they stay protected and I am less likely to lose them. 

My third essential is an all year product for me which are facial sprays. I love my Caudalie Beauty Elixir, Avene Thermale Spray and more recently my Jurlique Balancing Mist. I use them every time I wear makeup to either give a boost of hydration before foundation or to take away a powdery finish. They are so useful on holiday for sunburn or to just cool down; they are also great for refreshing makeup in the temperamental English summer. 

My final summer holiday essential is my iPad. Ok, maybe it’s not an essential but I have my Kindle app which is great for reading on the plane/train. I also have Notes so I can write down my experiences. I found my iPad really useful over the past couple of years on holiday abroad for photos when I didn't want to get my camera out. Also you never know where you will find a wifi hotspot and be able to connect - ship ports and trains often have wifi, in my experience. 

Another couple of basic holiday essentials that I always keep in my handbag (or going away for a few days in the UK) include: lip balm, hand sanitiser, mini perfume, hay fever tablets/ibuprofen, umbrella and my camera obviously! Oh also hair ties as I hate having my hair down in the heat/sun or when it's windy and drizzly in the UK as it always is. 

What are your summer holiday or staycation essentials? Do you have any packing or travelling tips?

DermaTX Microdermabrasion System Giveaway

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The lovely people at DermaTX have offered me the opportunity to give away one of their microdermabrasion systems to one lucky winner. This giveaway is UK only and it will run until the 16th July so there is plenty of time to enter. 

The prize is the DermaTX Microdermabrasion Rejuvenate System which is designed for normal to sensitive skin types. It claims to reduce the size of pores, improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The rejuvenate system contains antioxidants which encourages cell turnover and provide anti-ageing benefits; it contains lactic acid to stimulate collagen production which is also linked to anti-ageing. The rejuvenate system is priced at £79. There are two other systems available to buy including the Brighten and Clarify systems. 

DermaTx Microdermabrasion Rejuvenate System contains: 

1 x DermaTx Microdermabrasion Rejuvenate Cream 75ml (3/4 month supply)

1 x electronic hand held device

1 x cradle

1 x cleansing brush head

1 x exfoliating foam/sponge head 


To win all you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

How To Make Your Bathroom Pinterest Worthy

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
bella bathrooms pinterest worthy

What do we want from our bathroom? A beautiful spa like oasis that would be at home in any chic home magazine, or, the holy grail for all modern day home makers – Pinterest. If you wish that your bathroom can become an inspiration to others, it’s worth researching current bathroom trends because it’s easy to overlook simple ideas that can make all the difference. 

Declutter
Bathrooms are renowned for becoming cluttered, clever and stylish storage is the way forward when it comes to making your bathroom Pinterest worthy; So hide the family sized bar of Dove, hide the children’s toys and HIDE loo rolls! Practicality unfortunately does not make pretty pictures. Clever storage ‘hacks’ are always popular; clever ways to divide draws, beautiful glass storage for cotton wool and neatly folded towels are popular with those who need to glam up their space.

Bathing Beauties
If you want to capture your envious retreat and post it to the site, the only acceptable ‘clutter’ would be fabulous bath products and if you are anything like me, your mood will dictate the products that I use. My favourite’s right now is anything by Molton Brown. A mix of elegant packaging and invigorating scents, they are perfect for both dawn and dusk, and are worthy of any Pinterest post.

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize 
A girl’s favourite word. You aren’t selling a suite, you are inspiring darling! Continue with your theme – Have you gone English Country, Moroccan, Spa Like? Chances are that by adding the extra magic touches like mirrors, lamp shades and candles your post is bound to catch people’s eye.

Bring in the green! 
We are just not only talking plant life here, although a well-placed Orchid can go a LONG way. We are referring to ‘Eco Chic’ - some will argue that the term ‘Eco –chic’ is a widespread marketing strategy, but in reality it is the latest shift in the Environmentalist movement; with the emerging trends in eco-friendly fashion for the house and home, being ‘green’ is now resonating with a far wider audience and making it a much more viable trend to bring into every room in the home.

Be Suggestive
Any self-respecting stylist knows that we have to suggest all of the wonderful ways they will be enjoying the space. Books, wine and soft lighting to soak away all of our earthly woes; A coffee cup and a fluffy white robe for some early morning invigoration. What your post needs to convey is; “I live here. And I love it”.

*This is a sponsored post*

Do you have any bathroom design or storage tips? 

Dermatique Recuperating Cream

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
As you may know if you have been following my blog for a while or read any of my skincare posts, I have eczema. I've had it since I was around 15 and sometimes it is an awful skin condition, made worse when it appeared at a time when thoughts about my own appearance/body were vulnerable and sensitive. Having eczema as a teenager and adult is difficult, especially when it flares up badly causing my eyelids to become swollen, itchy and burning as well as incredibly dry, sensitive and flaky *it's not an attractive look* and I did miss days of university and college because of it as I couldn't bear being in public looking like that. I've published an entire post about my 'eczema story' and the products I use to try and control it. 

Since being diagnosed with eczema as a teen, I have always been on the hunt for products to help, not only prescription creams and ointments to tackle flare ups but also products that I can use in my daily skincare routine that won't irritate my skin and help with on occasion extreme dryness and sensitivity. The lovely people at Dermatique have kindly sent me one of their 'hero' products, the *Dermatique Scotland Recuperating Cream (£24.50 sale, 100ml) which claims to be "an outstandingly effective solution for dry, very dry and flaky skins; very effective in the fight against eczema". The cream contains natural active ingredients, essential fatty acids and vitamins. It is free from steroids, mineral oils, perfume, colour and parabens. 

The cream is very thick, it doesn't have a scent and it applies smoothly. I've been using it mainly on my hand as it has been flaring up badly recently *yay* and thankfully my facial eczema isn't causing any problems at the moment, fingers crossed. The first time I tried the cream I did apply a little too much and it did look/feel quite greasy but I put on my creepy looking white cotton gloves and in the morning the redness, dryness, irritation and flakiness was dramatically reduced especially compared to the day before when it was red, sore and cracked. It is one of the few products that have impressed me so quickly and provided such rapid noticeable results - I'm very impressed! I've only tried it a couple of times on the eczema at my hairline and it has helped too. 

Overall, I'm incredibly impressed with this cream for the eczema on my hand - it has done what some prescription creams haven't been able to do. It definitely helps with not just the appearance of dryness and flakiness but also the appearance/feel of redness and irritation. My only negative point is that it looks a little bit greasy/shiny on the skin and it isn't the quickest to absorb but the negative points are nothing compared to the effectiveness of this cream. If you have eczema, I would definitely recommend trying out this product but keep in mind that everyones skin is different. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

If you want to get 25% off then use the code: SUMMER15 but be quick as it ends this Thursday! 

Have you tried anything from Dermatique? Do you have eczema, if so what products do you use?

Microsoft Lumia 640

Monday, June 22, 2015
Now I have to admit, when it comes to tech, mobile phones are not the most exciting, interesting products in my opinion. My first phone was a green Nokia that could be used as a brick, if needed, but it did have snake on it which is the best mobile game by far! However, when Microsoft asked if I wanted to test one of their Lumia phones, I was quite excited. I've seen all of the adverts for the Lumia phones and they look really unique and fun to use. 

I have the *Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE (£129.99, sim free) in the orange shade; one half of me loves the colour as it is just so bright and summery, however another half of me thinks it's a little too young for me, if that makes sense! The phone is available in blue, white and black, I would have personally picked the white phone and it would be one of the best options, along with black, with regards to taking photos. In terms of what you get for the price, I think this phone is a great deal; if you want an up to date and easy to use phone at a reasonable price then the Lumia 640 if definitely a good option, in my opinion. However for me personally there are a couple of flaws. 

Design, Menu + Using The Phone

Overall I love the general look of the phone; I also love the layout of the main menu and just how colourful and vibrant the phone is. However the one negative is the back colour of the phone which does become an issue when taking photos and for me personally the phone is too big to hold easily in one hand while taking photos, playing a game or typing, for example, although I do have tiny hands!

The menu is a unique aspect of this phone, it is bright, colourful and easy to navigate. I love the colourful square menu, it is quick to navigate through when you get used to the layout. However it is quick to scroll through, it is easy to find what you want and there is also a full list menu of all the apps/options. 

The keyboard is an aspect that I personally don't like, I find the keys are little too small/thin for my chubby little fingers but I also don't like the keyboard on my iPhone either! Using the internet/wifi, apps and Cortana is quick and easy; Cortana is the Microsoft version of Siri and unlike Siri it is pretty useful and I think if I had this phone in the long term then it would be something I would use often. 

Camera/Video 

The Lumia 640 LTE has a HD 0.9MP wide angle front facing camera with flash which isn't great but the main back facing camera is 8MP which is much better! The camera is so quick and easy to use. It has some amazing settings too where you can change the brightness, focus, sensitivity and shutter speed all before you take a photo - how amazing is that! The ability to change the brightness comes in so useful in poorly lit areas or just because of the dull, rainy English weather! Also when you take a photo, the phone makes it into a 1 to 2 second video so you have a little clip for each photo but you can also upload them to social media as a photo, not a video - but I thought it was a unique feature. 



The one aspect that annoys me when taking photos is that the orange back cover can change the colour of items I'm trying to photograph - hopefully you can see what I mean with the photos above. For example, I took a few photos of an orange blossom plant we have and on occasion the reflection of the orange back cover would make the white flowers look pink/orange on the screen and in photographs which isn't great. Also in direct sun the screen brightness isn't high enough for me to view the screen well. 

Photo sharing isn't great as I don't usually use Microsoft products and I didn't want to share directly to social media; also the phone wouldn't send a photo via bluetooth to my iMac, I have no idea why, maybe I was doing something wrong. So I had to share photos by going onto my gmail and emailing them to myself which wasn't the quickest option. Also when uploading photos directly to instagram, the quality wasn't fantastic. 

Apps/Games/Store

For some reason, my two hotmail accounts wouldn't work with this phone - I didn't receive the verification email/code so I had to create a new Microsoft account/email for me to download apps and use the phone properly. The first app I downloaded is Whats App as it's the way I text on my regular phone and it worked as normal and I also downloaded Instagram which is quite different to the Apple version. The Instagram Beta layout is a little different and I don't like it so much but it quick to share photos; I've uploaded a couple of photos that I took with the Lumia 640 on my instagram if you want to see the photo quality. After creating a new account, downloading apps and games was quick and easy, the games graphics were great on the 5 inch screen and there are a lot of games in the store to choose from including some pretty fantastic free ones. 

Charging/Battery

The phone came with an american charger, I don't know if this comes with all Lumia phones but thankfully we had an american adapter. The phone doesn't take long to charge up and I find that it does hold it's charge really well; I find that my iPhone looses charge quicker than the Lumia 640. I'm really impressed with the battery life and charing time!

Overall 

On the whole I have mixed opinions of this phone, there are some aspects that I LOVE such as the overall design, colourful menu, charge/battery life and the unique photos which have a clip attached, if that makes sense! However, there are also aspects that I have issues with such as the size of the phone, thin letter keys, reduced photo quality when uploaded to social media and the orange back cover which can change the colour of items you are trying to photograph. In terms of moving your contacts from a previous phone, there is a 'transfer my data' option which would be really useful. When the price is taken into consideration it is a fairly good deal on the whole, in my opinion! Overall rating: ★★★☆☆, 3/5. 

Do you have this phone or any of the Microsoft Lumia phones? What do you think of the Lumia 640?

My Little French Riviera Box

Sunday, June 21, 2015
The June edition of the My Little Box was late this time round due to a production problem but in my opinion it was well worth the wait. The theme for this months box is the French riviera and the box design and products are making me wish I was going abroad this year *cries*

There are three beauty products and two lifestyle items in this months box as well as the usual magazine, drawstring bag (which are super cute and useful) and print. The boxes themselves are also useful and great for storage. The boxes I believe are £14.95 per month including postage and packaging and although it is a little more expensive than other subscription boxes, it is definitely the best, in my opinion. 

For the lifestyle items, I received a pair gorgeous matte purple sunglasses which were designed in collaboration with My Little Box and Sarah Lavoine who is an interior designer. I love the retro, unique design and the matte finish! The second lifestyle items are plant pot covers which is a really unique idea - I haven't seen anything like this before. There are two sizes, one larger and the other is really quite small. I love the summery, nautical design. 

Now onto the beauty items, the first is a gorgeous nail polish which is again a collaboration between My Little Box and Sarah Lavoine. It is in the shade 501, it's a gorgeous deep teal. It has a thin brush which is my only complaint as it is a little difficult to apply but on the whole it's a really nice polish. I will have a photo of the polish on my nails on my instagram (heathernixon4) later today. Next up, the My Little Beauty Sailor Scrub which is a sea salt scrub in the most adorable packaging - it has little anchors on it! Last but not least, I received the Kerastase Resistance Ciment Thermique Resurfacing Strengthening Hair Milk which I cannot wait to try.

Overall, I am very happy with everything in this months box and the theme/design is making me want to go on holiday. I will definitely get use out of all of the items. It isn't my favourite My Little Box (that would be the dream box) but it's a lovely summery box. 

Are you subscribed to My Little Box? What do you think of the items included?

Sleep Helpers ft. Sulis + Thermae

Friday, June 19, 2015
If you're like me and you find it really difficult to sleep and to unwind then aromatherapy and relaxation products might be the answer. I've been using these products, which were very kindly sent to me from Sulis and Thermae, both of which have been helping so much! 

The all round favourite is the *Aromaworks Nurture Candle (£32, 30cl). The candle contains 100% organic essential oils as well as soy and beeswax. I have made everyone, friends and family, smell this candle and the reaction has been exactly the same - instant relaxation, followed by oohs and aahs. The candle has notes of May Chang, Sandalwood and Roman Chamomile, all of which combine to make the most relaxing, soothing candle ever made! The scent is strong but not over powering, it is so highly scented that you just need to open the lid of the box and it scents the air all around you. I also smell lavender in this candle, it's an incredibly relaxing scent. 

The candle smells amazing when it's lit too, it's so relaxing! The throw is fantastic, it scents the whole room and then some. I am really impressed with the dispersion of the scent as well as the strength but it isn't too strong or cloying. The wax doesn't melt all the way to the sides of the glass which is the only negative point, in my opinion. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

I've also been testing the *Aromaworks Serenity Bath Oil (£34.50, 100ml) which comes beautifully packaged as does the candle. The bath oil is 100% natural and it contains organic ingredients such as evening primrose oil. The oil also contains lavender flower oil, may chang fruit oil, natural vitamin E, neroli oil and coconut oil. The bottle has a pump dispenser which is so handy especially as oils can be so messy. The instructions don't say how much to dispense and I definitely used too much the first time round but it did make the whole bathroom smell so lovely and relaxing. I find that after a bath I do always drift off to sleep much quicker. It doesn't produce bubbles or change the water as most of my other bath products do but it feels like such a luxurious and indulgent product to use. The bath oil left my skin so smooth and moisturised, I didn't need to use a lotion or body butter afterwards! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5!

Overall, I'm so happy with both products and since using them on a fairly regular basis I have noticed that my sleeping pattern is better and I am able to drift off much quicker even when I've been nervous and stressed! I would 100% recommend both products and I would buy both products in the future although I would choose a smaller size of the candle as it is a little pricey.

Have you tried any products from Aromaworks? Have you bought anything from Sulis & Thermae? What are your favourite products/tips for a better nights sleep?

Nourish Discovery Set From Naturisimo

Thursday, June 18, 2015
I have tried a couple of products from nourish since blogging but until now I've only tried their bodycare products. I have already reviewed their Protect Nutri-Rich Body Cream and the Toning Body Shimmer.  You can purchase this 'discovery' set which is an exclusive set from Naturisimo for £7.95 with free delivery! 

Firstly, I tried the *Nourish Revital-Eyes Kale Biomimetic Anti-Ageing Eye Cream which contains peptides, amino acids, B vitamins, antioxidants, kale extract, and pomegranate enzymes to counter puffiness, dark circles and visibly reduce lines. I have eczema around my eyes and this cream didn't irritate my skin. A little goes a long way as it is very moisturising and it leaves my skin looking very plumped and glowing without being glittery or greasy looking. I genuinely notice a reduction in the appearance of my very fine lines which is amazing! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

Next up, the *Nourish Golden Glow Illuminating Face Shimmer and to be honest the words 'illuminating face shimmer' do terrify me but when used with caution this illuminator is gorgeous. It is very golden so I only use it on my cheekbones otherwise it would look crazy but with a bronzy smokey eye it's amazing, especially for summer! However if you blend too much then it almost disappears leaving a few specks of golden glitter and only use a tiny amount or you will look like a glitter ball. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

Now onto a product for those with super dry skin, the *Nourish Argan Skin Renew which is a moisturiser rich in argan oil, vitamin E and Rose of Jericho. The moisturiser claims to repair and dramatically boost skin hydration. The cream does leave my skin very smooth and moisturised although if I apply too much then it can feel a little heavy and greasy so I think this is more of a 'very dry skin' day product for me or part of my winter skincare routine. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

Sticking with moisturisers the next product is the *Nourish Protect Hydrating Moisturiser which contains ingredients such as rosehip seed oil and vitamin C to protect collagen and to protect from damaging free radicals. The cream smells lovely, it doesn't irritate my skin and it goes on so smoothly. This moisturiser is a great base for makeup, it doesn't pill/ball up. Also if my concealer/foundation is looks a little dry then I apply a tiny amount of this moisturiser over the area with my foundation brush and I just push/stipple the moisturiser on and it adds a boost of moisture without ruining the makeup - don't sweep the moisturiser on, you need to stipple/push the product on or it will move the foundation/concealer. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

There is one facial oil in this set, it is the *nourish Argan Skin Rescue and I've been using it every other night as part of my evening skincare routine and it is a lovely oil overall. The pump dispenser is handy and it the oil has quite thick; it's almost like a gel/oil hybrid which makes it less messy. I've been using the oil in the evenings only and it is great. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

Lastly, the *Nourish Kale Enzymatic Exfoliating Cleanser which contains pomegranate enzyme and kale extract. It can be used as a gentle cleanser, face mask or facial. I've only used it as a cleanser and in my opinion I wouldn't describe an exfoliating cleanser as a 'gentle cleanser'. The cleanser is fairly scrubby and I wouldn't use it everyday. It does leave my skin super clean and smooth so it's great for mild exfoliation but I don't feel as though it strips my skin. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

Overall, I'm very happy with the majority of the products, especially the eye cream which has now made it into my morning skincare routine. There are a couple of products such as a oil and cleanser which didn't wow me as much as the moisturisers and eye cream did. I think this set would be great if you wanted to try something from the brand but you didn't know if your skin would react or which products would you like/dislike.


Have you tried any Nourish products? What do you think of this Naturisimo exclusive Nourish 'discovery' set?

A Pint Of Thanks Ft. Mainline Menswear

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Father's Day is almost here *It's the 21st June - this Sunday* and the lovely people at Mainline Menswear have put together a fantastic Father's Day package that I know my dad will love! My dad is quite difficult to buy for, he is always happy with socks, shower or shaving products or basic tees. 

Mainline Menswear have such a wide range of discounted and full price designer and highstreet mens clothing and accessories, from Vivienne Westwood, Adidas Originals, Converse, Clarks, Lacoste, Hugo Boss, Vans, Ralph Lauren and many more. I have the *Armani 2 Pack Crew Neck T-Shirts (£35, Black) which are under the category of 'underwear' but they would be great as lounge wear, in my opinion. The T-shirts are stretchy, smooth and they have a certificate of authenticity on the label to show that they are genuine Emporia Armani products. 

Socks are always a staple gift for dads and my dad never throws anything away so he has so many socks now from almost 23 years of Father's Days! However he doesn't have a pair like this which are the *Luke 1977 3 Pack Socks (£15, sale) which look so fancy. I can't find this specific set on the Mainline Menswear site but the brand Luke 1977 have a couple of other pairs to choose from. 

Lastly, in the amazing Father's Day package were a couple of items from *Blue Beards Revenge which is a brand my dad has tried before and really liked; as well as a pint glass because it will be for Father's Day after all. I think my dad will love all of these extra Father's Day gifts - the perks of having a blogger as a daughter!

Here are some of my Father's Day gift picks from Mainline Menswear:


What do you think of my Father's Day picks? What will you buying for your dad/granddad?

Father's Day Gifts: Scaramouche + Fandango

Monday, June 15, 2015
Father's Day in the UK is the 21st June and this year, as with every father's day, myself and my sister don't know what to buy our dad! We have tried video games, a remote control helicopter, ties, socks and food but the only 'safe' gifts that we know he will love is bodycare/shower products. 

The lovely people at Scaramouche & Fandango sent me one of their new Father's Day gifts. I have the *Scaramouche & Fandango Twin Pack (£13.50) which contains the Black Quinoa Shampoo (200ml) and the Brazilian Papaya Body Wash (200ml). Scaramouche & Fandango products are made in England, they are free from parabens and contain 97% naturally derived ingredients. 

The shampoo contains cleansing black quinoa and shea butter; it smells like an aftershave my dad has but it is more subtle. The body wash contains remineralising brazilian papaya and vitamin E complex; it has a similar scent to the shampoo but it is stronger than the shampoo. The scent is exactly what my dad would choose and I think he will love both products. 

Scaramouche & Fandango have some pretty fantastic Father's Day gifts and the price is really reasonable. I love the packaging, it is simple and masculine! They have great gift sets, travel sets and minis too with prices from £2.75 to £40 so there is something for all budgets and dads. Here are some of the products and sets available:
What do you think of this gift set? What will you be buying for your dad this Father's Day?

Naturisimo Travel Essentials Discovery Box

Sunday, June 14, 2015
Naturisimo have just launched their 'Seven Travel Essentials Discovery' Box so if you want to grab one you will have to be quick as they always sell out so quickly. I have a sneak peek at the goodies in this months box!

The *Naturisimo Seven Travel Essentials Discovery Box (£9.95, free delivery) contains six travel sized products and one sachet sample. The brands included are: Caudalie, Giovanni, Barefoot SOS, Balance Me and Dr Bronner. I haven't had one of their boxes before so I didn't know what to expect in terms of sizes or the types of products included but I think it has a great mix of more natural/eco/green brands so it would be great if you want to try natural brands but don't know where to start as the world of green, eco and natural beauty can be a little confusing and overwhelming. 

First up, there is the Dr Bronner's Magic Soap in the Rose scent which smells amazing! I already have a few travel size versions of their liquid soaps and a full size. I love the Dr Bronner's magic liquid soap for washing my makeup brushes, it gets them super clean.  Another product from a  brand that I love is the Caudalie Divine Oil which I have been using over the past few days and I love it as a hair treatment. Also from Caudalie is a sachet sample of their Divine Legs which is a tinted body lotion - it would be perfect for summer holidays!

Sticking with the skincare theme, the Barefoot SOS Face & Body Rescue Cream is the product I was most excited to receive when I opened the box as it is suitable for eczema/psoriasis which I have. I haven't used it yet but it definitely sounds promising. The last skincare item is the Balance Me Moisture Rich Face Cream, again I haven't used it before but I have received a few Balance Me products  as magazine samples last year and I've been really happy with them on the whole. 

Lastly, a couple of haircare items from a brand I haven't tried before - Giovanni. Included in this months box is the Giovanni 50:50 Hydrating-Calming Conditioner which I can't wait to use as well as the Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo. I personally don't like tea tree products in general so I will be passing this onto my sister to try. 

Overall, a really nice mix of products that would be great travel sizes to add to your toiletries bag for upcoming summer holidays. I personally love the Dr Bronners Magic Soap as well as the Caualie Divine oil - both of which are amazing multi-use products. 

Have you tried any of the products mentioned? Will you be buying one of the Naturisimo Travel Essentials Discovery Boxes?

End Embarrassment Campaign With Vagisil

Friday, June 12, 2015
Image from Google
Last month I was featured on the Tombola website, along with other bloggers, talking about the true signs of friendship and to me one of the signs of true friendship means that you can talk about taboo, sensitive topics, in my opinion. I find that myself and my friends can talk about labour/birth, periods and other fun topics like that without feeling embarrassed which I am so grateful for. Also as my parents are nurses and my sister is a student nurse I feel as though I can thankfully talk to them about sensitive, taboo issues or problems. 

Survey Results

A survey conducted by Vagisil in February 2015 asked 2,000 women aged between 18-65 years about their attitudes and embarrassment about intimate health. The survey found that '47% of British women felt embarrassed when the word 'vagina' came up in conversation' and to be honest, I would feel a little uncomfortable and I think it is because of the traditional, stiff upper lip and reserved nature which is inherent within the British culture as a whole. Worryingly '42% of the women asked stated that they would rather speak about anything else rather than intimate health issues' which could potentially lead to problems and delays if a problem needs to be dealt with. 

Also '47% of the women said that they were too embarrassed to talk to friends or family about intimate health issues' which is quite telling of our British sensibilities, although I think that I could easily talk to my best friends about issues like this as we have been very close for at least 11 years but failing that talking to your GP is essential if you are worried. At the GP practice I go to there is only one female doctor so I would definitely try to book an appointment with her - I wish there were more female doctors in my GP practice. '15% of the women surveyed suffered with a problem that became worse because they didn't talk to their GP about it' but what needs to be remembered is that many topics when it comes to health can be embarrassing and these are issues that a lot of people face so in theory there shouldn't be anything to be embarrassed about. 

Statistics regarding the media were also shocking as '70% of women said the way the media portrays womens bodies makes them feel less confident about their own body' which is such a sad but true statistic, as I also feel like the media portrays such perfect, slim, hairless portrayals of women that are impossible to live up to and it can be upsetting, in my opinion. However, there may be a positive side the media as '79% of the women feel that the society is becoming better at talking about womens issues' and I do agree as there are celebrities such as Angelina Jolie raising important issues regards womens health, so there is a positive impact. 

Tips, Advice and Products

Vagisil, Dr Becky Spelman and the women within the survey suggest tips on overcoming embarrassment such as:

- “Look at it rationally and if it seems too much try breathing in through the nose for 3 seconds and then slowly out through the mouth, focusing on the feeling of the breath."

- "Take a deep breath and be open & honest"

- "Be aware that you are not alone and act confident & be brave"

- "Mostly importantly, in my opinion, remember that doctors have seen it all before"

Vagisil’s range of intimate treatment and daily care products are specifically designed to look after the health of your intimate area. We all take care of our face and body using special lotions, washes and creams; just like the rest of our body, our intimate skin benefits from targeted, specific products. This is a sponsored post.   Check out the Vagisil #EndEmbarrassment video!

What are your opinions of the Vagisil survey results? Would you talk to friends/family about intimate health issues/problems?