Getting Summer Ready ft. Ollie + Darsh

Sunday, May 31, 2015
get summer ready beach pinterest
Images from Pinterest
Summer is just around the corner which means that it is time to get summer ready and along with the necessary...summer wardrobe, there are many 'get summer ready' products and routines, from fitness and lifestyle changes to gradual tanning and for me, teeth whitening. This is a sponsored post. 

I drink at least one latte a day as well as green tea or herbal tea so I am always looking for new, safe teeth whitening products and techniques but none have worked out amazingly well. I have tried a few at home teeth whitening kits over the past two/three years, all of them at a mid range price point or lower; most have only produced very small changes and others have been slightly better but again I haven't achieved the gleaming white teeth that I want. 

I find that I tend to steer clear of pretty, bright summery lipstick shades as they just emphasise even a slight discolouration - especially gorgeous orange, red or yellow based pink shades which would be perfect with a bronze glow and tanned skin for summer. Discolouration also makes me feel quite self conscious, although I know it is a problem a lot of people have as there wouldn't be so many pins and products geared towards teeth whitening. Also I have sensitive teeth *I can't eat ice cream without some pain and discomfort* so I think at home kits such as Crest white strips* will not be suitable for me sadly. Has anyone tried teeth whitening toothpastes, I've tried so many and none of them work for me - if you have any recommendations, leave them in the comments section below! 

I have considered professional teeth whitening although the places I've looked at have been so expensive and again as I have sensitive teeth I've always been worried about the potential negative side effects and how long the whitening would last for - I cannot give up my lattes and green tea for pure white teeth! 

Ollie and Dash is a dentist clinic based in Liverpool, which is not too far from me, which offers many treatments from dental implants, veneers and cancer screening as well as teeth whitening and Invisalign. My sister is going through Invisalign now with another dentist and it is pretty expensive! 

Ollie and Dash also have an offer on teeth whitening in which you can get half price teeth whitening every Wednesday. They have three types of teeth whitening, including an at home teeth whitening option. Also, their 'smile cafe' is a quick service in which teeth whining treatments can be done in your lunch break as some treatments only take 15 minutes!

What are your opinions on teeth whitening? What are your 'get summer ready' routines and favourite products?

*Collaborative post
please always do your own research before considering any kind of treatment anywhere or lifestyle change 

May Beauty Favourites

Thursday, May 28, 2015
I cannot believe that another month has gone by, I swear it was new years eve last week! Here are my favourite beauty products from the past month including a few new products and some re-discoveries! 

Skincare: I mentioned this product in last months favourites, the Jurlique Balancing Mist, I've still been using it almost daily; it is so refreshing and great for adding a boost of hydration just before I apply my foundation, here's my full review. Another product I have been loving for a while is the amazing Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator which I had a tube of which sadly turned orange and the generous people at Elemental Herbology sent me a full size as a replacement! It's one of the best moisturisers I've ever used and I would highly recommend it if you have dry, normal and or sensitive skin. 

The next two products are new from Naturisimo, firstly the Dr Jackson 03 Facial Oil, it is a sample and it comes in a roller ball glass vial - all facial oils should come with a roller ball as it means you only apply as much as you need and it's less messy! Lastly for skincare, the Caudalie Detox Mask which myself and my sister have been using and we both notice a significant difference in the size of pores after using this; it shrinks the pores and cleanses the skin without stripping it. For a full review of the mask and Dr Jackson skincare samples, check out my post

Makeup: I only have one makeup favourite this month and it is my first limited edition Mac purchase. I bought the Mac Wash & Dry Studio Sculpt Bronzer in Golden Rinse and I love it on my super fair skin to add a healthy glow but if you have darker skin than me *which is basically everyone* then it probably won't show up. 

Body, Fragrance + Haircare: Another new purchase, the Lush Therapy Massage Bar which does smell different than it did in the store and I probably wouldn't get this one again solely because of the scent. The massage bar is so nourishing especially because of the essential oils and it isn't heavy or oily on my dry skin - I love it! My Lush haul will be coming soon.

My fragrance favourite is the Sabe Masson Copacabana Solid Perfume which looks adorable and is smells incredible! To me it smells like a Lush store but less strong and more creamy, if that makes sense. It is only £20 and it lasts for a good amount of time on the skin. I will definitely be buying this again! It's the best solid perfume I've tried and one of my favourite scents in my rather large fragrance collection.

My last favourite for the month of May is a re-discovery, the Moroccan Oil Treatment which I have been using once a week as a treatment on dry hair. I apply a couple of pumps all over my hair and massage it into my scalp and it really helps with scalp and general dryness. 

Which products have you been loving throughout the month of May? Have you tried any of the products I've mentioned?

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Range

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
If you've been following my blog for a while, you will know that The Body Shop is one of my favourite brands and this upcoming collection is no exception! I was very kindly sent a few products from The Body Shop Virgin Mojito range which will be online and in stores on the 2nd June. 

The product I was most excited to try was *The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Butter (£6.50, 200ml) which is made with lime and mint extracts from the Caribbean. It is design for normal skin and claims to provide fresh hydration for 24 hours. I have been a massive fan of The Body Shop body butters for years so I had high hopes. The scent is just gorgeous; it smells so sweet, citrusy and summery as well as slightly creamy, in my opinion. Despite being so thick and nourishing the body butter is very smooth and quite light feeling on the skin for a body butter. It provides a good amount of hydration without being heavy or greasy, unless you use too much. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

Next up is *The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Scrub (£15, 250ml) which has the same lovely summery scent as the body butter but in the tub it is much stronger and more citrusy; it reminds me of the Solero Shots from the 90's, does anyone else remember them? The scrub has a thick jelly consistency so it doesn't just fall down the drain which is fantastic. It is a gentle scrub so it would be pretty good if you have sensitive skin however I would prefer it to be more exfoliating. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

Lastly, *The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Splash (£16, 300ml) which is a new product for The Body Shop as far as I know. It is a body fragrance that according to the directions, you pat onto the skin after showering to extend the feeling of freshness all day which are bold claims! It is a little awkward to use a body fragrance that doesn't have a spray and the initial scent is similar to hand sanitiser but it very quickly changes to the refreshing lime and mint mojito scent that I love but to me it isn't like you've just spilt a virgin mojito cocktail all over you - unless you use a tonne of it! The longevity isn't amazing when used on its own with approximately two hours before it becomes pretty much undetectable. Although when layered with the scrub and body butter the longevity is better. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

Overall, I think this range is such a refreshing change for The Body Shop; my favourite products have to be the body butter and scrub. The range that I have tried that is closest to this is the passion fruit range as they are both very fruity, citrusy and summery. I would definitely recommend these products as a lovely bodycare range for the summer although I don't think the scent will be for everyone. 

Will you be trying any of these products? What are your favourite products from The Body Shop?

PMD Personal Microderm: Initial Impressions

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
at home microdermabrasion treatment tool
Microdermabrasion is something that I have heard of in the beauty industry, particularly a few years ago and I thought it was a salon only process; however this device is an at home personal microdermabrasion tool that can be used on the face and body. I was so excited and a little nervous to try it, not only as I do have sensitive skin but also because I haven't tried anything like this before - also I'm not a beauty therapist so I didn't know how easy or difficult it would be to use. 

I have the *PMD Personal Microderma (£150) which comes with seven exfoliating discs, 1 electrical cord, 2 caps and an instructional DVD and pamphlet. The discs that come in the set include an initial white training disc, two green discs and four blue discs with increasingly abrasiveness. The set up was very easy, just make sure the disc and cap are on securely, plug in to the mains and plug in the cord to the device then turn slightly to lock it in. Before I read anything or used the product, I watched the DVD which is a little scary as they say that microdermabrasion works by exfoliating the skin which makes the skin think that it is injured so it will repair itself; that makes me a little nervous and I'm not too sure that I would want to use something like this consistently in the long term.

The DVD states to use the product on completely dry, product free skin. Switch the device on, hold the skin taught slightly and glide the device over the skin making sure to only pass over the same area once. The device claims to help give more radiant, younger looking skin and smoothes skin texture (using this microderm unit that uses the same aluminium oxide crystal embedded on the discs as $10,000 dermatologist machines do). I decided to use it on my t-zone as that is where I have some very, very fine lines as well as uneven skin texture and large pores. I've read that others have seen improvements with regards to pores after using this device. 

The white training disc is already in the device and it is the one everyone should start out using to prepare the skin for the more abrasive discs with time. The first time I used it, I was a little surprised at how at the noise - it makes a hairdryer noise when switched on, for some reason I thought it would be quieter. I did a test patch on my hand the day before I used it on my face and I did experience anything negative other than slight redness that faded quickly. Gliding the device over the chin/forehead/nose is a little easier said than done as the device not only spins quickly to exfoliates but it has a suction to it which does make it hard to glide across the skin evenly or very accurately. I noticed a small amount of redness after using the device but not nearly as much as I thought I would and I haven't experienced any negative effects but I have only used it three so far on my t-zone. 

Overall, I like how quick the device is to use and it is very lightweight. It doesn't cause any negative effects thus far and it isn't very loud; also it doesn't cause as much temporary redness as I thought it would. However, I haven't noticed any positive skin benefits so far apart from slightly smoother skin where I use the device although I have only used it three times so far as you have to wait 6/7 days between each use. I will write an update post after I have used the device more and I also need to test out the body disc too. 

Have you tried an at-home or salon microdermabrasion treatment? Have you tried this PMD Personal Microderm device?

Essence Summer Blogger Parade Look

Monday, May 25, 2015
As many of you may know, Essence is one of my favourite cheaper brands and I am always excited to try more of their products. I have a selection of their newer releases including the new and improved Sun Club Bronzer and the new gel polishes *no UV lamp needed*

Apart from the regular Essences polishes, I haven't tried any of these specific products. The *Essence Gel Nail Polish in Blue Bubble Di Blue is a perfect shade for summer, it applies so well as all Essence polishes do. I used the *Essence Gel Base Coat and *Essence Gel Topcoat but sadly the longevity wasn't fantastic as I experienced chipping and tip wear after three days however I do like Essence polishes on the whole and for the price they are definitely worth a try! Also the polish looks so shiny, it is almost plastic looking!

The first makeup product I tried was the *Essence Soft Touch Mousse Makeup (04 Matt Ivory) which I have to say, isn't 'Ivory' but it is the only Essence foundation that almost matches my very fair skin! The foundation feels so spongy and bouncy, it's very strange to touch but it applies quickly and easily with fingers, a brush or a sponge. The foundation gives a skin like finish although it can sometimes highlight flakiness/dryness so a sponge is best in my opinion. I actually love this foundation, it isn't very dewy as all of my other foundations are but it gives a natural, light/medium coverage and it works really well on my sister combination skin too. 
The next product I tried out was the new gorgeous *Essence Sun Club 2 in 1 Bronzing Powder (10 Sunshine) which is a bronzer and highlighter in one compact. You probably won't be able to see it on my skin in the before and after photos above as the highlighter and bronzer are both natural and subtle which is amazing for my very fair skin. This product will definitely be a staple in my summer makeup bag!

To carry on with the pretty, natural bronze look I used the *Essence Metal Glam Eyeshadow (15 Hello Goldie) which sadly smashed in delivery but I was still able to use the remains. The shade is a gorgeous metallic golden beige shade. To finish the eyes, I used the *Essence Plump No Clump Mascara (black) which is one of the very few Essence mascaras I haven't tried and it has to be one of my faves! It is more on the natural side but it is very black, it doesn't clump, it gives great length and volume however it doesn't hold a curl too well. 

Finally, the lips and Essence lipsticks are some of my favourite products from the brand. I have the shade '07 Natural Beauty' and it's a perfect my lips but better shade with pink undertones. I use it on a regular basis and I would definitely recommend Essence lipsticks. 

Overall, I am so impressed with the foundation, bronzer/highlighter, mascara and I have always been a fan of their mascara and polishes. Essence is definitely one of my favourite cheaper brands but even though the price is low, the quality isn't compromised! 

What do you think of my natural, bronzy summer look ft. Essence? What are your favourite products from Essence?

Eurovision 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Today is the day of the Eurovision song contest 2015! I haven't watched the semi finals as I want it to be a surprise but I have noticed that Australia is in this years contest which I don't understand however an Aussie told me on Twitter that they are obsessed with the Eurovision song contest over there. This year marks the 60th Eurovision song contest which is why Australia is taking part as a wild card entry and it will be very interesting to see how they fair as neighbouring countries seem to have a inclination to vote for their each other, in my opinion. So while part of me doesn't like the inclusion of a non-european country in the Eurovision song contest, part of me also wants to see how it will affect the voting and Eurovision 'politics'. 

Watching Eurovision is a tradition in our house, I've watched it since I was a child and I do always wonder what it looks like to non-europeans as it is...flambouant to say the least; however as I am English it is also quite humiliating to watch, especially in recent years, as we are always last *or second to last*. To be fair though we have had some very poor entries! I shudder thinking about the 'flying the flag' song we had years ago - I don't know who came up with the idea that off key air hostesses prancing around with paddles would be a good idea; if you haven't seen it then head to YouTube now and cringe-a-long...

In my opinion, there is an element of bias within the Eurovision song contest as countries that are 'neighbours or friends' always tend to vote for each other every year regardless of the entries. I am not alone in my opinion as my friends and family have said this for years and it is one of the reasons why some of them don't watch it anymore. Although My Voucher Codes have conducted a survey into opinions regarding Eurovision and which countries vote for which acts and the results are in. Check out the full results on the Echo News site. 

- Former Russian states have a tendency to vote highly for Russia. 
- Greece's neighbours, Albania and Cyprus, give tremendous support to Greek entries.
- Eastern European countries tend to not vote for the UK, such as Lithuania and the Czech Republic.
- However, in my opinion, the most surprising result from their survey was that nine countries have voted for the UK which is more than any other nation, even though average scores for the UK may not be very high.

Maybe the English assumption that we are alone in the Eurovision song contest and are seemly unpopular is unfounded and in fact we have done pretty well over the years! The UK has actually won the Eurovision song contest five times and is one of the most successful countries to compete along with Ireland and France. 

Good luck to all of the countries that made it to the final and now it is time for brits across the land to relish in the cheesiness that is the Eurovision song contest and to pray that we don't come last...again!

Are you going to watch the Eurovision song contest? Which country do you think will win? What are your opinions on Eurovision voting?


Behind The Blog: General Q+A

Friday, May 22, 2015
I asked on my blog's 3rd birthday giveaway post for questions about anything and I would answer them in a general Q&A post! I received quite a lot of blogging questions, some of which I have already answered or I added to my two blogging Q&A posts (here) and (here). 

1. I'd love to know how you found the transition into becoming a vegetarian! (question from Blushhx)

I became a vegetarian almost 11 years ago so it is a little difficult to remember but I don't think I found it too difficult or strange as I didn't like a lot of meat or fish to begin with. The only meat/fish I liked as bacon, salmon and sausages which I would have with pasta. So when I became a vegetarian I would just have the same pasta/sauce without the meat *in the first few years I actually didn't eat a lot of veggies ironically*

2. What made you chose to be veggie? (question from Fizzy Peaches)

I watched a video online of how some animals were being killed for meat consumption and it made me realise at the age of 11/12 that meat on my plate once came from living, breathing animals and I didn't want them to die just so I could eat meat/fish. 

3. What is your daily routine cleaning of the face? 5 essential in your bag? (question from Paulina Rios

My skin care routine changes daily depending on my skin, what I'm doing that day, seasonal factors and if I have new products to try. I usually don't use a cleanser in the morning, I just use water or a toner then my serums and moisturisers. I usually fully cleanse my face in the evening. My five handbag essentials would be: lip balms, bobbles/hair ties, mini perfume, hand cream and nail files. 

4. I am a psychology student and I want to know, what do you love the most about the subject? (question from Alexandra)

I love how diverse the topic of psychology is, from the criminology side of it to child cognitive development and the acquisition of language. I loved it since A level and I loved my three years at university studying psychological studies! I wish I could go back and do it again!

5. What's your favourite thing about blogging? (question from Shreya

The blogging community and the feedback/communication with other bloggers and readers. It makes me feel as though I have this online group of friends with the same interests and hobbies as me.

6. What's your favourite perfume? (question from Dawn)

My all time favourite perfume is Prada Infusion D'Iris, it was super expensive at the time *$100* but I love it and it is very nostalgic to me as it reminds me of holidays in Italy. 

7. What is your one top tip for looking after your skin? (question from Zoe Lianne)

Don't touch your face! This is especially important if you have eczema as I do. Itching eczema although it is so tempting as eczema can be incredibly itchy but it just makes everything worse. 

8. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out blogging? (question from Kez)

I would say, don't expect it to be easy, it takes a lot of dedication, time and effort; also learn to use your camera and maybe look into pre-made or custom blog designs as they can be amazing and reasonably priced.  

9. I'd love to know more about what made you become a vegetarian and what are your views on non-vegetarians (questions from helen x)

I became a vegetarian for the reasons in question two. I am the only vegetarian in my family (my grandad is a pescatarian, he eats fish but not meat) and my friends eat meat so I am surrounded by it so it doesn't really bother me too much. However, one thing I cannot stand about some non-vegetarians is the ignorance about where their fish/meat comes from; some people don't want to know that their food comes from once happily living animals and that kind of annoys the hell out of me personally.

10. What are the best foods to eat more of to give you great skin? (question from Rosie Dunningham)

Not actually food but I have found that since drinking green tea and herbal tea in general my skin has become brighter, more healthy/plumped and clearer (although blemishes/spots are not a problem for me personally). Also drinking water and getting your five a day really helps!

11. If you had your own make-up line what would you call it? (question from Macen)

Oh, that is an interesting question! I have no idea, maybe something with 'natural' in the name as I would want it to be more natural/eco and to be suitable for super sensitive skin types.  

12. What is your favourite high street/high end beauty brand? If you could only shop at one place for the rest of your life where would you choose? (questions from lillies and lip balm)

My favourite high street brand would be Makeup Revolution, Kiko or Rimmel - I couldn't pick just one! My favourite higher end brand would either be Dior or Burberry. For makeup I would shop at Boots and for clothing probably Newlook or Zara or Asos...

13. What's your favourite pizza toppings? (question from Being Ashleigh - Lifestyle and Fashion blog)

CHEESE, anything cheesy and also mushrooms! My favourite pizza ever is the Dominos medium cheese and tomato pizza with the cheese stuffed crust *drools* with the heavenly garlic/herb dip! I'm hungry now and I want Dominos!

14.  What do you use to help treat your eczema? (question from Grace Slocombe)

I have a entire post dedicated to my eczema 'story' and the products I use for the eczema on my face and on my hand (here). I use Protopic for my face and I use Betnovate for my body eczema.  

15. I'd love to know what made you become a vegetarian! (question from Hannerking)

I answered this in question two and I have to say everyone always asks me 'did you just wake up and want to be a vegetarian?' as if most people would just wake up and make such a massive life change! But it was a big change and in hindsight I should have waited as children/teens need protein to grow and develop.   

16. Do you like living in your country? You were in Russia? If you had the opportunity, how would you have called your own brand of cosmetics or clothing? (questions from Miranda Beauty World)

I do love living in England, it is a relatively stable, safe and happy place to live although as with anywhere there are negative aspects such as crime etc. I adore english history and the heritage we have. I have been to Saint Petersburg back in 2013 and I loved it! I have a blog post about my time there, click here. Again as with question 11, I have no idea, it would be amazing to have my own cosmetics or petite clothing line though! 

17. What your favourite vegetarian meal? (question from Winda)

Pasta, anything with pasta. I'm the pasta queen or so my parents call me as I am constantly eating it. My favourite vegetarian meal would include pasta, green veggies in a creamy herb sauce which is a staple meal for me.

Would you rather only use one eyeshadow color or one lip color for the rest of your life? (question from Petra Black)

One lip colour as I am definitely more adventurous with my eyeshadow looks than my lip colour!

19. What music genre do you identify yourself most? (question from Silvia Bia)

I like so many music genres from classical to punk, metal, alternative and indie. I don't really identify with one specific genre.

20. What is a must-have for blogging that most people don't think about?

A large SD card, a bit of an unusual thing to say but it definitely helps to have a good SD card (or whichever card your camera takes) with a large storage capacity. Also blue tac, it's great for positioning products to be photographed!

Phew, there were more questions but I didn't want this post to be even longer! If you have any questions at all leave them below and I will answer them as soon as possible. 

Makeup Revolution Lip Liners

Thursday, May 21, 2015
Makeup revolution is one of my favourite brands, they bring out so many fantastic and affordable products - some of which are great dupes for higher end products. I was very kindly sent eight of the new *Makeup Revolution Lip Liners (£1 each) and I have to say, for the price, I'm so impressed on the whole. The lip liners are currently on offer, so if you buy all 8 you get 2 free so you only pay £6. 

Rebel: Vivid purple fuchsia (the shade is darker in 'real life')
Baby Pink: Pastel Baby Pink with creamy white undertones
Cherry Red: Hot pink with bright red undertones
The One: Deep beige with tan undertones (the one I forgot to photograph above!)
Bold Pink: Bright cool toned pink (mix between Cherry Red and Baby Pink)
Vamp: Blackcurrent shade 
Soft Pink: Bright soft pink (mix between Bold Pink and Baby Pink)
Nearly Naked: Off white with baby pink undertones (similar to Baby Pink but lighter and less pink)

I have to be honest and say that the lighter shades, including Baby Pink and Nearly Naked, are very drying and they emphasise every hint of dryness on the lips. I will be keeping them for halloween though as I think they will be great for so many halloween looks! 

The shades I am very impressed with are Cherry Red, Rebel, Bold Pink and Baby Pink as they are so smooth, creamy, soft and very pigmented. They also don't emphasise dryness too much on me (and my lips are SO dry); the shades feel comfortable on the lips and they could easily be layered together or with other products. 

Overall, I'm so impressed with how creamy, smooth and pigmented most of the shades are; the price is amazing! All of the shades are fairly matte with no shimmer. They all have an inbuilt sharpener on the lid which for travelling would be pretty handy but after use it does make the product looks dirty/messy. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

Have you tried any of these lip liners? What do you think of the shades? What are your favourite products from Makeup Revolution?

Caudalie Detox Mask ft. Naturisimo

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
While spring cleaning my makeup and skincare collection a couple of weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to start using more natural/green/eco brands as the natural brands are the ones I gravitate towards more in my current collection such as Caudalie, Elemental Herbology, REN, Jurlique and Burts Bees, Avene and The Body Shop products, to an extent. So when the lovely people at Naturisimo sent me this amazing packaging I was so excited! 

I happily received the *Caudalie Instant Detox Mask (£22, 75ml) which is one of the new face masks brought out by Caudalie. I love the Caudalie products I have tried over the years such as the Vinosource SOS serum as well as their Caviar Cabernet Scrub and delightfully fresh eau de toilettes. However, I haven't tried any of their masks until now but I always have high hopes for Caudalie skincare; their products contain natural active ingredients free from parabens, mineral oils and they are cruelty free in Europe. Firstly, I love the packaging, it looks very luxe, natural and spa like and the lid is actually made of wood. 

The mask is a deep salmon pink shade, it feels clay like and it smells so nice - very natural and herbal almost. As the mask is so thick and smooth, it applies quickly, easily and it doesn't create a mess! I only apply it to my t-zone as those are the areas that for me can become congested and in need of a good detox every once in a while. The mask does harden on the skin as it dries which reminds me of old school days with clay/mud masks but it doesn't feel uncomfortable. As the pink mask dries, small holes/circles appear where my pores are so I assume the mask is cleaning out the pores or is being absorbed and it is nice to actually see and feel a face mask doing something unlike my other masks which are very creamy. 

After 10 minutes, I use the Caudalie Beauty Elixir or the Jurlique Balancing Mist on cotton pads to remove the mask. My skin is left super clean feeling and smooth but not stripped or dry. I feel as though the mask shrunk my smaller pores massively and my pores overall did look a lot less noticeable which is fantastic as they can be rather massive! Overall, I love the mask and I think it will last a long time for me as a little goes a long way and I do only need to use it on my t-zone. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

After removing the face mask, I have been using samples from Dr Jackson skincare. I have the *Dr Jackson 03 Face Oil, it is a sample and it comes in a rollerball bottle which I love as it is so easy to apply the facial oil as they can be a little messy and it means I don't apply too much - I want all of my facial oils to come in rollerball bottles now! The oil itself smells heavenly, it isn't too oily on my dry, sensitive skin and it doesn't irritate my skin. I have been using it in my evening skincare routine everyday since I received it and I love it although I personally wouldn't use it under makeup. 

I also received a sample of the *Dr Jackson 01 Skin Cream - Day Cream which contains Kigelia traditionally used to treat eczema and other skin irritations so it is perfect for me. The cream is nourishing, moisturising, smoothing and again it doesn't irritate my skin. The cream I love the most though is the *Dr Jackson 02 Skin Cream - Night Cream which really moisturises my skin, it smells so good and I love the sample/full size packaging! Overall, I am very impressed with the Dr Jackson samples I have, I would definitely look into their range in the future though it is pretty pricy! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5!

Have you tried the new Caudalie masks? Have you tried anything from Dr Jackson? What are your favourite natural/eco/green beauty brands? 

Sukin Sunless Bronzing Gel

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
sukin australian skincare sunless bronzing gel self tanner
I haven't had much luck when it comes to natural or fake tanning as my skin is so ghostly pale, which I love but sometimes it would be great to have golden, sun kissed skin. The self tanners I've tried in the past have either been so subtle that they are virtually unnoticeable or they have been dark and orange on my very fair skin. I have been looking for a face and body gradual self tanner for my pale skin for a while and I think I may have found a great one!

I have the *Sukin Sunless Bronzing Gel (£16.28. 200ml) which is suitable for all sin types, paraben free, sulphate free, 100% carbon neutral and it is 100% vegan. The bronzing gel contains some natural ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamin E, lime oil and more. The product claims to 'add instant colour and hydration and due to the active bronzing ingredient it adds a gradual radiant glow'. 

The first time I used this product I was surprised at how dark it looks however with a thin layer the gel does apply smoothly, quickly and it blends well. The gel does add an instant subtle bronzy caramel colour to the skin but it doesn't look orange or unnatural on my pale skin. The product doesn't have a strong fake tan scent, it smells subtle and on the skin it isn't very noticeable at all. 

I applied a more generous amount the second day to boost the colour and it left my skin with a definite bronzy, caramel colour which is  something I am not used to at all! I only applied it to one leg so I could see the differences and the differences while noticeable were not over the top, orange or too dark however I think the colour could easily be built up. There is no shimmer in this product which is fantastic as most tanning products I've tried have turned me into a orange glitter ball; although it does add a subtle glow and hydration. The bronzing gel is quick drying however I did have a mini disaster around my ankle the next morning as I didn't let the gel dry for long enough, oops! 

The bronzing gel lasts fairly well on my skin personally but everyone is different and it is removed relatively easily with a sugar scrub (I'm currently using one from Lush which I love). The product is suitable for the face however I haven't tried it yet due to a small eczema flareup but I will update this post when I have tried it as a facial self tanner. 

Overall, I am impressed with the results of this product as it left my usually pale, dull skin with a golden caramel bronzy colour and glow. The product was easy to use with hands or a mitt, as long as you wait for it to sink in and it doesn't have a noticeable scent on the skin. I would probably only use this product as a one/two day tanner rather than a longer gradual tan. Also the bronzing gel didn't irritate my skin even when used almost immediately after shaving; I also love the use of natural ingredients and cruelty/chemical free ethos of the brand. I would definitely be interested in trying more from this brand!

Have you tried any products from Skin? What are your favourite gradual tanners? Do you have any tanning tips?

*I'm on the Joshua James Jewellery site along with other bloggers talking about festival fashion and accessories*

Three Years Of Blogging: Misconceptions

Sunday, May 17, 2015
Todays post is the another blog posts all about my experience of blogging as my blog has just turned three years old *cries like a proud parent* so I thought it would be a great time to share my experience and tips! This post is all about the perceptions and misconceptions go blogging. 

Even though 'big' bloggers have branched out into mainstream media and more people know about blogging, especially brands. It is still relatively unknown to the average person and if you are not a blogger yourself then you may have some misconceptions of what blogging is all about. First up, the biggest misconception, in my opinion:

- It's not easy! Don't start a blog expecting to be the next Zoella within three months. There is so much time, work and effort that goes into blogging and I don't think most non-bloggers or new bloggers realise that; I always see blogs that haven't been updates for months or ones that have been abandoned. I've worked hard for three years on my blog even while writing my university dissertation. You also learn so much, for example, I had no idea about PR/digital marketing, SEO, editing photos, the technical side of photography or networking before I started blogging. It's a steep learning curve and there is always more to learn but if you stick with it, it can be incredibly rewarding in the end. 

- Blogging consists of a massive community of people from all around the world and even just through twitter chats or commenting on blogs, it's such supportive and a friendly community to be part of! It's not a very lonely or exclusive hobby to have. 

- I don't get 'freebies', this is one misconception that really annoys me. Yes, I didn't physically pay for certain items or experiences but that doesn't mean I don't work for those products/experiences. So much time, effort, work and dedication goes into blogging. 

- We are not all hysterical girls that are crazy about makeup, I do love makeup but it's not a stupid or frivolous passion. A lot of bloggers, such as myself are university graduates; others are university students or professionals with the fields of PR and digital marketing. Also some bloggers have made blogging into a full time career (which is something I would love to do) and it's a great addition to your CV. 

- Blogging is not an unknown, uninfluential hobby. So many brands and PR companies recognise the influence, popularity and relatability of blogs. Blogs have a specific audience and relationship to consumers, unlike any other media so products can be advertised to their specific consumer market. 

If you are a blogger what are some of the blogging misconceptions you deal with? 

*I'm on the Dreams site along with other bloggers talking about overnight beauty treatments and tips* 

My Little Provence Box

Saturday, May 16, 2015
My Little Box is a french beauty and lifestyle subscription box which I have been subscribed to for a least five months and I have loved almost all of the boxes. Last months 'my little dream box' was the best yet and this one is pretty good too. 

The theme for this box is Provence which just reminds me of sunny french summers and lavender but there isn't anything lavender themed or scented in this box which I thought was quite unusual! However there are two lifestyle items, five beauty items and the magazine and print as well. 

Firstly, the lifestyle products. The first is a magnetic doll which has numerous clothing pieces and accessories to put on her which I think is a cute idea, especially if you have children although it was difficult to remove all of the magnetic items from the sheet - she is now on our fridge but I'm sure al of the pieces will become lost soon. The second lifestyle item is a DIY bracelet which is such a fun, unique idea and I think I will be giving this to one of my friends who will love it. The bracelet is a cuff style bracelet, it is gold and it comes with thread that you can create a pattern with in the holds in the bracelet!

Now onto the beauty pieces, all but one are from one of my favourite french brands - L'Occitane which is such a good deal as L'Occitane products are on the pricy side so to have four travel sizes in a beauty box is amazing, in my opinion. You get two verbena products (a soap and a body lotion) which I will be giving to my dad as he loves the scent, a rose hand cream which my mum will be happy to receive and the mer and mistral shower gel which smells incredible and I will definitely be keeping it for myself! The fifth and final beauty item is a bronzy eyeshadow stick from the my little boxes own beauty line. 

Overall, a very nice box with some cute lifestyle items and amazing L'Occitane travel sizes which would be great for holidays. I think the inclusion of the L'Occitane items makes this box even more great value for money although I did love last months box more. I can't wait to see what next months box will contain!

Are you subscribed to My Little Box? What do you think of this box? Have you tried any of these L'Occitane products? 

Three Years Of Blogging: Followers + Views

Friday, May 15, 2015
blogging quote myself
This post might be a little controversial as I think gaining followers and wanting to increase your page views is a taboo topic in the blogging community. Not many bloggers say 'I want more follower's and page views' but I think most of us would like that. 

I started out rather stupidly when it comes to blog followers, as for months when I started my blog I forgot to even add the GFC (google friend connect) widget to my wonder no one was following my blog! I didn't have many followers for a long time, I remember being so excited telling my mum that I had 10 followers; now three years on I have over 1,600 on GFC and over 2,000 on Bloglovin which just blows my mind! I'm so glad that so many people seem to enjoy my content. 

One way of gaining followers and traffic is commenting on other blogs. I only started doing this a couple of years ago and since then my numbers have increased so much. I love reading other bloggers posts (particularly unique posts or ones that I can relate to) and I love finding new blogs. I will have a 'my current favourite blogs' post coming within the next few weeks. 

Although you do not want to spam bloggers *that's not cool*, I try to leave a thoughtful, kind or opinionated comment as getting comments like that on my blog makes my day! Follow for a follow type comments are the opposite, it can be so rude and disheartening that someone only wants to follow your blog so they gain a follower. However, I do encourage readers to leave their blog links so I can check them out at some point. 

Social media interaction and joining in with blogger chats on Twitter are also great ways of getting your blog out there. I only started joining in with twitter chats last year and I don't know why I didn't sooner - I LOVE blogger chats on twitter, especially the #lblogger, #bblogger chats and more recently the #BDIB chat! 

The points above are my two main ways of gaining more traffic and followers that have personally worked for me; here are a few other points to consider:

- Tag brands in photos/posts on your social media accounts. I mainly do this on twitter and instagram so brands know I wrote about them and they might regram/retweet sharing your content with a wide audience. Just look at My Pale Skins instagram follower numbers since Anastasia Beverly Hills regramed her photo - she now has an insane number of followers!

- With regards to the point above, if you've been sent something from a brand/PR company, email the link to your post so they can share your post too. Again this can increase blog traffic, especially if it's a big brand.

- Following blogs, as they may follow back. I remember when I had about 100 followers and the lovely Evelyn from We Were Raised By Wolves followed me *I was so over the moon* and I still love her blog!

- Make it easy for your readers to find your social media accounts/blog - I see this so many times, blog/twitter pages with no blog link or social media icons that are hard to find!

- This point may be a bit controversial - giveaways. I love to host giveaways on my blog as they are a great way of celebrating a blog milestone and to thank followers. They can also give your page views and follower numbers a little boost. I only host giveaways once every couple of months generally as I wouldn't want them to distract from the rest of my blog content. 

- Make your posts as interesting, unique and helpful as interesting content will naturally bring in more readers and traffic. I personally think that great photos and a simple blog design also help as well as an honest, easy writing style.

Please remember that this post contains my personal opinions and yours may differ. Also different ways to increase followers/traffic may work best for different people and don't spam other bloggers/brands. This post isn't about SEO as I'm definitely no expert but if you would like some basic tips let me know in the comments. Last but not least, remember in the end it's not all about the numbers, it takes some of the fun out of blogging and it can be disheartening. 

Do you have any tips? What are your favourite social media accounts for your blog? Do you join in with the blogger twitter chats?

College Custom Heather Zipped Hoodie

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
When College Custom got in touch about reviewing one of their products with my blog logo/header on, I couldn't say no! It's always so exciting to receive personalised products/gifts and as a blogger it it even more special to received items with my blog name on it!

I picked the *College Custom Heather Zipped Hoodie in a size Small which has a 36" chest measurement. The hoodie is composed of 50% cotton and 50% of polyester. This particular hoodie comes in seven  colours, I chose the Heather Grey shade which I love! The other hoodies come in so many colours. The hoodie has pockets, draw cords and a hidden opening in the right pocket for your earphones which is great for students in lectures...I didn't say that, pay attention in lectures...

The interior material of the hoodie is SO soft and warm although it isn't very thick so it would still be great for spring or colder summer days. I've been wearing mine constantly instead of my fluffy dressing gown as apparently that isn't socially appropriate for all day, everyday wear. The best part of the hoodie is that it has my blog name/header on the back! The lovely people at College Custom helped to create the design (which you can see above) and they were great at recreating my blog header, am I a 'professional' blogger now? 

The hoodie fits me well (I'm a UK 8/10) however as I am petite, the hoodie is a little long on me for the torso and arms but it doesn't matter as it just makes it cosy and I will be wearing this as 'loungewear' anyway so I would want it to be a little bit oversized.   

Overall, I am so happy with my hoodie and it is great blog promotion so when people ask about my blog I can just turn around and be like BAM! Just kidding, I would turn bright red and whisper my blog name...

College Custom make so many products from bags, hoodies, pyjamas, onesies, accessories and lots of sports wear for cricket, football and hockey teams, for example; as well as university/college societies, teams and leavers hoodies. They also sell American Apparel items that can be customised either with a printed logo/image or embroidered logo/name. Here are some of the products; I have my eye on the Mini Heritage Satchel Bag:

What do you think of my hoodie? Have you heard of College Custom?