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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Friday Finds

Here are a few of my internet finds (and loves) from the past week:

\\  I can't deal with how amazing these DIY sequin unicorn pumpkins are.  //
\\  I could lounge on this DIY giant knit pumpkin all day.  //
\\  YES to this whole Halloween pumpkin candy pail cake!  //
\\  ALL OF THE dirt cup cocktails for Halloween.  //
\\  How amazing do these DIY alcohol ink pumpkins look?  //
\\  These super easy pom-pom earrings are so chic.  //

Happy Friday

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Beauty Empties #7

LUSH Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly (discontinued)
I am beyond devastated that I can not longer get my hands on this bad boy - the smell of this stuff, guys. My God. It's like blackcurrant fruit pastilles and I can't even. Though the wibbly stuff is a little difficult to get a hold of when actually in the shower, I found that just a small spoonful lathers so luxuriously when used with a shower puff, and the scent lingers on your skin for hours, even longer when used in your hair. I honestly can't get enough. I'm not going to lie, the concept of a shower jelly makes me squirm a little uncomfortably inside. Plus it's sparkly, how could I not? Just a small spoonful of this stuff lathers so luxuriously with a shower puff and apparently doubles as a shampoo of sorts. I could deal with my hair smelling like this all day. Could definitely deal.

Repurchase? If only I could. LUSH do have an entire range of other shower jellies, but the scent of Sweetie Pie was what I wanted.

I've raved about this shower gel about ninety-zillion times. The love I have for this product is mostly based on how heavenly it smells. The fresh citrus-y grapefruit-y scent is a lovely pick me up first thing in the morning. The best part is that it doesn’t smell like dish washing liquid the way many citrus body washes tend to; it's just a natural scent that beats any of the synthetic ones. Period. Aside from the smell, the gel works into a luxuriously thick lather that makes me feel incredibly clean and refreshed afterwards. LUSH claim that you can use this in your hair as well.. I've always been too nervous to use anything other than shampoo as shampoo, but I can imagine it would leave your hair smelling delicious.

Repurchase? I will continue to repurchase until the day I die.
I don't think this is available through AVON anymore, which is a damn shame because it was my secret weapon. I'd just apply it before an event and BAM! Instant, natural looking, even colour to my legs. It contains a whole bunch of ingredients that are said to boost collagen and elastin production as well as moisturise. The cream doesn't have an offensive smell like some "tanning" products do nor does it have an orange hue to it. It's such an easy, mess free way to get some colour on to your body and help to disguise any veins or cellulite you may have, rinsing off with ease.

Repurchase? If it were to ever come back to AVON, most definitely.

LeTan Coconut Oil SPF 30+ (discontinued?)
Now that we're actually getting some sunshine, I've been using this almost every day on my lunch break. The formulation protects the skin from sun damage while also hydrating and leaving your skin smelling all coconut-y and delicious (I get told that I smell like a lamington by my co-workers almost every day). It sinks in nicely IF you don't use too much - as is the case with any body oil. Honestly, you really only need a little bit; sand/grass tends to stick everywhere if you use even the slightest bit too much. Just bare in mind, that just because it has an SPF doesn't mean you can go ahead and bake all day to achieve a tan as this is essentially a tanning product with SPF, not a sunscreen, as it's so misleadingly named.

Repurchase? I've had trouble finding this anywhere, so I've purchased Reef's offering instead. Same thing, different brand.
I got this in a three piece seta long while back. It's not something that I'd usually gravitate towards, but I thought I may as well use it all up anyways. If you love florals, you'll love this frangipani/jasmine scent. The shimmer aspect to the lotion was nice, too - not a chunky glitter but a pretty light-reflecting shimmer. I didn't find it to be as hydrating as I would have liked, however. Overall, just a "meh" product for me: nice but nothing special.

Repurchase? I would pass on this one in the future.

It's embarrassing how neglectful I am when it comes to my hair. It's so thin and I straighten it quite often, meaning that is usually pretty dry and brittle. I spray this on the ends of damp hair at night and on dry hair in the morning and the difference in my hair's condition is astounding. I noticed results right after my first use, and it just keeps getting better and better. This is geared towards colour treated hair (which I do not have), but my natural light blonde locks really love this stuff. It's multi-purpose, so it does a whole lot of good things from adding shine and de-frizzing, to heat protection but the most noticeable result for me is how smooth and soft my hair is and how the drastically the appearance of split ends has reduced. It has a pleasant smell, is non-greasy, versatile and makes my hair look and feel healthier than it has ever been.

Repurchase? I hate buying hair products, but I actually would repurchase this, yes.

Is it just me, or do ChapStick products go bad fairly quickly? Every single ChapStick product I've ever owned has gone "off" super fast.. When it was good, it was good, of course, it's just disappointing to have to throw away a product that is not yet fully used up. We all know what a lip balm is like, so I won't get too in to it because it's all pretty standard, but Pawpaw is a welcome ingredient in any product that is designed to moisturise and protect - so there's that, I guess.

Repurchase? Due to the short shelf-life, I would have to say no.

I use this every damn day. The formula is thick enough to cover the under eye area and fill fine lines without settling into them or creasing but also smooth enough to blend out nicely. Although this does have a matte finish to it, it still manages not to accentuate my dry skin, which is always appreciated. It does a nice job of disguising the purple undertones of my under eyes, too. The applicator, however... On one hand, I love that it's a wind-up, meaning you can basically get every last drop from the tube, but on the other, I'm a huge fan of the sponge nib component. Although I've gotten used to it now, it's still impossible to clean and is quite large, making it difficult to get the product into the smaller parts of the eye.

Repurchase? Always.
This baby is a constant use item for me, in conjunction with Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind mentioned above. In fact, I've mentioned this damn concealer about ninety-zillion times on the blog, so I won't spent too much time repeating myself. What I will say, is that although it does provide relatively nice coverage of dark circles, I tend to use this as an under eye brightener rather than a concealer as the light shade is amazing for brightening and highlighting. It's easy to apply with it's doe foot applicator and creamy formula allows it to spread and blend beautifully, leaving a dewier finish all the while feeling so soft on the skin. The creaminess of the formula means it does not accentuate my dry skin, either.

Repurchase? Yes!
MANGO WILL ALWAYS BE MY FAVOURITE EVERYTHING AND I LOVE THIS SCENT SO MUCH OMG. I'm sure that you've allllll used The Body Shop's body butters at some point in your respective lives - they're all super moisturizing, if not a little too oily for my personal liking. Nonetheless, they work wonders to remedy my disgustingly dry legs and the amazing scent lingers all throughout the day.

Repurchase? Sure, once I've used up my other 99,000 body butters.
I was recommended this product by a fellow blogger before I really knew a whole lot about skincare for my skin type and I must say.. I didn't like this one bit. I have dry, somewhat sensitive skin, and I've since discovered that gentle cream cleansers are the way for me to go as opposed to a gel, but I thought that being a "sensitive" option, this cleanser would be gentle and soothing. On the contrary, this stuff made my face feel so very dry - it was more than unpleasant. My skin did feel clean, sure, but the uncomfortable, dry feeling that took about 50 litres of moisturiser to counteract just wasn't worth it.

Repurchase? It's a no from me.
I have about 20 sample sized bottles of this stuff laying around, and it's a pretty rad formula, I'm not going to lie. I keep a bottle on my desk at work, a bottle in my handbag and the rest are strewn all about in almost every room of my house. Despite the 10-in-1 claims, I only really use it as a moisturiser, in which it does an amazing job. It relieves dry, itchy and flaky skin, sinking in nicely without leaving sticky or greasy residue. It's supposed to be amazing on mature skin, too, I'm told.

Repurchase? If I ever run out of bottles, yes.
I actually feel as though the regular formula was better than the intense in one my case. Go figure. Vitamin E has soooo many amazing benefits that are good for the skin, Google it if you're not informed (do it!), so I'm a huge fan of both of these creams (one more than the other) - they're especially wonderful for drier skin types. I mix this in with my various face lotions and potions both day and night, and I've noticed a huuugggeee improvement in the condition of my dry patches and the overall smoothness and plumpness of my face. The regular did have quite a strong smell, which I wasn't a fan of, whereas the intense version was pretty much unscented.

Repurchase? I'd pick up the regular offering again (scent and all) in a heartbeat.
Carmex would have to be my favourite brand for lip care - I find their products to be superior in terms of moisturising dry lips in comparison to all other drugstore balms that I have tried (I've tried a lot). This balm goes on nice and thick, yet somehow not sticky, meaning it has some serious staying power and is wonderful for night-time use. It has quite a strong scent, however. Be warned. I got the limited edition "wild" pot with cute leopard print lid - same formula as the original, different packaging. I'm admittedly not the biggest fan of pot packaging for beauty and skincare products, however.

Repurchase? Yes, Sir.
I got this travel-sized shoer gel as part of the British Rose Essential Collection, in which I received for free for spending over a certain amount during some sort of promotional period. Hoorah! This shower gel (and the rest of the British Rose collection) smells absolutely heavenly. If you're in to rose scents (obviously), then you need this in your life. It lathers up beautifully and is moisture rich which are both things that I need out of a shower gel.

Repurchase? Yes.
This obviously isn't empty, but it is well past time to throw it away. Look at the state of that thing. *shudders* I prefer sponges to brushes when it comes to make-up application and I prefer the Beauty Blender to all other sponges that I've tried. I feel as though a damp beauty blender is far superior in terms of applying and seamlessly blending foundation and concealer. If you haven't tried the Beauty Blender, a) where have you been? b) it's definitely worth the investment.

Repurchase? Forever.

AVON MagiX Face Perfector Primer
This primer wasn't actually empty; it was about 2/3 of the way used up. I actually had about 3 of these primers in my stash (all have since been donated) - AVON keep sending out free bottles with my orders. I'm not the biggest fan of this primer. It's not bad by any means, I just have others (Benefit POREfessional*, Too Faced Hangover Primer*) that I prefer more. It has a sort of gel-to-powder texture to it and it does make my skin feel smooth and soft. My skin was mattified but not dry and my make-up applied smoothly over the top. I feel as though my make-up does last longer in conjunction with this primer, but nothing crazy.

Repurchase? I would not.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel x2
I love, love, LOVE this moisturizer. So much so that I've gone through two pots recently. It's got such a clever gel formula that continuously releases moisture throughout the day without going too far and leaving the skin looking oily. It has such a refreshingly light and non-sticky texture that my skin slurps right up. My dry patches have been getting the nourishment they need and my skin looks supple. The scent actually reminds me of jellybeans, which is an added bonus.

Repurchase? Of course.
This is a tie with Maybelline's Lash Sensational* for my all-time favourite mascara. The close-togetherness of the bristles on the wand mean that it's almost impossible to have a clumpy finish when using this, and the actual shape of the wand really helps to extend those corner lashes that are hard to reach to give the lashes a more "up and out" look, which is great if you have smaller eyes like myself. The formula is amazing in which it takes only one coat (I always do two, however) to substantially lengthen and curl the lashes. It's waterproof, dries quickly, and doesn't smudge, transfer or flake.

Repurchase? Yes!

La Roche Posay Toleriane Riche Moisturiser*
This is geared towards dry, sensitive skin types which is exactly the kind of formula that I need. This is the first formula that I've ever found that actually makes my skin oily. I don't know if that's just the finish that such an intense product gives or if it's too moisturising for me (I've never heard of such a thing) but my skin is always left feeling sticky and looking shiny come midday, no matter how little I use. It does do a great job of eliminating my dry patches and that uncomfortable dry feeling, however, so I only use it on dessert dry days, focusing mostly on the tops of my cheeks, my chin and around the sides of my nostrils.

Repurchase? Probably not.

Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+*
I absolutely love rosehip oil. It's the ultimate skincare ingredient if you ask me! I apply 3-4 drops after my shower, before moisturiser every night and mix 2-3 drops in to a light moisturiser every morning. The improvement to my skin since using rosehip oil is insane! It works to moisturise dry skin without leaving any oily trance of its existence and it leaves my skin feeling so soft and healthy. If I skip the rosehip oil for any reason, I can always notice it's absence. I always pay extra for the Antioxidant+ version of Trilogy's rosehip oil - it's more than worth it, trust me.

Repurchase? YES!

What products have you loved and used up lately?

See also: Beauty Empties 1-6
As always, this post has not been sponsored in any way, meaning that none of the items mentioned have been sent to me, endorsed or paid for by anyone other than me, myself and I. This post does, however, contain affiliate links. I will always disclose such information with an asterisk (*) for full disclosure to my readers.
Feel free to find and purchase these products elsewhere if you don't get down like that. :)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Friday Finds

Here are a few of my internet finds (and loves) from over the past week:

\\  This DIY no carve popcorn pumpkin is too cute!  //
\\  I love the idea of these eyeball jell-o shots at a Halloween party.  //
\\  How much fun are these simple DIY crepe paper bat favors?  //
\\  I'm getting all of the Autumn vibes with this caramel apple hot toddy recipe.  //
\\  I'm dying over how chic these DIY glass bead Jack-O-Lanterns are!  //
\\  This brulee'd pumpkin pie oatmeal recipe is calling my name.  //

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Recent Reads Vol. 3

I'm a major book worm, you guys, so I'm always looking to add to my forever growing reading list. I thoroughly enjoy scrolling through fellow bloggers' book recommendations so I thought that I'd share my feelings on my most recently read books in the hopes of inspiring some new additions to your bookshelves:

I usually do a lot of research in to a book's storyline before buying, but this one was actually a whim purchase and I would have to say that it turned out to be my favourite of the books I have read recently. I think that the imagery created by the author's language is what captivated me the most - my imagination ran wild, creating images of this beautiful island based off of the descriptive nature of the book. The story itself is lovely, too; it's almost impossible not to be captivated by almost all of the characters and of course, the mystery of little Ava's sudden strange behaviour. I enjoy savouring a good book, but I was so invested in the mystery that I read it far quicker than I would have liked. A heartwarming and intriguing read for sure.

"Your child asks for her mother. But she doesn't mean you.
When Anna's partner walks away from their relationship, she is shattered. But it is her little girl Ava who takes it hardest of all, falling silent for three days. When she does finally speak, Ava talks about a new place - a small island of beauty, salt and sea in the Western Scottish Isles. In search of a new start, Anna and Ava embark on a journey to the remote and gorgeous Island of Seal. Falling in love with the locals and the landscape, could Seal offer the second chance they both need?"

After lusting over this book for such a long time, I was actually left disappointed upon finishing this one. I found the story to be a little hard to follow and the blurb somewhat misleading (the back-of-the-book's blurb is not the one that I have copied below - this one hints much more to what the book is actually about). I actually found myself disliking almost all of the characters, which I think made it difficult for me to invest in the story itself. I do love me a sneaky look in to the dirty lives behind the scenes - especially of an elite grouping (ohai, Gossip Girl), and this does deliver that, but the storyline.. I just couldn't get in to it unfortunately.

Newly arrived in New York City, twenty-two-year-old Tess lands a job working front of house at a celebrated downtown restaurant. What follows is her education: in champagne and cocaine, love and lust, dive bars and fine dining rooms, as she learns to navigate the chaotic, enchanting, punishing life she has chosen. The story of a young woman’s coming-of-age, set against the glitzy, grimy backdrop of New York’s most elite restaurants, in Sweetbitter Stephanie Danler deftly conjures the nonstop and high-adrenaline world of the food industry and evokes the infinite possibilities, the unbearable beauty, and the fragility and brutality of being young and adrift."

Now THIS was a damn good book; I was hooked from the first chapter. I'm usually spot on with deducting who the culprit is in a mystery, but every twist and turn had me second guessing my own conclusions as to who wrote the fifth letter (it turns out I was wrong in the end!). I found myself sympathising with, and being suspicious of, all of the characters pretty much simultaneously, which is a testament to the author's writing. The story is perfectly paced - not too drawn out, not so quick as to be underwhelming and I enjoyed every second of this book. A different approach to the usual whodunit that I thoroughly enjoyed.

"Best friends from high school, Joni, Deb, Eden, and Trina had always looked forward to the vacations they spent together. But the demands of careers, husbands, and babies gradually pulled them apart, and now their annual getaways may be a thing of the past. Joni doesn’t want to lose her friends, and this year she’s coaxed them all back together for some fun at a beach house. Late on a laughter and wine-filled night, the women dare one another to write anonymous letters, spilling her most intimate thoughts like they did as teenagers. But the fun game meant to bring them closer together turns painfully serious, exposing cracks in their lives and their relationships. Each letter is a confession revealing disturbing information. A rocky marriage. A harrowing addiction. A hidden pregnancy. A heartbreaking diagnosis.

Days later, Joni notices something in the fireplace—a crumpled and partially burned fifth letter that holds the most shattering admission of all. Best friends are supposed to keep your darkest secrets. But the revelations Joni, Deb, Eden and Trina have shared will have unforeseen consequences... and none of them will ever be the same."

Sophie Kinsella is an author that I know I can depend on if I'm in the mood for a light-hearted, somewhat "girly" read. My Not so Perfect Life is exactly that and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. The main character, Katie (and her whole family for that matter), is so relateable, so flawed but likeable, that it's impossible not to love her. The blurb basically outlines the whole dang plot (which I usually hate), so I pretty much knew what I was in for, minus a few small surprises along the way but I still found myself enjoying the story immensely. An easy, entertaining read that is perfect for a relaxing afternoon.

"Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed. OK, so the truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn't really hers. But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren't they? Until her not-so-perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie's hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business. Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams - or try to get her job back? Does Demeter - the woman who has everything - actually have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems. And what's wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?"

Before You Go by Clare Swatman
This was a touching read about love and loss. I think that if you enjoyed Me Before You, you'd probably enjoy this too. I do feel as though the whole "bump your head and re-live the past only to wake up in hospital" thing is a little tired, but I still enjoyed reliving Zoe and Ed's best and worst times and watching the story of their entire relationship unfold. I was so touched by her circumstances that I rooted for her to find a way to fix her mistakes and change the course of events that lead up to Ed's death throughout the whole book.

"You find your soulmate... Some people stare love in the face for years before they find it. Zoe and Ed fumbled their way into adulthood, both on different paths - but always in the same direction. Years later, having navigated dead-end jobs and chaotic house shares, romance finally blossoms. Their future together looks set... Then the unthinkable happens. One morning, on his way to work, Ed is knocked off his bike and dies. Now, Zoe must find a way to survive. But she's not ready to let go of the memories. How can she forget all of the happy times, their first kiss, everything they'd built together? Zoe decides she has to tell Ed all the things she never said. Now it's too late."

Is there anything on this list that you would like to read?
What has been your favourite read recently? I'd love some recommendations!

As always, this post has not been sponsored in any way, meaning that it does not contain any affiliate links, nor have the books mentioned been sent to me, endorsed, or paid for by anyone other than me, myself and I.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Friday Finds

Here are a few of my internet finds (and loves) from over the past week:

\\  This DIY tea light photo frame seems so simple, yet looks so cute.  //
\\  DIY tasseled throw pillows: You can never have too many tassels... or throw pillows.  //
\\  Here's a fun gumball machine balloon wall installation for all your party needs.  //
\\  These DIY caramel apple pumpkins would make for such a cute centrepiece.  //
\\  How much fun are these pineapple-O'-Lanterns?!  //
\\  Nothing says "Autumn" like maple honeycrisp margaritas.  //

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

September 2017 Beauty Favourites

1. LUSH Sleepy Body Lotion
I'm not usually the biggest fan of body lotions but Sleepy, you guys. This dang lotion is so calming and relaxing, "Sleepy" is the perfect name for it. It leaves my skin feeling so soft, lightly scented and nourished without leaving me feeling greasy like many lotions tend to. I actually didn't think that I would enjoy this at first as I have always labelled lavender as a "grandma" scent. Although this does contain a whole bunch of lavender (which is also why it's so relaxing), the scent isn't overpoweringly lavender-y. Instead, it imparts a soft, floral smell which instantly relaxes me.

2. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara*
I'm going to begin by saying that I absolutely hated this mascara at first. After finally getting my hands on a tube of this stuff, I was bitterly disappointed... I feel as though the formula is just too wet at the beginning, but now that it has dried down a little with use, I absolutely love it. I always choose a waterproof mascara but decided to purchase the regular formula as I had heard that the waterproof offering was on the clumpier side (I don't know if this is actually the case). It curls and elongates my lashes beautifully without clumping and does not smudge or flake on me throughout the day. This mascara also works well on my bottom lashes, which are annoyingly uncooperative with most other formulas.

I try not to use this every single day as I don’t want to run out of it quickly (it's pricy), but this is my favourite moisturiser. If I’m going through a super dry, itchy skin phase, which happens quite often for me, then this is what I reach for. This is honestly the most hydrating moisturiser that I have ever used that doesn't break me out or leave me feeling oily and heavy. It just leaves my skin feeling smooth, hydrated and plump and also claims to work to repair the skin's moisture barrier, which is never a bad thing, either.

4. The Body Shop Drops of Youth Liquid Peel*
This is actually a new-ish release from The Body Shop (look at me getting in with the times) and the way it works is gross, but so very satisfying. We all know what a chemical exfoliator is by now, but this is a chemical exfoliator that you can literally see working! Almost immediately after smoothing the gel over your face you are rewarded with the satisfyingly disgusting sight of your dead skin (gently!) peeling away. I use this once every three-or-so days and I'm left with smooth, fresh, more luminous looking skin every time I use it without having to use a harsh abrasive.
As someone who is prone to dry, flaky eyelids (gross, I know), a good eye cream is an essential part of my skincare routine. I usually reach for my trusty It's Potent!* by Benefit but decided try something different on a whim. I'm such a fan of Origins' GinZing Facial Mist* that I'm actually rather surprised and somewhat disappointed that it has taken me so long to try this eye cream. It doesn't negatively affect any eye make-up that I put over it and is hydrating enough to keep any flaky skin away. I mostly love this eye cream for how refreshing it is, especially on tired eyes! The coffee beans and ginseng work wonderfully to de-puff, brighten, and smooth fine lines, leaving my eyes looking fresher and much more awake.

What products or brands have you been loving lately?

As always, this post has not been sponsored in any way, meaning that none of the items mentioned have been sent to me, endorsed or paid for by anyone other than me, myself and I. This post does, however, contain affiliate links. I will always disclose such information with an asterisk (*) for full disclosure to my readers.
Feel free to find and purchase these products elsewhere if you don't get down like that. :)

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