Tuesday, 27 September 2016

American Beauty Haul

Hooooo boy am I excited for today's post - it's American beauty, and as someone who lives in drizzly ol' England this is something that fills me with unadulterated joy. I've been working with My Mallbox, who are one of those companies that give you an American address and ship your items to you from there. I think it's a cracking idea, honestly, because sometimes you just can't ship stuff from America and frankly, that's not fair.

So, what did I get? 10 Bath & Body Works pocket bacs, for starters. 10 probably seems outrageous but I love them so much and I've almost used up the ones I own. Actually that's a lie, I have 2 and half left but I'm gonna run out some day, and I like using a different scent day-to-day; it makes life a little less boring, honestly. I also picked up the Marshmallow Fireside candle, because I'm a blogger and if you're a blogger you'll know what I mean. I like it a LOT.

I also made a Walmart order, and picked up the Milani Conceal + Perfect 2 in 1 Foundation in the shade 02, which I think is probably too dark for me but I'm hoping to make it work because I've been dying to try it for ages. I also picked up E.L.F's Mist and Set spray, because I'm a setting spray junky, and a Covergirl mascara because I've heard great things!

If you want to ship stuff from America to the UK, or elsewhere, My Mallbox are an easy way to do it - you sign up and you're given a suite with an address, and you simply place deliveries to the suite as if you lived there. When your products arrived, My Mallbox will repackage them (all into one box) if you want, making delivery cheaper. They'll then send it - with the price based on weight. You may have to pay customs (which I did) but it's worth it, in my opinion. I wouldn't have been able to get my hands on much of this stuff otherwise, and it arrived really quickly. I also got some food and my brother got some books, and the whole experience was fab.

This post was written in collaboration with My Mallbox but all words + opinions are my own. Check out my disclaimer for more information!

Monday, 26 September 2016

Gone Without A Trace // Book Review

Gone Without A Trace // Mary Torjussen

Last year, or a maybe a little earlier than that, my mum text with some exciting news: her friend was releasing a novel, and I was so happy because seeing people achieve their dreams is wonderful. I finally got my hands on a (PDF) copy of the book, ahead of it's UK release in November. It'll be out in the States in April, too, if you happen to be on the other side of the Atlantic (god help you if you are, but that's another story).

Anyway, it only took me 2 days to read it - I just couldn't stop. Maybe it helps that the book is set in my own home town, but I felt so connected to it; I felt like I knew Hannah, the main character. I felt like I could picture the layout of her house, the route she drove to the shops, the way she looked. The story follows her boyfriend's disappearance, and what unfolds after he's gone - and boy is it exciting.

Gone Without A Trace is one of those books that you think you've got to grips with, only to be thrown another curveball; it's fast paced from start to finish, and I think Mary describes the emotions, the characters and the situations so well that you begin to feel the same, begin to wonder what you'd do if you were them and you were there. I loved the storyline; I loved how it had me thinking one thing then thinking another, how it had me on edge, how it made me laugh with little details that seem familiar to anyone who's been in a relationship, been through a break up, had friends and had family and had colleagues.

I loved the twist; I loved how everything had been building up, portraying people in a certain way, only for that not to be the case at all - only for everything I thought I knew about the characters and their lives, to be turned on its head. I loved this book, and I can't wait for it to be released so you can all read it and tell me what you think!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil // Review

Dermalogica are a skincare brand I love working with, and when their new Photo Replenish Oil* came through my door I was soooooo excited to start using it. I um-ed and ah-ed about how best to try it out, and decided that a few drops in my moisturiser would be best. I have really dry skin, so I need the nourishment from the oil, but I also have acne so I always feel that too much oil would be a bad thing.

I've paired this with a few different moisturisers, a Derma V10 day cream and Superdrug's Optimum PhytoCellTec day cream, as well as a cream off the doctor for when my skin really needs some TLC - all three are completely different, and the oil works in all of them. It smells like sherbet, so it's a thumbs up from me, and it doesn't burn or sting or feel greasy; it's so soothing and it doesn't take ages to sink in, so I use it in the morning as well as at night.

It contains all sorts of oils and extracts that have anti-oxidant properties and such like, and all in all I just think it's a fab product - it really does renew my skin, getting rid of the red/flaky/dry patches and promoting soft new skin. It doesn't do anything for my blemishes, personally, but I still love it. It's a got a hefty price tag, though; it's £62 but you can use it in a few different ways (you can use it how I do, or on its own, or mixed into a matte foundation) and it's one of those products that will last FOREVER.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

How Scouse are you?

Now, full disclaimer, I'm from the Wirral - so I'm not really a Scouser, but I love Liverpool as much as the next person. From the multitude of bars, to the culture, to the giant Primark, to the buskers on Church Street there really is something for everyone in our little city. And no matter what the stereotypes tell you, it's not actually that common to see girls in velour tracksuits shopping in New Look with rollers in their hair (I promise).

Transpennine Express challenged me to take their 'how Scouse are you?' quiz which has all sorts of questions about the LFC and quad vods; I got 83% which I think, to be fair, isn't too bad considering I'm actually on the other side of the Mersey and really hate The Beatles...

I love Liverpool, for it's museums and it's architecture; for it's gay bars and it's photo opps (the Albert Dock, am I right?); for it's friendly vibes and annoying street preachers and mostly-terrible weather. It's a gorgeous city, and I'm so lucky to have grown up just a stones throw away! If you're ever in the area a) hit me up and we can get drunk, b) enjoy yourself - my top recommendations are The Kasbah, Dough Bar and Popworld. Duh.

CLICK HERE to take the quiz, and let me know your results!

This post was written in collaboration with Transpennine Express, but all words are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information!

Friday, 23 September 2016

LUSH v.i.p // Liverpool

Last night I was lucky enough to attend a V.I.P event at the LUSH Spa in Liverpool; I'm a massive fan of LUSH, and a massive fan of events where I get to catch up with the rest of the Liverpool bloggers (we're a boss little bunch) so I jumped at the chance, and made my way over for a Maccies beforehand.

We were given goodie bags on arrival, which were full of tiny sample pots (empty, to choose your own samples) and a SPARKLY PUMPKIN BUBBLE BAR. So much halloween goodness, so much glitter. We were also given little cards - mine said Ambition - to separate us into 4 groups for our tours of the spa. There were tiny scones, a drink that could have been Pimms but nobody's entirely sure, and we all got cracking looking at what LUSH has to offer.

It's more than bath bombs and bubble roons; LUSH do some incredible skincare too, and I've not had the chance to try much of it before as it is a little pricey. However, there were so many sample pots in my bag that I've now got a whole host of stuff to try: the Cupcake face mask is top of my list, and I can't wait to use Magical Moringa which is a moisturiser but is shortly to be rebranded as a primer, due to it's silicone-y feel when you rub it in. You know I'm a skincare junkie, so expect a Sample Stash post dedicated to LUSH as soon as I've tried it all out!

The staff at the Liverpool store are a bloody delight, and are so happy to tell you their faves/show you how stuff works/reel off their knowledge at a moment's notice. We also got to make our own Comforter bubble bar; I'll be honest, mine looks horrific but it smells amazing (obv) and it's still gonna make bubbles, so I don't really mind because we had so much fun doing it. Even if everyone did bully me about how bad mine was. Whatever.

Then came Ambition's turn for the tour of the spa, which is upstairs; I swear it's like a Tardis, there's just room after room and it's all dark and cosy - of course, it also smells incredible. We got a run down of all the treatments, and there was a live demo (I offered to be the guinea pig but nobody took me seriously). I came home and immediately told my mum I want one of the Validation Facials for Christmas; they just sound incredible and the music is lovely, the products are amazing, and they even work with a behavioural therapist for some reason that I've forgotten.

So there ya have it - V.I.Ps at LUSH for the night, and we came away with more samples than any blogger needs. I even purchased two of the new Halloween range, which I was going to Instagram last night to be way ahead of everybody else but then I got drunk instead. I never said I was a good blogger, did I?