Wednesday, 11 July 2018

5 Things To Do This Weekend

How gorgeous is this weather we are having at the moment? Us Brits have actually seen a summer for once! 

So with the weekend fast approaching I thought I'd share with you some ideas of what to do! Take a look and let me know what you think 

1. Declutter 
I know this first one seems a tad boring, but having a good sort out does wonders. You get a lot more space and everything fits in place better. So whether it's a certain kitchen drawer that needs a tidy, or maybe even the garden shed? You'll really notice a difference once your task is complete!

2. Breakfast in Bed 
Butter some toast, make a pot of tea and jump in bed! You could be enjoying your cosy bed to yourself, or maybe the whole family, including your pets! Just take some time to enjoy your bed, just make sure you dust off any crumbs once you're done.

3. BBQ Roast 
Finding it too hot for a Sunday roast? Well throw it all on the barbie instead! Use all the ingredients you would for your roast, but with a BBQ twist! Why not make your veg into kebabs, wrap your potatoes in tin foil and cook in the coals or rub some yummy piri piri on your chicken. Team it with a crisp salad and cloudy lemonade and you're done. Delicious BBQ Sunday roast! 

4. Get Walking
I know I say this all the time, but a good old walk is always a good thing. You can go the whole hog and hike somewhere, or have yourself a stroll. There's so much to see and I find you have the best conversations on a walk! There's also no excuse with this glorious weather too!

5. Have A Catch Up
Keep thinking how you haven't seen a friend in a while? Then get on the phone and get them round. Head out into the garden with some wine and nibbles, or chill out on the sofa and just chat, no need to clock watch, just chat and chat until your throats hurt! If they live too far away to visit then set aside some time to catch up over the phone or better yet, Skype!

Well I hope that has given you a few ideas for the weekend my loves! Let me know what you get up to! 


Monday, 26 February 2018

I Don't Speak French, But My Skin Does

I was terrible in my french lessons at school, never did the homework, rarely participated in class, never, really enjoyed myself. Saying that, I still had a total love affair with anything french, Paris was my dream city (still is) Coco Chanel was my idol (also, still is) I even wore Chanel perfume to school for crying out loud! 

So when I discovered the brand Sanoflore my obsession went to the next level. This wonderful collection of products, which were once only found in infamous french pharmacies, have now landed on our shores! 

During an event back in the Summer I explored a number of products from this brand were all the ingredients are organically grown in secret Botanical gardens deep in the Vercors Regional Natural Park. How dreamy does that sound?

The scent, texture and feel of these products lifted me away from the trendy London rooftop party and instead I was strolling through beautiful lavender fields in France. Sanoflore aim to provide this same experience for their clients. The chance to escape the everyday all whilst helping you have the best skin you have ever had. 

Pure, Power, Sensorial and Sustainable is their mantra and they certainly stick to it. Using the pure ingredients grown in the valleys surround their labs and allowing the power of nature to really speak for itself. Your senses are taken into overdrive when you apply any of the oils, creams or cleansers and you can enjoy them even more by knowing it is all sustainably harvested. An added bonus in my opinion in this throw away society we live in today. 

You're probably thinking this all sounds out of this world, but do these deliver any results? I kid you not, they are incredible. Beauty insiders are going crazy for this brand, and I for one am a teeny bit infatuated! Check out the whole range here. You can find anything for any skin type and skin concerns. 

I for one can no longer live without the Essence Magnifica, a night time concentrate that works wonders for my blemish prone skin. While you are snoozing it helps to rebalance your skin and reduces the production of excess sebum, the nasty suff that creates spots! Leaving you with fresh, clearer skin for the morning. It smells glorious too,  fresh citrus teamed with rosemary. 

My tired mum eyes are also looked after by using the Veritable Eau Florale soothing eye toner with organic field cornflower. I soak cotton pads and rest them on my puffy peepers and really notice a difference! Fabulous stuff! 

Finally the Aciana Botanica makeup remover leaves my skin clean and happy without any traces of make-up left behind, not even any pesky mascara! 

And for days when I need extra help to restore glow back into the skin, I reach for the Elixir des reines, or rather, the perfect skin creating concentrate. It really does give you perfect skin with an ridiculous glow. Packed with royal jelly it feels like you're applying pure gold to your skin. Pure luxury.  

So I may have only got a C for my GCSE French, but at least now my skin is fluent in the language of love thanks to Sanoflore! 

Have any of you tired Sanoflore before? I'd love to know!

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*the small print 
The products featured in today's post were kindly sent for me to try, however all the opinions and words are by yours truly. 

Sunday, 18 February 2018

My Travel Essentials With Trendy And Tested Vely-Vely Magic Make-Up Pouch

City breaks are quickly becoming my favourite type of holiday. Don't get me wrong, I still adore a sun soaked, beach break. But it's something about weekend getaways that I really enjoy. So here are a few essentials I take with me on short city breaks! 

1.Sun Cream

Although I don't lay and sunbathe, I still like to protect my skin with an SPF. The Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Air Soft Face with SPF 30 smells glorious, gives my skin a healthy glow and thanks to it's ultra-light texture it doesn't feel too heavy or greasy on my face! Perfect.  

2. Sheet Mask 

After any flight, short or long haul I like to use a sheet mask to restore hydration to my skin again. This Sephora Avocado Face Mask has become an absolute god send and gives my face some life again! 

3. Cream Shadow 

Clinique Chubby Stick cream shadows are magic! Ample Amber is a gorgeous rose gold colour that looks fab on any eye and is so easy to use! I use my finger to blend the shadow over the lid, it takes two seconds but makes a huge difference. Love. 

4. Light Weight Serum 

I get a little obsessed with hydration when I know I am flying somewhere and hate putting thick, heavy products on. With limited packing space I also can't take my full skin routine with me. This means I rely heavily on Indeed Laboratories Fillume Serum. The light formula is lovely to apply and also delivers results so I have piece of mind that my skincare won't take a back seat during my trip! I also love how this serum helps the contours of your face to become more defined too! 

5. Travel Size Fragrance 

Jo Malone is my go to when it comes to travel size fragrances. So many to choose from you can find one to suit anywhere in the world you decide to venture to next! With my recent trip to Venice I loved the Wood Sage and Sea Salt scent and have been hooked ever since, perfect size for a carry on too! 

6. Eye Cream With SPF

Finding an eye cream with added SPF is a tricky task! But something I think is quite important to have on a trip. I find myself living in my sunglasses and always looking up... Yes I know, sounds odd, but the architecture in other cities are stunning. So with that I switch on my tourist mode and love to look everywhere. Squinting into the sun is also a habit I pick up, so I do worry about my eye area. Luckily I have found Fade Out Eye Defence Cream contains an SPF 25 and even helps to reduce dark circles. 

7. Easy Foundation

When the morning arrives in a new city the last thing I want to do is sit in applying make-up. Alas, my skin can't be trusted to look it's best all the time and does need a little help. This is when the BY TERRY Cellularose Brightening CC lumi-Serum gives my skin the most beautiful glow. Even with a couple of blemish on display the light diffusing formula makes my skin look beautiful and always photo ready! 

8. Facial Spray

You will always find a Caudalie Beauty Elixir in my hand luggage without a doubt. I drown myself in it before a flight, during a flight and after. The scent is fresh and clean and leaves my skin breathing a sigh of relief. I picked up this sweet little travel size in my local Space NK store. 

9. Favourite Lipstick

I know it's a little too easy to get carried away when packing your make-up. Lipstick is the biggest culprit and I used to find I'd pack extras just to go on a journey. Now I stick to an all time favourite I know will work with any look and outfit. Charlotte Tilbury's Hepburn Honey is undoubtably my best nude shade! 

10. A Magic Make-Up Pouch 

Packing is a challenge as you do have to be cut throat with your outfit options and toiletries need to be as minimal as possible. I personal can't stand jamming 50 different bags into my suitcase containing various hair, skin and make-up products. All I ever wanted was a bag I can pop them all in, pull out and pack away again with ease. So when I spotted Trendy and Tested Instagram it looked as though my prayers had been answered! 

The Vely-Vely Magic Make-up Pouch makes packing so simple. The drawstring fastening means you can open the pouch out flat on any surface, you can use it like a base to your products, then once you are ready to go, just tighten the strings and store away. It's honestly such a wonderful little bag and comes in a water resistant material that is also so easy to clean! I've found myself using it to pack nappies, cream and all things baby related for my everyday handbag too. Take a look at the pouch as well as their other goodies over on their website here

So there you have it, some of my essentials for a city break! Are any of you off somewhere soon? I'd love to know what your favourite travel essentials are! 

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*the small print: some products featured in this post were kindly sent for me to review, the options and writing however are by your truly. Thank you to the brands for sending me products to try!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

7 Things To Do This Valentine's Day

Aww Valentine’s, the one day a year that can cause absolute chaos. Terrified male faces rushing around grabbing the nearest bunch of roses, chocolates and bath bombs. God forbid they don’t get us anything to put on Instagram right? 

Well, I don’t know about you, but I rarely celebrate the big V day, sure it’s a good excuse to get a new pair of shoes or head out for some dinner. But I do hate how much it all costs, and this isn’t coming from me being tight with my money. It’s all a bit samey and I enjoy doing things that are more thoughtful and perhaps anti-valentines. The bonus is that they don’t cost a fortune either! 

1. Face Masks & Fondu

Yep, I’m not joking. Grab a couple of face masks and make yourselves some chocolate fondu with strawberries and just have a laugh together. Your man may think you’ve lost the plot if he’s never used a mask before but I am certain he will love it. 

2. Ready Steady Cook 

Both of you head to the kitchen and spend 10 minutes looking through the cupboards, freezer and fridge. Then come up with an idea each of what you’d make for a three course dinner. You can decide between the two of you or call a friend to vote for the winning recipe. Loser washes up! 

3. Goals Board

Look through some magazines and newspapers and cut out all the things you’d put on your wish list. The glue them all together as a collage and make yourselves a goals board. Perfect excuse to talk about your goals and inspiration whilst having some bonding time. You will also get an ideas for presents too!

4. Dream Holiday 

Each of you write down three places you have always wanted to visit on a piece of paper, then throw them into a bowl and take a lucky dip. The winning place can be your next break or holiday. Discuss together when you’d like to go, then do some research and get booking. The remaining five can be holidays for years to come. 

5. Black Out

Literally pretend you’re in a black out. No phones, TV, lights, nothing electrical. Sit in candle light sharing a drink or two and talk the night away. Once you’ve been in a relationship for a while those sorts of evenings take a back seat so it’s perfect to catch up with everything you’ve been too busy to chat about. 

6. Cosy Night Out 

Grab a pack of cards and head to your nearest cosy, country pub. Walk there if you can, I personally adore walks when it’s a little chilly, plus you can both have a drink! Find yourself a little corner and some drinks and play whichever card game is your favourite. Stay for as long as you like. I know if it was me I’d get too competitive and will want to stay there for hours! 

7. First Date 

Go for a trip down memory lane and re-enact your first date. Head to the same bar, restaurant, golf course... whenever it was. Let that spark get burning again! You’ll be surprised how much you forgot about each other until you go back in time! 

So there are just a few ideas for you to try out this Valentine’s. I understand they won’t be all your tastes, but sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make the best memories. 
Happy Valentine’s Day you gorgeous lot. 

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Friday, 5 January 2018

7 Ways To Save Money When Fuelling Your Beauty Addiction

With Christmas over and the January sales already looking a tad bare I thought I'd share with you some tricks I use throughout the year to fuel my unstoppable beauty addiction. So take a look to see how I save money whilst expanding my collection of all things beauty.

1. Cards 
I know that every single store seems to have a card available so I am by no means telling you to stuff your wallets to bursting with every single one out there. Focus on the stores you visit most frequently or even shop online with. Every card is different so it all depends on how they work, in my experience I've found Boots to be the best card out there. Turning points collected into money you can spend in store, I know a lady who spends the year collecting her points to then pop into Boots and use her points to get her families Christmas presents. I'm currently saving mine for a Chanel perfume! So take a look at your local stores and ask to get your own card. 

2. Emails 
Having thousands of emails sent to you daily can be frustrating. Before you delete everything in one go, have a quick look at any you have from online beauty sites, they usually send you some fantastic offers from free shipping, discounts, secret sales and free products. The website emails I use are Iconic London, Beauty Bay, Charlotte Tilbury and Cult Beauty to name a few.

3. Samples
There isn't a more expensive mistake than foundation you can't get on with or is the wrong shade. To save yourself from having a full bottle rolling round your drawers go and see a beauty consultant on their counters and ask for a colour match and pot to take home to try. You'll find some counters have pre packaged samples and are happy for you to take one, Nars, Kiehl's and Clinique are usually most helpful with this. 

4. Book An Appointment 
If there is a number on products you want to try then make an appointment with your favourite counter. Explain to the sales advisor what you are after and they should book you in for a bit of a pamper. You can try out the products on your skin and maybe even learn something whilst you're there. This is something I love to do and always end up buying a product I've been introduced to. I believe there's nothing wrong in not buying any products you've tried, but it's always best to grab a least a lipstick. Therefore the beauty consultant gets a sale and you've treated yourself. 

5. Read Reviews
Keep thinking about that one must have product but not completely sure it'll work for you? Have a look at reviews online from people who have bought the product or even take a look at any beauty blogs or Youtube videos featuring it too. If you like the sound of it and reckon it'll work for you than go for it! 

6. Have A Swapping Party
Grab some of your friends together, crack open a bottle of wine and tell them to load up bags of skincare, bath products and make-up they've used once, or don't like and have a swapping party. You all get to try out some new goodies and have a wonderfully girly evening.

7. Know Your Limits 
I guess the final tip is by far the most sensible one out there. If there is something you are desperate for and don't have the funds for it, then hold out for a little while longer. No matter what the product is, there is no need to get yourself into financial difficulty over it. Pop it on a wish list and save it for an upcoming birthday, anniversary or Christmas. 

There you have it, some little tricks to save money whilst fuelling your beauty addiction. Do let me know if any of you use these or have any of your own! I'd love to know. XO 

Thursday, 4 January 2018

My Microbalding Journey

Way back in 2009 a new super model was strutting the cat walk. Stunning looks with killer legs, the usual traits of a clothes horse. It was those heavy set, long and dark brows that rocketed her face and name into stardom. I'm talking about Her Royal Eyebrowness, Cara Delevingne. Since that day, eyebrows have become a bit, well, a lot of a big deal in the beauty world. Us Brits alone spend on average £200 a year on brow products alone. 

I myself remember buying my first brow pencil from Rimmel and spending quite some time on my once ignored eyebrows. I couldn't get over how "finished" my face looked. Over time my skills improved and my collection of products grew. You name it, I had it, pencils, stencils, pomades, gels even at home tinting kits. The more my addiction grew, the more I loathed my naked, natural brows. Once my daughter came along and I no longer had the time I actually wanted for my eyebrows the loathing turned to pure hatred. Yep, busy mum life claimed my eyebrows as a victim and I was left looking like some tired, old hag. After all, brows are amazing at adding youth and frame the face perfectly. My patchy numbers just didn't cut the mustard to be left by themselves... I even have a scar in one that, without make-up, made me look like a very sad looking Boyzone impersonator. 

I started giving Microblading a bit of studying and would spend hours looking at various pictures and researching which local salons provided. When I finished looking and was 100% happy with the salon and professional I chose to give me my dream brows I was ready to go! 
Now, for those of you who don't know what I mean by Microblading, it's a procedure that involves tiny strokes of ink added to your brow that resembles hair.... now, stop right there if the word "tattoo" popped into your head, you'll find Microblading is different. 
Unlike tattoos which reach down to the second layer (or Dermis) of the skin, making them perminanate, Microblading reaches the top layer (or Epidermis) of the skin. Therefore making them last for about a year, which in my opinion is great as this gives you an opportunity to change your shape so that it continues to match your face as you age. 
Which is probably why you see a lot of these older ladies with tattooed eyebrows walking round with a startled look constantly. You may also notice that these ladies brows have a slightly odd pink or green tone which is a perfectly normal result of tattoo ink ageing. That being another benefit of having Mircoblading, the ink is different and so therefore ages better too, without any strange fading. 

So once I made my appointment I was itching it get on that bed and have my face transformed. The price for Microblading varies from place to place but I've noticed that the average amount is around £250 with a free top up. This being a very popular treatment at the moment you will find salons and even free lancers offering the treatment. All very well and good but, like anything beauty related, there a few characters around who are more interested in money than providing you with a fabulous service. It all depends on what you are comfortable with, for me I wanted to visit my local salon that I know well and trust fully. 

That was Essential Beauty in Eastbourne where the lovely Amiee, who is fully trained by Phibrows in London, works her magic. Once the "before" snaps were taken Amiee mapped out my brows, this is done to ensure your new brows match your face exquisitely, for example,  the head of my brow fell a little short and one arch wasn't as high as the other. All those details added up to completing my browformation and would make them appear perfect and very natural looking. Mapping all finished Amiee mixed together two shades of ink to give me a bespoke shade. Kitted with all the correct tools and hygiene she was on her way. 
As regards to pain, does it hurt? I'd be lying if I said it doesn't, but it's a pain that can be ignored after a while. I ended up focusing on the tranquil music playing in the background and found the procedure was over in no time. Looking into the mirror at the finished results is a brilliant yet slightly scary feeling. They obviously look a tad red and very dark, but thae colour lightens up as the days go on. I was given a teeny pot of lotion to apply to my fresh brows hourly for the rest of the day. Sounds a tad excessive I know, but you've got to remember that these are technically open wounds and need to be given a lot of TLC, besides, applying the lotion is remarkably soothing so you won't mind, just keep it up and your brows will heal nicely!
After a week or so you'll notice the colour fading a lot and perhaps even disappearing in some places, not to worry as this is all part of the healing process and the colour will be back and the correct shade.  The only issue I experienced is the ink not taking to my scar due to the scar tissue, which was something I expected. However I like it more now, in a funny sort of way, with the rest of my brows looking their best my scar keeps some character and unique finish to them. There's no wonder Amiee is as busy as she is, she truly is a brow queen. 

Now that I am four months on I honestly say I couldn't live without my new brows. Maybe I sound like one of those martialistic, vain girls with a head full of fluff, but so long as that head had these eyebrows... I couldn't really give a monkeys... 

Yes I am aware my before brow was a monster, but I had given up on it entirely 

So there you have my Microblading journey! I hope it was of some use to you and leave me some questions below. Are any of you planning on getting your eyebrows done soon? I'd love to know! XO

Thursday, 21 December 2017

How To Host A Mum's Night In

It's easy to say that this time of year is busy, unbelievably busy. Your dairies are jam packed with countless events, navities, school parties, work christmas dos, dinner with friends, drinks with the girls, family meals, the list can go on and on. Speaking from experience, I find this whole month is, granted, the most enjoyable of the year, but also the most expensive (obviously) and most stressful. The task of finding a baby sitter alone can all get too much, that sometimes in the end, you've had to miss out entirely. 

Which is why I've had an idea that can result in you spending time with your friends and not need to worry about baby sitters. Here are a couple of ideas and tips on how to host a mum's night in! 

1. All Are Welcome 
Yep, get everyone round, if your friends have babies or children, or even if they don't, get them round. Have the tots bring along a pillow or blanket and gather together all the cushions, pillows, bedding, anything you have to spare and turn the living room into one giant, cosy chill zone. You can even go the whole hog and build a enormous den for everyone. 

2. Bedtime Routine 
Well it is a little obvious bedtime won't be a regimented as usual, but that's half the fun. You can still follow your bedtime routine loosely. Why not mix it up and have the older children read the younger ones stories, the Miffy books featured in the image above are particular favourites of mine and very festive! They will also love looking at the sweet, little sticker book together too. You can find them all here.

3. Bath Time 
If you don't mind the kids sharing baths, then get them in there, crack out the fancy bubbles or even try throwing some pom poms in. I know for a fact we all have a packet laying around, they dry out quickly and are add so much excitement to bath time! 

4. Movie Time
Once everyone is ready for bed, head back to your den or chill zone and decide on a movie to all watch together. I am obsessed with the DisneyLife app, all the Disney you can think of and for only £4.99 a month, you can also try it out for your first week for free. Download it on your phone, laptop, tablets or iPads, you won't regret it, it's saved my sanity a number of times on long flights and car journeys! Find out more about DisneyLife here.

5. Time To ZZZ 
With all the excitement of having this huge sleep over, the younger ones will probably crash out halfway through the film. If there are a couple determined little ones fighting the ZZZ's try popping on some of the Sleepy Lotion by Lush. Packed with a number of ingredients, including lavender to aid sleep, you'll find those tired little eyes will begin to close before you've put the lid back on! It really is fabulous stuff and can be used by the whole family too! Take a look at the Lush Sleepy Lotion here

6. Mum Time 
Even if the children haven't fallen asleep, don't let that stop you from having a pamper! Have your friends bring over their favourite face masks or beauty products and just get stuck in. It's the perfect way to try out something new and just have a good giggle. 

7. No Pressure
The idea behind hosting this night in is to just focus on spending time with your friends. Don't clock watch or freak out about the kids staying up too late. It's the perfect opportunity just to have fun and make memories, instead of feeling as though you've had to miss out on another event, make it your own! And this idea can be used throughout the year too.

So there you have it, just a couple ideas for what can be a bloomin' brilliant night! Let me know if you give this a go and if you have any other ideas too! 

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