Yet Another Book Haul

Thursday, March 31, 2016
Yet Another Book Haul
No one is stopping me from buying books, hence more books on my book shelves. I can't stop myself especially as I have a trial of Amazon Prime *don't get it, you'll spend a lot of money*. I bought two more books from Amazon in March and I was kindly bought the rest with vouchers, yay, free books!

- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling: I bought the first book this month too and I had to buy the second as it was on sale - even though I haven't started the first book yet, oops. I love these covers, they are so cute and magical; also they are rubberised which I don't know, makes them nicer to hold - that sounds odd...

- The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman: I have heard so many good things about this book by American youtubers so I had to get it. I was going to buy the gorgeous hardcover from Book Depository but it was so cheap and on offer in Waterstones so I picked up the paperback version instead. From what I have heard, it's about regency London and demon hunters - I don't need to know more than that!

- The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King: I'm loving dark books, horror and thrillers recently so I had to get this short story collection by the king of horror himself. The book was on sale for about £7 new on Amazon when it should have been around £20, my inner bargain hunter couldn't resist that offer. Also the cover is gorgeous.

- Uprooted by Naomi Novik: Again, another American youtuber recommendation (I need to stop watching book hauls and reviews, it doesn't help). I think it was Regan from Peruse Project that recommended this as an interesting magical book and anything with magic in it has me sold; also anything with a freakin' beautiful hardcover has me sold too.

- The Maker of Swans by Paraic O'Donnell: This book is one I haven't heard much about and it is a very new release. The cover is so simple but gorgeous and it is a hard cover. It's again about magic, books and secrets. I can't wait to read this one!

 Have you bought any books recently? Have you read any of these? 

New + Upcoming Beauty Releases #6

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
I haven't done one of these posts for so long so I wanted to start the series again. Today's post is all about new releases and upcoming beauty products from high end and drugstore brands - some of which I'm very excited about! This post contains a few affiliate links.

Diptque Eau Des Sens Perfume  -  Clinique Lid Pop Open Eyeshadow  -  Lancome Juicy Shakers  -  Vince Camuto Capri Fragrance  -  Soap and Glory Kick Ass Super-Blur Eraser  -  Laura Mercier Tea Menthe Citron EDT  -  Benefit Cheekathon Gift Set  -  IT Cosmetics  -  Spectrum Brushes Marbleous Collection  -  Treacle Moon Travel Sizes  -  Vichy 3D Correction  -  Clinique Pop Laquer Lip Colour + Primer

Are you excited for any of these products? What new releases are you loving? 

March Book Reviews

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
March Book Reviews
How is it almost April already, where is this year going! I feel like it was January last week, it's going to be christmas before we know it. Anyway, today's post is all about the books I've read over the month of March.

- The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August by Claire North: I started this book at the very beginning of the month and it took me just over a week to read. It looks massive but for me, I flew through it. It's about Harry August who is one of a special group of people around the world who, when they die, they start their lives all over again with all of the memories of their previous live(s). It's such an incredibly well written, interesting and engaging book and I adore it - I'd recommend it to anyone. The book is so enjoyable, although there are a few small parts were it is very dark and maybe very triggering for some people as it deals with death, murder, crime, suicide, cancer/illness, torture and war as well as politics, time travel (of a sort), dysfunctional families and friendship. Simply, it is the best book I've ever read and I think it is best to go into it, not knowing much else! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5!

- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: This book drew me in because of the cover, it's gorgeous and because of all the positive reviews. To me, the book is a mixture of the blood/class divisions from Harry Potter, X-Men superpowers and a Hunger Games feel to it which I love. The book was gripping and action packed from the beginning and I couldn't put it down. I love the character relationships, the world (if a little confusing and massive) and the conclusion. There were some points were the book was repetitive and predictable but for the most part it has twists, turns and all the feels. I loved it and I need to buy the next book, Glass Sword. Although if you don't like angsty teenage romance or politics then you might not enjoy this book as much as I did. For me, it was a teenage version of Game of Thrones (without all of the sex and swearing). Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

- A Cold Day For Murder by Dana Stabenow: I bought this book, new, from The Works as it was only...£1, how amazing is that! The book is quite short at just less than 200 pages, it is about a murder and it is set in Alaska - if that's not enough to make you buy this book then I don't know what is. The book was slow to start and I HATE the way the author changes the terms for the same character; in one sentence the character will be referred to by their name e.g.: Kate, then the next sentence, the same character will be referred to as 'she' or 'the cousin' or 'the passenger' which is baffling to me and it definitely took the flow out of the book. Overall, it was an interesting story and I loved the main character Kate as well as Jack and Bobby so just for that I want to read the next in the series but I hate the point mentioned previously and the really pointless technical information about law and snowmobiles. Overall rating: ★★★☆☆, 3/5.

- How To Be A Brit by George Mikes: I downloaded a free sample of this book for the Kindle app on my iPad and loved the sample so I bought the e-book but now I wish I hadn't. I thought this book would be similar to Very British Problems which I read last year and loved but it isn't for the most part. The first quarter of the book is very easy to read, funny and enjoyable but the rest is downhill from there. I'm half way through the book and I can't bring myself to read anymore as the author has become so incredibly annoying and pompous and it is now so slow and boring to read. Overall rating: ★★☆☆☆, 2/5.

Have you read any of these books? What have you been reading in the month of March? 

Healthy Spring Smoothies ft. AO

Monday, March 28, 2016
Healthy Spring Smoothies ft. AO
Smoothies are a favourite of mine and they have been for years as they are super tasty and healthy ways of eating fruit and vegetables in a way that is so quick and easy. I have my Nutribullet which I love for soup, dips, sauce and smoothies but I wanted to test out the *Breville Blend Active Smoothie Maker (£30) as it seems like a slightly more convenient and much cheaper version of a NutriBullet.

I have the family pack which comes with the blender, instructions and four drinks containers in two smaller sizes and two large sizes so in terms of the amount of extras you get, the Breville blender is winning so far.

I've used the blender quite a few times since receiving it for smoothies and I'm more impressed than I thought I would be. I had a smoothie maker before my NutriBullet and it was quite awful so I didn't know how this one would be but as I said, I'm impressed although it definitely won't replace my Nuribullet. However, if you want a cheap alternative to a NutriBullet then definitely give this one a go.
Healthy Spring Smoothies ft. AO

The blender is so quick and easy to use, it isn't as noisy as my Nutribullet but it definitely isn't quiet either and it is really easy to clean as my NutriBullet is. The blender doesn't make the smoothie as smooth as my NutriBullet would make it but then again it is a lot cheaper than my Nutribullet was. It makes a relatively smooth smoothie and I have been using it so much - I also love the cute drinks containers that are included in this package. I have three basic smoothie 'recipes' that are so quick and easy but incredibly healthy and delicious:

Strawberries, Orange Juice & Chia Seeds 

I just cut up all of the fruit, making it small so it's easier for the blender. I add the fruit and juice to the blender until it is as smooth as I can be. The more juice the thinner the consistency will be and the less juice, the thicker the smoothie will be. I add the chia seeds after everything is blended so they aren't crushed in the blender - you don't really taste them but they add a lot of fibre and protein.

Mango, Orange Juice & Raspberries

This is my favourite smoothie concoction I've come up with as it is creamy and fresh because of the gorgeous mango but it is sour and tangy because of the raspberries - it's the perfect combination and great for spring/summer. All three smoothies have a tonne of vitamin C and fibre in them as well as being quick and easy ways of eating a lot of fruit!

 Spinach, Mango, Carrot, Apple & Orange Juice 

Now, I know this sounds like a weird combination but it's SO good and it has at least four of your five a day in it! The spinach and carrot can make the smoothie a little gritty but just add less of those and or add more orange juice or apple juice. You can adjust the amount of ingredients depending on how much smoothie you want to make or what you have in your fridge - a lot of my smoothie ideas come from throwing random things in my blender that need to be used up!

Have you tried the Breville Blend Active? What are your favourite smoothie combinations? 

Movie Night

Sunday, March 27, 2016
Movie Night
Movie nights are a common occurrence in our house, we love films and the latest we watched together was Spectre (I was quite disappointed by it overall, if I'm honest). I think movie nights are great ways of spending time with family and friends and eating sweets, popcorn or pizza...or all three! This is a sponsored post.

Movies are such a universally loved and sometimes argued about topic and even though some can be terribly bad (I'm looking at your Quantum of Solace), they are ways of connecting people from all ages. At Gracewell, a care home provider, movie nights are a enjoyed and anticipated group activity for the residents and their families.

I'm going to be hosting a movie night with friends soon and I was kindly sent some lovely goodies which if I'm honest, I've already ate some of them...oops! I will definitely have to buy more of the Jo & Seph gourmet popcorn in the salted caramel flavour as it is just heavenly. Also do any other 90's kids remember parma violets, fizzers, drumstick lollies and fizz wiz popping candy? I loved it and I can't wait to share with friends as we all loved these sweets growing up *they were a school disco essential, along with those candy watches/bracelets) - they are from Retro Sweet if you wanted to revel in some candy coated nostalgia.

I chose the dvd Crimon Peak as I've wanted to watch it since it came out last year, it looks creepy and atmospheric so I know I will love it. I think my friends will love it too as you know...Tom Hiddleston...If anyone has watched it, let me know what you thought in the comments below!

Do you have movie nights? What movie did you watch recently? Any movie recommendations? 

Giorgio Armani Maestro UV Primer

Friday, March 25, 2016
Giorgio Armani Maestro UV Primer
If you couldn't tell, I've been a bit obsessed with Giorgio Armani products recently and I've been so lucky to have been sent a few recently including the new Maestro Glow Foundation, Luminous Silk Foundation and the Giorgio Armani Si Fragrances. I have loved every single product which is definitely a bad habit to get into!

Today's post is all about the new and frankly bloody amazing *Giorgio Armani Maestro UV Skin Defence Primer (£40, 30ml) which is both one of the most amazing primers I've ever tried and the most expensive. The primer contains SPF 50 PA++ which is amazing, especially for me as I always forget to use SPF so to have it in my primer is very handy and great for my skin. This primer is part of the current House of Fraser beauty offer *it ends on the 3rd April* so if you spend £50 or more on selected products, you get £10 off!

The primer has the same packaging design and pipette dropper as the Maestro Glow foundation which makes it quick, easy and more controlled to use. The primer is white in colour but when blended it isn't and it does have a slightly scent. I have been using the primer every time I wear makeup, either with the Luminous Silk foundation or with others and it just gives the most gorgeous glow and radiance to the skin but it isn't heavy, silicone feeling or glittery but when applying it does have a slightly greasy feel so it's probably more suited to drier skin types.

Overall, I'm loving this primer! The packaging is gorgeous, it doesn't irritate my skin at all *which isn't always the case when products contain SPF* and it gives my skin a gorgeous radiant finish while protecting my skin. The only downside for me is the price but it is currently on offer. This post contains an affiliate link. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

Have you tried anything from Giorgio Armani? What do you think of this primer? 

House of Fraser Beauty Offer + Tutorial

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
House of Fraser Beauty Offer + Tutorial
It's that time again, the House of Fraser beauty offer has started and I don't know about you but I can't resist money off cosmetics *thanks to my lack of willpower and hence my rather large beauty collection*. The offer began on the 23rd March and it will run until the 3rd April so go, go go!

I was beyond excited when this amazing packaging came from super lovely and generous people at House of Fraser including some of the products that are part of this fantastic offer. Check out the House of Fraser website for the full range of products on offer - some of the items in the offer are newly released including the much raved about Lancome Juicy Shakers (which I definitely want to try!) and Nars Velvet Matte Foundation as well as the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, Lancome Genifique Concentrate, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion+ and the Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate to name just a few. 
Image from House of Fraser
I was lucky enough to receive some of the products included in the offer! I already have the *Lancome Genifique Concentrate and although I don't use it that often, I still love it and the packaging is just gorgeous! 

I also received the *Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion + With Pump (£30, 125ml) which is designed for very dry to combination skin types. While in college I used the Clinique three step skincare range consistently and my skin was great apart from occasional eczema flareups but I can't recommend it enough as it worked well for me at the time and my favourite product was definitely the moisturiser. 

The final skincare product I received is the *Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate (£54, 15ml). I have tried a couple of Clarins skincare products, including the fantastic Pure Melt Cleansing Gel so I'm excited to give this eye cream a go especially as I always hear amazing things about their skincare. 

The next product is something I've wanted to try for years and I'm so happy I now have it - the gorgeous *Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette (£38.50) which is just as amazing as all of the reviews and blog posts say it is! I have the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette which is pretty and very spring like but I definitely love the Naked 2 more, it's so wearable and I know I will get SO much use out of it. To see the swatches and palette in action, check out my video at the end of this post! 
Last but not least, the product I was most excited to try, not only because I tried the damn amazing Maestro Glow Foundation a couple of weeks ago but also because it has nothing but rave reviews; I'm talking about the *Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 03 which is the best foundation shade match I have ever found!

Apparently this is Kim Kardashians favourite foundation so naturally I wanted to give it a go and I was not let down. The foundation looks pretty much invisible on the skin, it doesn't highlight dryness and makes my skin look more even, radiant (but not greasy/oily/heavy) and perfected - like a perfecting veil over the skin, it's amazing. The coverage is light/medium, it cover pores and minor blemishes so well and as this shade is yellow toned, it helps cancel out the natural redness of my skin. I love this foundation more than the impressive Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow Foundation!

Now onto my video of closeups of the products, swatches and a makeup tutorial! 



Will you be taking advantage of this offer? Do you own any of these products? What do you think of my makeup look and video?

Healthy Spring Recipe Ideas

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Healthy Spring Recipe Ideas
The first week of spring has been so sunny and I love it! As well as autumn, spring is one of my favourite seasons as the lighter evenings are amazing *especially for bloggers!* and when spring comes around I tend to eat much healthier. I've been a vegetarian for almost 12 years so finding new spring recipes can be a little difficult but here are two of my current favourite recipes that are super healthy, delicious and so easy to make! I think these recipes would be great for the upcoming bank holiday, check out the Tesco Direct website for great bank holiday deals!

Green Vegetable, White Stilton & Dill Quiche 

Until a week or so ago, I hadn't made a quiche before but I've been obsessed with this one as it is so light, fresh and healthy but delicious. I used spinach, broccoli and asparagus in this quiche as well as white stilton and dill but you can use which ever cheese and herbs you want - I just prefer these recently and they are both very light/spring like to me.

To be honest, I make this up every time, it changes with whatever needs using up or whatever I want to use that day. I don't use specific measurements apart from that I use just over half a pack of pre-made shortcrust pastry (I always make my own pastry but this is just so much easier and quicker) and I use three eggs per quiche so it will set.

1. Leave the pastry out of the fridge for half an hour so it can reach room temperature (or put it in the microwave for 5-8 seconds but no longer than that). Chop up the broccoli, asparagus, spinach, herbs and cheese - make everything fairly small/flat or it will be too big for the tart/quiche tin. I don't cook the vegetables in this recipe prior to baking the quiche in the oven but you could if you wanted although they might end up too soft/mushy.

2. Roll out the pastry onto a floured surface into a circle big enough to cover the tin and to cover the sides too. I had only just enough pastry so a little over half a packet will be perfect for a shallow tart tin like the one I used. Grease the tin lightly and lay over the pastry, pressing it to the base and sides. Prick the pastry base with a fork. You don't need to blind bake the pastry.

3. Place your vegetables onto the uncooked pastry where you want them.

4. Combine three medium eggs and single cream with garlic, herbs and salt/pepper and mix well so you have enough mixture to almost cover all of the vegetables - it's better if you don't fully cover everything as I think it looks better.

5. Gently pour the egg/cream mixture over the vegetables and top with whatever cheese you want. Don't over fill as it will spill out over the edges as it bubbles up and cooks in the oven. If you need to add more liquid, then add a little extra cream or milk.

6. Bake at 200 degrees celsius (fan ovens) for about 30-35 minutes. Turn half way through the cooking time so the quiche is baked as evenly as possible. To prevent the uncovered vegetables from catching, cover lightly with tin foil while baking. It will be baked when there is no wobble in the quiche. Allow to cool slightly before serving, it would be great with a fresh rocket, lettuce and lemon salad.
Healthy Spring Recipe Ideas
Vegan Spinach Pesto Penne 

I have been referred to by my family, for all of my life, as the 'pasta queen'. I adore pasta, I eat it pretty much constantly so there isn't a vegetarian pasta combination that I haven't tried. However, last year when I had a period of being vegan, I came across a new idea (cashew cream) which I adapted and loved. Creamy, spinach pesto pasta with no dairy in sight! Although if you wanted to add cheese you could with vegan cheese or vegetarian parmesan cheese.

As with the previous recipe, I don't have specific measurements as neither recipes are from books, they are just mash ups of ideas and they are always changing to make something new. The rough measurements will make enough for two or just one Heather...

1. Soak 1/4 cup of cashew nuts and a small handful of pine nuts in a mug full of hot vegetable stock (check the packet to make sure it's vegan as some contain milk) for about two hours, stirring every so often.

2. Cook whatever pasta you want and while it is cooking, add the now cool cashew nut/stock mixture to a food processor - make sure it is fully cool. I use my NutriBullet as it makes the pesto sauce incredibly smooth! So I'd definitely recommend using a NutriBullet or it won't be as good/creamy. Add a good handful or two of spinach, garlic, salt/pepper and a lot of basil to the NutriBullet along with half a teaspoon of nutritional yeast to make it slightly cheesy but this is optional.

3. Blended everything in the NutriBullet for blasts of ten seconds until the mixture is completely smooth. At this point you can adjust the ingredients, I usually add more garlic and basil; also sometimes I add cornstarch dissolved in a tiny amount of water to thicken it later.

4. Drain the pasta when al dente and add the pesto sauce to the pan to heat through slightly. Add the pasta to the sauce and that's it! It's so easy but so delicious and very creamy even though it doesn't contain dairy. It is very filing and very healthy! This is a sponsored post.

What do you think of my healthy, spring recipes? Will you try and make them? What are your favourite spring inspired recipes? 

Spring OOTD Ft. White Stuff

Monday, March 21, 2016
Spring OOTD Ft. White Stuff - ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk
Now, when it comes to fashion, outfits and colour, I stick to my comfort zone *I'm always in my comfort zone* which includes grey, black, white and navy. I don't do colour. Ever. But I do want to start wearing colour even though it scares the pants of me. So when the super lovely people at White Stuff contacted me and asked if I wanted to take part in their spring skirts campaign, I said yes!

I chose the *White Stuff Ying Yang Skirt (£22 - SALE) in a UK size 8. The skirt comes in this gorgeous and very spring appropriate ivy green shade and it has an elasticated back as well as two pockets which is a detail I love and they don't make my hips look bigger/bulky as can happen sometimes. The skirt colour is less bright than shown in the photographs - I had to brighten the photographs #DamnEnglishWeather. 
Spring OOTD Ft. White Stuff - ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk
Usually I would go for a UK size 10 rather than an 8 as even though I'm very petite, I do have rather large hips (well large for my frame anyway) but after looking at the size guide online, I chose a UK 8 and I'm so glad I did as the 10 would definitely have been too big! The skirt fits so well! I wasn't entirely sure about the style at first but pairing it with a plain 3/4 sleeve white top from Forever21, Primark tights and my gorgeous Barbour fedora, I think it works well - it's a gorgeous spring outfit and one I'd actually wear all of the time. I'm so excited that it is now spring and the evenings are lighter *which is great for bloggers!* and I can wear less than 10 layers!Spring OOTD Ft. White Stuff - ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk
The only problem I really have with clothes, especially dresses, skirts and jeans, is the length as I'm so petite but this skirt is perfect! It hits me just above my knee which is were I want dresses and skirts to fall as I think it's the most flattering length. The skirt has as green slip underneath so you don't have to worry about it being see-through and it it just really comfortable to wear, probably because of the lightweight fabric and elasticated waist although I wouldn't want to have a food baby in this skirt! 

Overall, I'm so happy that I chose this skirt and that I was part of this campaign as I wouldn't have ever picked out something like this otherwise. I love the colour (again the colour isn't quite as bright in real life) and the fit is great. Spring has sprung and I think I've found the perfect outfit! My only negative would be the full price but it is currently on sale so go, go, go! Overall rating: ★, 5/5. 


Have you bought anything from White Stuff? What do you think of my outfit and the skirt?

Easter: Chocolate + Love Chocolate Bars

Sunday, March 20, 2016
Easter: Chocolate + Love Chocolate Bars
I've never had a massive sweet tooth, apart from chocolate, so Easter is an exciting time as it's a time were it's more socially acceptable to stuff my face with chocolate without too many judgmental looks! However, as one of my new years resolutions is to have at least half of my diet as vegan/dairy free, that limits my easter chocolate indulgences but Chocolate and Love comes to the rescue! Also I'm more than happy to be a chocolate reviewer, it's a difficult task but you know, someones got to do it...

I was very kindly sent the range of chocolate bars from Chocolate and Love which is a brand that uses high quality, organic and fair-trade ingredients and the best thing for me is that five out of the seven chocolate bars are suitable for vegans which is amazing! Firstly, I have to say how gorgeous the packaging design for each chocolate bar is; each is a bespoke hand painted design.

The high level of natural cocoa results in a high levels of antioxidants *see, chocolate is basically salad*! The bars are gluten free, GMO free and they don't contain additives. The chocolate bars contain less sugar and more cocoa than other bars on the market.
Easter: Chocolate + Love Chocolate Bars
- *Chocolate and Love Dark Chocolate with Orange Bar (£3, 100g): The bars contain varying amounts of cocoa and this bar contains 65% cocoa/chocolate. I love Terry's chocolate oranges so I was excited to give this one a go. The orange flavour comes through but not strong and the dark chocolate is creamy, smooth and not too bitter. Overall rating:  ★★★★☆, 4/5.

- *Chocolate and Love Dark Chocolate and Coffee (£3, 100g): This is the first bar I tried as I adore coffee and it didn't disappoint. The coffee is quite strong but I love that, otherwise it could be too strong of dark chocolate. It is creamy, smooth and moreish - I'd definitely buy this bar! Also the packaging design is definitely one of my favourites. Overall rating:  ★★★★★, 5/5.

- *Chocolate and Love Dark Chocolate with Mint Crunch (£3, 100g): First, I have to say, I am not a fan of mint and chocolate so I knew this wouldn't be my favourite bar. The mint flavour comes through strongly but I think it works really well with the dark chocolate! There are also small crunchy pieces in the bar which I love - I actually really like this one, surprisingly! Overall rating:  ★★★★☆, 4/5.

- *Chocolate and Love Single Origin Dark Chocolate (£3, 100g): This bar contains 80% dark chocolate from fair-trade sources in Panama and as with the previous bars, it is vegan and made in Switzerland. I haven't tried this percentage of dark chocolate before and I expected it to be really strong and bitter but it isn't - it's so incredibly creamy, rich and smooth - love it! Overall rating:  ★★★★★, 5/5.

- *Chocolate and Love Filthy Rich Dark Chocolate (£3, 100g): Another dark chocolate bar but this one is 71% and the 100% of the ingredients are from fair-trade cooperatives in The Dominican Republic. The information about the brand, their ethos and source of ingredients for each bar is printed on the inside of the packaging. As with the previous bar, this one is very smooth and rich but it is still creamy and very indulgent. Any chocolate fan would love these bars! Overall rating:  ★★★★☆, 4/5.

- *Chocolate and Love Creamy Dark Chocolate and Cacao Nibs (£3, 100g): I've heard bloggers and youtubers talk about cacao nibs before but I haven't tried them. This bar and the next are both suitable for vegetarians but not vegans, unlike the others in the range as they contain milk. Again, I love the packaging for this bar - it's so unique! 92% of the ingredients of this bar are from fair-trade sources in Peru and The Dominican Republic. Oh, I love this bar - the crunch from the cacao nibs is so nice and the flavour is very luxe and so creamy! It's definitely in my top three favourites from the range. Overall rating:  ★★★★★, 5/5!

- *Chocolate and Love Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Sea Salt (£3, 100g): As with as the previous bar and the coffee one, this is another I was excited to try as I adore salted caramel. This one isn't as creamy or as smooth as all of the others because it does contain pieces of caramel but it does taste really nice and it has a slight salted caramel flavour but to me it is subtle. Sadly, I thought this would be my favourite bar but it isn't. Overall rating:  ★★★☆☆, 3/5.

Overall, I cannot recommend this brand enough, I especially love the coffee bar, the 80% dark chocolate bar and the amazing creamy dark chocolate and cacao nibs bar. I also love the intricate, colourful and beautiful packaging. The brand ethics are also a major selling point for me as they use biodegradable packaging that is produced from renewable materials and sustainable harvested wood, they use organic and fair-trade ingredients and they support responsible management of forests by planting trees - what more could you ask for from a brand! I'd highly recommend this brand and I will be buy the bars in the future, especially the coffee one *drools* and even my dad loves these and he isn't a chocolate fan! I think they would make lovely and unique gifts for friends and family this easter.

Have you tried any of the chocolate bars from Chocolate and Love? What do you think of the flavours and packaging? 

Stampin' Up Watercolor Wishes Card Making Kit

Friday, March 18, 2016
Growing up I always loved making things, baking things and generally being creative but throughout college and university, studying took over and my only creative outlet was my blog. However, one of my new years resolutions was to be more creative or at least explore other ways of expressing creativity so I've started to get back into my watercolours and baking; and when this set arrived from Stampin' Up, I was excited to give it a go!

I have the *Stampin' Up Watercolor Wishes Card Making Kit (£31.50) which is perfect for this time of year as easter is just around the corner and giving a handmade card would be such a thoughtful gesture! The kit makes the process so easy as it includes: 20 cards in various sizes, sequins, die-cut accents in various patterns/shapes, washi tape, wooden accents, acrylic stamp block, ink (red/pink and navy), photopolymer stamp set and stickers! It all comes in a cute box so it would make a great easter gift!
The set comes with so many components so you can be as creative, as minimal or as generous as you want with the stickers, sequins, wooden accents or card accents of flowers, patterns and leaves. The stamp set is unique as you get the stamp block which you then add the stamp design you want to - it is a interchangeable stamp block. It's so easy to use and you also receive the ink too. I've already made a happy birthday card and a spring/easter card with just a few of the products from the kit.
The watercolour and stripe designs are so cute and take out most of the work out of it as they are pre-printed onto the cards and you can then add whatever accents/details you want. I love the birthday card, especially because of the pink watercolour design but also because of the gorgeous stamp font. The cards are SO quick and easy to make. The kit comes with small foam stickers that can be used to stick on the accents to the cards and give them a raised/3D effect.

Overall, I'm really happy with this kit - it is so cute and it is a quick, easy and fun way of being creative and making something for someone else at the same time. I love the stamp kit as it's unique and the fonts used are so gorgeous. Although I think the kit is a little on the pricey side, I think it's worth it for the amount of product you receive. I think it would make a great easter gift, I know my mum, aunties and friends would love this kit! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

Have you tried anything from Stampin' Up? What do you think of card making kits - would you use one? 

New In: DHC Beauty Lift Range

Thursday, March 17, 2016
New In: DHC Beauty Lift Range
DHC is a cult Japanese brand that I've heard so many good things about but I haven't tried anything until now. They have just released a new range to hydrate, smooth and give the skin a lifted feel and appearance, with a lightweight and calming formula. A clinical study in the USA found that 100% of the participants reported smoother skin in only seven days.

- *DHC Beauty Lift Essence Hydration Facial Serum (£35, 50ml): Firstly, let's just take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous, spring appropriate and gorgeously simple packaging. The serum contains botanicals, peptides and olive oil. We all know that I love a good serum, serums are some of my favourite skincare products and I have a lot of faves! This serum is lightweight, it doesn't have a scent and it has a more gel like texture compared to the other serums I use.

The gel like texture makes it feel so light, refreshing and incredibly smooth on the skin, perfect for the upcoming warmer months when my skincare doesn't need to be so heavy or rich. The serum leaves the skin so smooth, soft and hydrated - a perfect base for moisturiser and makeup. It doesn't irritate my sensitive skin and it doesn't cause blemishes. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

- *DHC Beauty Lift Facial Moisturiser Milk (£34, 100ml): Another skincare product that would be perfect for my spring/summer routine. I haven't tried a moisturising milk/lightweight moisturising lotion before but I love it. The moisturiser doesn't have a cleansing milk texture or appearance, as I thought it would, it has a gel texture.

The lotion feels lightweight, smoothing, fresh and moisturising on the skin, like the serum. Both products are a perfect spring/summer skincare pairing that would be great for normal/dry/mature skin types, in my opinion. The lotion leaves my skin so smooth and hydrated without being greasy or heavy on the skin - both products absorb quite quickly. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

- *DHC Beauty Lift Cream (£41, 50g): As with the other two products I've tried, the packaging is gorgeous, the product doesn't really have a scent at all and claims to be hydrating, anti-ageing and smoothing. The cream is thick and very moisturising so I have only been using it as a night cream - my skin is behaving really well recently and none of these products irritate my skin.

The cream leaves my skin so moisturised and smooth but it is quite rich and heavy so I would only use it as a night cream, otherwise it would be too much for my skin *although it would be fine during the freezing winter months*. I love all three products and I'd highly recommend the serum and milk for normal and dry skin types but the cream is richer so I would only really recommend it for dry or very dry skin types. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

Have you tried any skincare from DHC? 

Giorgio Armani Si Perfumes

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Giorgio Armani Si Perfumes
Perfumes are some of my favourite products to test and my collection is getting quite large thanks to gifts, prizes and lovely PRs. I was recently send a lovely packaging from House of Fraser including the stunning *Giorgio Armani Si Eau de Parfum Intense (£75, 50ml).

Notes: Blackcurrant, Citrus, Rose, Neroli Blossom, Osmanthus, Vanilla, Benzoin, Patchouli 

Firstly, the packaging is just gorgeous - it's minimalist but so luxurious, only made more apparent in the weight - it's SO heavy! The perfume would aesthetically make an amazing gift. The fragrance initially is sweet, fruity and musky while being creamy and rich. It develops into a indulgent, deep and musky fragrance that would be perfect for winter or as an evening fragrance. Although while it is musky and heady, it's still a feminine and 'sexy' perfume.

The longevity is fantastic, as you would expect from an eau de perfum - it lasts all day on me and when I spray it on my scarves, I can still smell it the next day which is very impressive. It is pretty pricey but the packaging, complex fragrance and the amazing longevity makes it so worth it. I'd much rather pay more for a perfume and have it last all day and then some, instead of a cheaper perfume that I need to reapply throughout the day. My only negative would be that you can't see or feel when the fragrance is coming to an end. Overall rating: ★★★★★. 5/5.

I also have the equally pretty Giorgio Armani Si Eau de Parfum (£69.50, 50ml) which I received as a Klout perk last year (if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter then you will have seen the amazing package).

Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Cassis, Rose, Neroli, Jasmine, Patchouli, Woods, Amber, Orcanox, Vanilla 

This fragrance is in essence, a lighter, sweet and fresher version of the Eau de Parfum Intense - it's basically the more wearable, daytime version. I think both fragrances would make fantastic gifts as a pair because they both compliment each other and could be used as a daytime and nighttime perfume. The longevity is great but not as long wearing or as strong as the Intense perfume. Overall rating: ★★★★★. 5/5.

Have you tried either of these fragrance? 

Lush Intergalactic Bath Bomb

Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Lush Intergalactic Bath Bomb
Lush is one of my favourite stores, I love buying all of the bath bombs and bubble bars *which my bank balance isn't happy about*. I received some Lush products from my family and friends this christmas and one of them was the Lush Intergalactic Bath Bomb (£3.95) which is one of the few I haven't tried before.

Peppermint oil, Grapefruit oil, Vetiver oil, Cedarwood oil

Firstly, the bath bomb looks pretty amazing! It definitely lives up to the name of Intergalactic and I couldn't wait to try this one even though from the ingredients, it isn't the kind of bath bomb I usually go for. I'm not a massive fan of peppermint or grapefruit scents but to me this bath bomb just has a gorgeous generic Lush scent - I don't noticed too much peppermint or grapefruit, just a Lush scent.
Lush Intergalactic Bath Bomb
As you can see, the bath bomb is SO pretty! The blue water, pink and turquoise bubbles and metallic gold shimmer looks like a mermaid version of a bath bomb. I adore the scent and appearance; also the bath bomb takes ages to dissolve which I love as it means that the bath can last for even longer. The bath bomb leaves my skin so smooth and soft although it also covers the skin in gold glitter which does tend to stick around so you need to rinse the bath after too, as is the case with most Lush bath bombs.

Overall, I love this bath bomb and I would definitely buy it again, my only problem is the glitter and the scent isn't as strong as I would like it but I would still recommend it...and not only as it is the prettiest bath bomb ever! Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

Have you tried Lush Intergalactic? What are your favourite products from Lush? 

Sleep Helpers Wish List

Monday, March 14, 2016
Sleep Helpers Wish List
Apparently March is national bed month and this month also contains sleep awareness week so I thought it would be a great time to post my fairly long sleep and relaxation helpers wish list containing the products I'd love to help me unwind and sleep better!

Pyjamas  -  Wakeup Light  -  Therapy Balm -  Bath Salts  -  Slippers  -  Essential Oil  -  Candle  -  Relax Balm  -  Pillow Mist

There's my wish list, are any of these products on your wish list? 

Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow Nourishing Fusion Makeup

Sunday, March 13, 2016
Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow Nourishing Fusion Makeup
Giorgio Armani is a brand I haven't tried much from so when I received the most exciting email ever, in which I had the opportunity to try their new foundation, squealing did happen, if I'm honest. I have recently also tried the new Chanel Les Beige Healthy Glow Foundation and I thought this would be similar (and I am right. Spoilers.) so I will have a comparison post between the two foundations on my blog soon, if anyone would be interested?

I have the *Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow Nourishing Fusion Makeup SPF 30 (£40, 30ml) in the shade 04 which was the lightest shade available at the time and yes, it looks too dark and it is quite yellow toned but thankfully it works SO well on my pink toned, super pale skin.

The foundation claims to enhance radiance with a light texture and buildable coverage; as well as a comfortable long lasting formula and hydrating skincare benefits - I know, it sounds far too good to be true.
Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow Nourishing Fusion Makeup
Lipstick: Makeup Revolution Rose Gold Lipstick in Chauffeur
I have been using this foundation for the past couple of weeks and I have to be honest and say that it is the one foundation, in the past couple of years, that has really wowed me - even considering the new Chanel foundation which I do also love. The Giorgio Armani foundation does look far too dark for my ghostly pale skin in the bottle and it is really quite yellow toned but when blended and then applied down the neck it matches my skintone really well!

The foundation has a light, thin consistency and it comes with a pipette dispenser which is definitely needed and it feels so fresh and lightweight on the skin. It gives an almost airbrushed look to the skin even though it isn't very detectable and the coverage is light/medium, it makes my skin look amazing. My skin looks more even, radiant but not greasy, moisturised, pump and fresh. The coverage is light, boarding on medium for me and it does cover redness and pores very well but it can't cover blemishes or very dark circles. It has a gorgeous glow to it, as the name would suggest but it isn't greasy looking or shimmery, it looks like a natural, healthy glow.
Excuse the sports bra!
After all of those amazing positives, I didn't think it could get any better but it does! The foundation lasts all day on me with only a tiny amount of powder to set it! The first time I used this foundation, I applied it at about 1pm and by 10pm, it was exactly the same as it was when I applied it - even though my skin wasn't in the very best condition. I'm incredibly impressed with the foundation, especially the finish, apparently magic shade matching ability and the seemingly time defying longevity. Also the packaging is just gorgeous, as you would expect from such a high end brand - speaking of high end, the price...it is the most expensive foundation I own but I cannot recommend it enough and I will be buying it when this bottle runs out. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5!

Have you tried any foundations from Giorgio Armani? 

March Book Haul

Saturday, March 12, 2016
March Book Haul
Ok, I have a problem. Over the past couple of weeks I've bought 18 books, well 19 if you count the one that had to go back because it was SO scuffed and ripped. I know I posted a large book haul a week ago but I needed more books and Amazon prime is a dangerous thing. I hardly read at all last year and this year I'm definitely changing that. I can't stop reading, watching booktube and buying books; here's my latest book haul.

- Harry Potter and the Philosophers by J.K. Rowling: I have watched all of the Harry Potter films more times than I want to admit and I've read the Deathly Hallows book a few years ago but I haven't read any of the others *hangs head in shame*. I can't wait to read this book as I adore her writing, it's so easy to read and it's almost comforting, if that makes sense. Also I love this cover, it's so pretty and feels almost rubberised - it was less than £3 as well so I had to buy it. Obviously.

- The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine: I have heard so many good things about this book and the plot sounds so interesting and exciting! It's a kind of snow white retelling but it sounds so much better. Also the cover is so simplistic but so gorgeous.

- A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson: I have read a few samples of his books and I love his writing style so when I saw this book, used on amazon, I had to buy it and unlike the book I had to send back, this one came in really good condition.

- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: Again another book I have heard so much about on Youtube, especially by American youtubers. To me it sounds like a really interesting and new but familiar world; I can't wait to start it.

- The Queen Of The Tearling by Erika Johansen: I wanted to read this book as firstly, I've heard nothing but positive reviews and secondly it is being made into a film featuring Emma Watson - she's a fantastic actress and I can't wait for the film.

- The Silkworm by J.K. Rowling: I read the first book in this series last month and I adored it, I reviewed it a few weeks ago. I really connected to the two main characters, especially Cormoron Strike so I'm excited to see where their adventures leads them next.

Have you read any of these books? What books have you bought recently? 

Supermood Finnish Skincare

Friday, March 11, 2016
Supermood Finnish Skincare
Since starting my blog way back in 2012, I have become increasingly aware of skincare and the benefits as well as the importance of a consistent and high quality skincare routine especially as I have sensitive skin which makes finding a good skincare routine and great products even harder. Thanks to my blog and wonderful brands/PRs I have been able to find some incredible products although I still want to try new skincare, particularly natural and beautifully packaged skincare so I was excited when a package came from the new Finnish brand Supermood.

Supermood is a new brand from the lovely country that is Finland *I visited Helsinki a couple of years ago and loved it*. Supermood skincare is composed of high quality, eco-certified level ingredients. The products are split into specific ranges for numerous skin types and concerns including: Youth Glo, Ego Boost and Beauty Sleep; as well as skincare the brand also makes a pillow mist, anti-wrinkle pillow, supplements and even chocolate! The products can be bought from Sulis and Thermae which is the only UK retailer stocking the brand.

- Supermood Beauty Sleep Absolute Bliss Serum (£69.40, 30ml): When it comes to skincare, my favourite products have to be serums - gotta love a good serum, they make such a difference. This serum contains calming herbs, marshmallow, coconut oil, shea butter, pomegranate seed oil and hyaluronic acid. Firstly, I love the packaging of all the products I received, it's minimalist but still luxurious.

The serum looks and feels like a cleansing milk and it has an unusual scent, to me it smells a little like playdoh! The serum applies so smoothly and it absorbs quickly leaving my skin incredibly smooth, soft and moisturised without leaving a greasy residue. It doesn't irritate my skin at all and I can't recommend it enough - I included this serum in my February beauty favourites posts. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

- Supermood Ego Boost One Minute Facelift Serum (£53.80): Again, the packaging is just gorgeous - this is my favourite packaging of the three. This serum is part of the Ego Boost range which boosts confidence and immunity with strong and effective ingredients. The serum contains natural Chaga mushrooms which contain antioxidants to rejuvenate and even out the skin. It claims to have an instant lifting and tightening effect.

As with the Beauty Sleep serum, this one also has an unusual scent but neither are unpleasant. This has to be the fastest absorbing serum ever and it definitely has a tightening effect although it isn't dramatic. It is also very smoothing and moisturising so I think it would be great for dry and or mature skin types. It doesn't irritate my skin and it is a close second to the amazing Beauty Sleep serum. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

- Supermood Youth Glow Babyface Mask (£38.20): Last but not least, the face mask which is part of the Youth Glo range. The mask contains strong doses of vitamin C which is amazing for brightening the skin and Gingko-Biloba as well as rosehip seed oil, sweet almond oil, seabuckthorn fruit juice and lots of other fantastic, natural and organic ingredients.

The mask looks and feels like a clay mask, it has a pleasant scent and it is quick and easy to apply. The mask did tingle a tiny bit while on my skin, it absorbs over time and after about 5 to 8 minutes I removed it with a hot flannel. It made my skin feel so incredibly smooth and soft...then I looked in the mirror and my skin was quite red! It didn't worry me as I knew it would go down after a while and after about 15-20 minutes the redness was gone and in the morning there were no negative effects such as redness, spots, irritation and my eczema did not flare up. Apart from the temporary redness it is a fantastic mask. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

Have you tried anything from this brand? Have you bought from Sulis and Thermae? 

Amara Homeware Wish List

Thursday, March 10, 2016
Amara Homeware Wish List
When it comes to homeware and gifts, you really can't go wrong with Amara! I have already talked about the shop on my blog and since then I have been obsessed. I love their selection of high end and unusual homeware as well as the range of brands. Here's my spring homeware wish list:

1. Kate Spade Pencil Cup (£21): I adore literally EVERYTHING from Kate Spade! The products are minimalist yet chic and gorgeous. I love this pencil cup, it's so cute and it would be perfect for my desk.

2. Trigg Small Copper Wall Planters (£25, set of two): I also think these would look great in my newly redecorated office or in the kitchen. I adore anything copper so this is naturally something I need in my life.

3. Kate Spade Telegram Notepad (£10): List making and taking notes is something I'm always doing to remind myself and to stay organised. I always need new memo blocks, notepads and sticky notes so why not get an adorably chic notepad!

4. The Where, The Why and The How Book (£15.99): If you've been following me on Twitter (ofbeautyand) or Instagram (heathernixon4) recently then you will know that I've become obsessed with reading books, buying books and watching booktube so obviously this caught my eye.

5. Cocolux Exotic Amber and Spice Candle (£35): As well as books, beauty products and bath bombs, I also have a problem with buying candles - I can't stop, and I won't stop. So the combination of a candle and copper packaging is a hit with me.

6. Astronaut Vase (£50): Yes, it's an astronaut vase. I need it!


Have you bought anything from Amara? What do you think of the items on my wish list? 

January + February Book Reviews

Wednesday, March 09, 2016
January + February Book Reviews
Throughout the past couple of months, I have bought at least 15 e-books for my Kindle app, most of which were less than £2 so I couldn't say no and then at the end of February and the beginning of March, I bought 15 paperback and hardback books from The Works and Amazon. I've already posted my book haul post. I've been constantly reading, buying books and watching booktube this year so there will be more book related posts from now on; here's my January and February book reviews.

- Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham: I read this on my iPad via my Kindle app and I can't recommend it enough! The book is very honest, open and frankly a bit too revealing, so much so that it can be shocking. I didn't really know anything about Lena Dunham, the star of Girls, before I read this book so I had no idea what to expect but it was an interesting, entertaining read that made me get back into reading although it does deal with pretty difficult topics such as rape, mental illness to an extent and sexual relationships but it is told in a light way as if she was talking to a friend but this book won't be for everyone! Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

- Luminaries by Eleanor Catton: This book is probably the longest book I've read at 849 pages and it took me about three weeks to read but the cover drew me in as well as all the positive reviews. The book starts very slowly and I was about 25% through the book and I thought I wouldn't finish it but it did become very interesting and gripping, however then it disappointed me as the last 25% or more of the book was far, far too rushed! Also there are SO many main characters in the book as well as so many perspectives that it can be very difficult to keep up and I was very disappointed with the ending as it just seemed to end so abruptly and I wanted to know more about the characters final endings. However, I'm glad I read it and I did enjoy it but it did let me down in a few ways. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

- The Cuckoos Calling by J.K. Rowling: Technically I finished this book at the beginning of March but I read most of it in February - I read it in a couple of days. I love J.K. Rowling's writing, it is SO easy and effortless to read! It is an interesting, mystery novel and I adore the main character Cormoran Strike, so much so that I have bought the second book. It wasn't as bloody, thrilling or mysterious as I thought it would and I thought the ending was a little rushed, leaving a couple of questions unanswered but overall I loved it and I can't recommend it enough. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

- Tyme's End by B.R. Collins: I was drawn to this book as the blurb sounded similar to the plot of Crimson Peak, the relatively new film that I really want to watch. The book starts as if it is a teen, angsty novel but then it focuses on the two main characters explaining and exploring the history of the house (called Tyme's End) at two difficult time points. The story was explained well and it was easy to read but as the book was split into three characters perspectives, the first of which didn't appear again in the rest of the book, made it feel quite disjointed. It was interesting and I read it very quickly but it was overall disappointing and the whole book had an air of predictable melancholy about it which left me a little let down and a little sad at the end of the book. I thought it would be far, far more horror filled or thrilling but it definitely wasn't, sadly. Overall rating: ★★★☆☆, 3/5.

- How To Connect With Nature by Tristan Gooley: I received this book as part of my digital detox experience and I read it so quickly even though it isn't a book I would have ever picked up. It was a bit repetitive but it had interesting facts that I didn't know before. I think it would be great if you're interested in nature and how to experience it to it's fullest but it's probably not for the experienced. It was enjoyable to an extent and it was easy to read.  Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

March TBR: The Twits by Roald Dahl, The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August by Claire North and Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Have you read any of these books? What books are you reading this month? 

Merumaya Cleansing Balm

Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Merumaya Cleansing Balm
 I love testing out new skincare, especially natural, British and award winning skincare! So I was excited when I received a package from the lovely people at Merumaya. I was kindly sent the *Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm (£16.50, 100ml). I haven't tried anything from this brand but I always read positive reviews about their products.

The cleansing balm contains sweet almond oil and omega 3, 6, 9 as well as antioxidants. Firstly, I like the packaging although I think it could be improved to look more modern however since the first use, I have been loving this cleanser. I have tried solid cleansing balms and I love them but this one has a texture that is like a hybrid between a cleansing balm and a creamy, gel cleanser.
Merumaya Cleansing Balm
The cleansing balm has a smooth, rich and luxurious texture - it doesn't irritate my eczema prone skin at all which is fantastic. It removes makeup easily, although I haven't tried it on any eye makeup. It leaves my skin feeling so smooth, soft and moisturised. It doesn't leave a residue and it doesn't make my skin breakout.

Overall, I think the price is fantastic for such a fantastic, basic cleansing balm. It feels like a luxurious product that gets the job done and that leaves my skin incredibly smooth, soft and moisturised, to an extent. It doesn't irritate my sensitive, eczema prone skin or cause spots. I am definitely interested in trying more from the brand! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

Have you tried anything from this brand? 

Makeup Revolution Rose Gold Lipsticks

Monday, March 07, 2016
Makeup Revolution Rose Gold Lipsticks
Makeup Revolution is an inexpensive makeup brand that I have been lucky enough to work with since they started, about two years ago and I cannot rave about their products enough, especially their eyeshadow palettes which are my go to halloween staples and their lipsticks are also fantastic. I was very excited when this package arrived a couple of weeks ago with the new rose gold collection and you know me, I adore rose gold!

I have the full *Makeup Revolution Rose Gold Lipstick Collection (£3 each) which is definitely made with bloggers in mind as if there is one thing bloggers love it is rose gold and combine that with a lipstick and you're in the money - obviously I'm generalising but look at them *squeals*.

There are five shades in this collection and all but one are so gorgeous and I know I will get a lot of use out of them. Makeup Revolution lipstick formulas are so creamy, pigmented and comfortable on the lips and these are no different. They have a sheen but they aren't very glossy so they don't emphasise dryness which is a big plus for me!
Makeup Revolution Rose Gold Lipsticks
The shade swatches from top to bottom as are follows - keep in mind that the swatches above are a bit brighter than in real life:

- Diamond Life: In the tube, this shade looks like a deep purple with red undertones but when swatched and applied to the lips, it looks a little brighter but not as bright as the swatch above *sorry*. It leaves a shade on the lips that looks like I have been eating lots of blackberries, I love it and it will be perfect for autumn/winter.

- Chauffeur: Now this is my kind of shade, it is a browny nude shade in the tube but on my lips it is more of a cool toned mauve shade that is close to my natural lip colour but less pink. I have been wearing this shade the most and it will be one that most will love!

- Girls Best Friend: This shade is not something I would ever reach for personally as it is an almost neon cool toned barbie pink that does not look right with my skintone. I won't get much use out of this one but that's just because the shade doesn't suit me at all.

- Red Carpet: I do love a good red lipstick but I don't wear them that often as I'm so conscious of it getting on my teeth or smudging but this one is so gorgeous. It is a classic red that I think will suit a lot of people - it isn't nearly as bright as the photo above shows.

- Private Members Club: It is such a shame that winter is almost at an end as this shade is the ultimate winter shade! It looks black in the tube but it is actually a gorgeous deep grape shade - it is very purple but not so dark that it looks black. I love it and surprisingly so does my mum!

Overall, the lipsticks are better than the other Makeup Revolution lipsticks I own as the packaging is more sturdy, the lipstick longevity is better *although not amazing* and the creaminess and comfort is very impressive. I adore the Red Carpet shade as it is so classic and it somehow brightens my complexion and I also love the Chauffeur shade as it a perfect 'my lips but better shade'. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

Have you tried anything from Makeup Revolution? What do you think of this rose gold collection? 

February Beauty Favourites

Sunday, March 06, 2016
February Beauty Favourites
I cannot believe that it is March already *shocked face*, I feels like it was January last week! It's going to be christmas before we know it. Another month has ended which means that it's time to share the beauty products I have loved throughout the month of February and unlike every other month, I actually don't have that many favourites this month.

- Library Of Fragrance Cherry Blossom Cologne (£15): I included this fragrance in my Mother's Day gift guide and I cannot recommend it enough. I've reviewed a few fragrances from Library Of Fragrance already and this one is definitely one of my favourites. I adore the lavender cologne but this one is a close second. Sure, the longevity isn't amazing but the price is!

- Makeup Revolution Rose Gold Lipstick in Chauffeur (£3): Combine rose gold packaging and a gorgeous 'my lips but better' lipstick shade and you've got a winner! The shade is a cool toned mauve nude shade which is perfect for everyday. Also, rose gold.

- Supermood Beauty Sleep Absolute Bliss Serum (£69.40): I have been trailing a few products from the Finnish brand Supermood and I have been absolutely loving this serum - you know I love a good serum. I will have a full review of all the products next week so stay tuned.

- Herbal Essences Clearly Naked Dry Shampoo: I have never liked dry shampoo, I've tried a few and the only one I've liked until now was the Colab dry shampoo; however I've found a better dry shampoo *gasps, I know*. This dry shampoo works so well, I cannot recommend it enough!

- Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow Nourishing Fusion Makeup (£40): As with the Supermood skincare products, I'll also have a full review of this foundation on my blog next week. I have tried a lot of foundations, including the new Chanel Healthy Glow Foundation, and I haven't been as impressed with any foundation as I have when I tried the Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow Foundation. Yes, it's the most expensive foundation I own, beating the Chanel one by £4 but I can't recommend it enough, if you have dry skin as I do.

Have you tried any of these products? What products have you been loving throughout February? 

Mother's Day Gifts ft. Ocean Loans

Friday, March 04, 2016
Mother's Day is almost here and I actually can't wait - I love buying gifts for family and friends and watching their reactions *yes, I'm that person*. If there's one person I love to treat and surprise, it's my mum even though she drives me crazy sometimes, she always puts everyone else first and Mother's Day is a day where she can relax, open presents and not worry about a thing!

So when the lovely people at Ocean Loans got in contact about treating my mum to some extra gifts this Mother's Day, I couldn't say no! I was very kindly given a budget to buy some gifts for my mum, which was harder than I thought, firstly as some gifts can be quite pricey and secondly, there is so much choice.

My mum is one of the easiest people to buy for, she loves baking, reading, Cath Kidston, penguins, bath and body products, homeware and personalised gifts so you see my problem when it comes to choosing and if I could I'd buy her everything then I would but sadly I can't. Here are my picks for Mother's Day:

- Barnes and Noble Leather Cover Jane Austen Novel Collection: The photographs above of this *mahoooosive* collection of seven Jane Austen novels really don't show how incredibly beautiful and luxurious the cover is. The cover and page edges are gold, the floral pattern is simplistic but so pretty and the feel is very fancy! My mum does love to read and I think this will be a great collection for her as not only does it contain some of the most famous novels of the regency period but it also looks stunning.

- Royal Albert Polka Dot Teacup and Saucer: Last year my mum started collecting vintage teacups as she loves afternoon tea and hosting dinner parties *she's actually used her various sets quite a lot already* so I thought I would add to her collection with this adorable mint green teacup and saucer from Royal Albert. I didn't want to unbox it as I know I wouldn't be able to put it back as it was but it looks so adorably vintage *if that is even a term*.

- Cath Kidston Hand Cream Trio: I think I have developed my love and constant need to buy more and more hand creams from my mum as she loves them too. She also loves anything from Cath Kidston so I thought a combination of the two would be perfect and they are good handbag sizes so she can use them on the go although I might end up 'borrowing' one from her!

Overall, I'm really happy with my purchases, especially the gorgeous book and I know my mum will be so surprised when she open these extra gifts on Mother's Day. A big thanks to the lovely people at Ocean Loans for helping to make this Mother's Day even more special!

What will you be getting your mum this Mother's Day? What do you think of the gifts I have chosen?

World Book Day: Massive Book Haul

Thursday, March 03, 2016
Today is world book day, yay! So today's post is my latest book haul and I did go a little overboard but they were all really cheap from The Works which is my new favourite shop so I don't feel too guilty. I could spend all day on their website and spend a lot of money so I need to learn to restrain myself.

Also I asked on twitter a couple of times, if anyone would be interested in book reviews and out of a selection of new topics, what would anyone be most interested in and the winner was book reviews both times! So stay tuned for book related content at least once or twice a month on my blog from now on.

- The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August by Claire North: I have been obsessed with book youtubers recently and this book has been mentioned a lot so when it was only £4 for the hardcover edition on The Works website last week, I had to buy it!

- The Cleft by Doris Lessing: This book sounds really odd and unusual but it is a hardcover and it was only £2 which for a Nobel prize winning hardcover book is amazing!

- The Martian by Andy Weir: I bought this as it was a recommendation from Regan from Peruse Project (she's my new favourite youtuber) and she said it was really funny. It has been made into a film last year which actually didn't really interest me but I've heard nothing but great things about the book.

- The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson: This book has been on my radar for a couple of years and I think I did read a free sample chapter of it on my Kindle app ages ago but I wanted to get a physical copy as it was only £2 (and it was part of a 6 books for £10 offer - so I had to buy six books, obviously...and then some).

- The Haunted Season by G. M. Malliet: Mystery and crime books seem to be my go to recently (I've been reading The Cuckoos Calling and loving it) so I also bought this one which seems like a much lighter read and the cover is so cute.

- The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes: To be honest I was attracted to this book purely because of the cover, while scrolling online; however the story sounds interesting and a bit creepy and it is a really short book.

- A Cold Day For Murder by Dana Stabenow: This book was reduced from £7.99 to only £1 on The Works and then only 75P after I found a discount code online *gotta love discount codes* so I couldn't not get it. The story does intrigue me though as it is set in Alaska and I haven't read anything set in Alaska before.

- Dead Of Winter by Lee Weeks: Yet another £2 book that was part of the 6 for £10 offer which is still going online! And also another crime related book - I know, I have a problem. If you have read any of these, let me know what you thought in the comments below.

- Stranded by Val Mcdermid: I haven't read any short stories since secondary school so I'm excited to read this collection of short stories which involve crime, murder and revenge are are described as chilling. Excited.

- Savage Magic by Lloyd Shepherd: When it comes to books, tv or film, anything with magic or mystery in it and I am instantly wanting to know more (although not cheesy magic or sci-fi). The book is set in the 1800s which is another big plus for me!

- Tymes End by B.R. Collins: This is the only book in the haul that isn't from The Works, this one is from Amazon as I have a trial of Amazon prime which is doing what it was designed for - making me spend more money. The book sound a tiny bit similar to the plot of the new film Crimson Peak which I've wanted to watch since it was released last year so this will be the next book I read.

Do you own any of these books? What books do you have on your wish list? Any recommendations of crime, mystery or magic books?