Sunday, 4 December 2016

All I want for Christmas is... Dermalogica

If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know I love Dermalogica; they send me all their newest releases, and I love working with them and using their stuff. My skin is a nightmare (how many times have you read that sentence on this blog?!) and I find their products to be really good - so without further ado!

I love a good gift set, and they spoilt me with the Skin Brightening Duo which retails for just over £50 and contains two full size products - the Precleanse and the Daily Microfoliant. I love cleansing, even though sometimes I wish I could crawl into bed with no make up on, so to have these two is a dream come true. The Precleanse is an emulsifier kind of thing with olive, apricot and kukui nut oils to get rid of make-up, SPF and all the gunk/oiliness that build up on your skin. It also means that whatever cleanser you follow up with will penetrate deeper (I'm not sure of the science behind this but trust me, okay?)

The Daily Microfoliant is actually something I've tried before and absolutely love - it's a powder that you mix with water and then it becomes a bit sticky and foamy and it's a really nice exfoliant; not too rough despite being a literal solid when it's in the bottle, but you can genuinely feel it working. It doesn't irritate my skin and it's just a generally nice product.

As well as the gift set, I also got my hands on the brand new shampoo and conditioner - the Daily Cleansing Shampoo and the Daily Conditioning Rinse. Both smell INCREDIBLE and do a fab job at what they're meant to do. The shampoo doesn't quite lather as much as I'd like it to but that's my only gripe, it's perfect otherwise. Dermalogica have got these products spot on, I reckon, and if you can get hold of some then it's definitely worth it - but I can't find them on the site which is a pain!

What's your favourite Dermalogica product?

Saturday, 3 December 2016

All I want for Christmas is... cheap decorations

Now when I say cheap, I mean cheap - this stuff's from Poundland, so everything was literally a quid. It was a pleasure working with these guys to get my house (almost) Christmas-ready and I'm definitely getting into the spirit of things now!

Coming into the house, the first thing you'll see is our Santa Stop Here doormat, which is a proper fun addition if you ask me - we have a few kids in our family-friends circle, and I know they'll love it when they come round. I think it's nice to have decorations outside as well as inside, to keep everything tied in together and ultra-Christmassy.

In our living room we have this adorable Baby it's cold outside cushion - we've never had Christmas cushions in our house before, and this year we have two as my mum picked one up from the other end of the price scale, a £15 offering form M&S that has penguins on. Anyway, this cushion is cute AF and as you can see, we have a load of cushions anyway so I think adding a Christmas one into the mix is a good way to decorate!

Since we got our log fire put in, our house feels Christmassy all year round especially being red-themed, but I love the fire and I love the space surrounding it so I had to get my hands on this Wooden fox decoration - how cute is he?! He's also not too Christmas-themed so if you're wanting to decorate from Autumn onwards, he could definitely be for you.

Last but not least, I've got the Christmas rule slate sign which is beyond perfect for our house, as we have about 7 other signs like this one dotted around. It's so heavy and looks/feels SO much more expensive than a mere quid, and it's hands down my family's favourite of all of these.

Have you picked up any cheap Christmas decor this year? Let me know!

Friday, 2 December 2016

All I want for Christmas is... blood, unfortunately

This post was originally titled My less than great return to periods and that's basically what it's all about, so if you're interested then crack on!

There was a time when I indentified as bisexual and had a boyfriend and got the implant so sex could be safe and yadda yadda, and then when I no longer needed it (and when I decided it was wreaking havoc with my mental health) I got the implant removed.

arty photo of tampons and pads sanitary towels

Your body takes time to adjust to the adding/removal of hormones, and so I thought nothing of it when I didn't get a period for ages - mine had always been irregular anyway, and I did have a bit of one a few months back (you may remember I tried a menstrual cup) so I wasn't too worried. It was only a month or so ago when I thought "hang on, this probably isn't normal let's go the doctors".

Is this back story boring? Probably, but after a ton of blood tests and questions it was decided that no, I don't have PCOS or abnormal hormone levels, and no they don't know why I'm not getting periods. But hang on, you've got acne so why don't we kill two birds with one stone and whack you on the pill. I didn't want to go on the pill, because the implant was (IMO) a leading factor in the cause of my depression, and because I'm useless at remembering to take tablets. But I decided to give it a go, which brings us to now.

sass refreshing mist

My return to periods has been dire - I was halfway through a pack when I started getting horrific cramps and equally horrific brown blood leaking all over the place. I didn't have a clue what to do; should I carry on taking my pill even though I was, it seemed, having a period? I took it for another 2 days but by then I was having a full blown period so I decided to stop taking it until the bleeding stopped, lest I risk having ANOTHER PERIOD at the time when my pill-break should be. God it's so complicated.

So as I write this I'm in the midst of a period, and at the beginning it was horrifically sore but the pain has settled down. It's been heavy, a lot heavier than I remember my periods being in the past, and it's made me think a lot about which menstrual products I want to use. I didn't get along with the cup, and I've become a bit wary of tampons so I've been using pads, which is fine but that's still adding to the environmental issue especially when it's wrapped in a dinky little perfumed bag. Help me out, guys - what's your recommendation?

diva cup menstrual cup

I'd like to thank Panadol and Anadin for getting me through the cramps; I'd like to thank SASS for their Intimate Refreshing Mist which smells interesting but has definitely left me feeling fresher and cleaner, especially as I've been using pads and of course, my friends/girlfriend/family/Twitter followers for putting up with me being a grumpy sod. God love ya.

I absolutely didn't realise this post was going to be so long, so thanks for reading if you made it to the end... Also you should definitely check out SASS; while this isn't an #AD I do love their products and intimate health is something I think we should talk about more, and I'll definitely be doing a full review of some of their products in the new year!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

All I want for Christmas is... alphabetical blog posts

You might be reading the title of this post like, huh? But I wanted to introduce my December blog posts - there'll be one every day 'til boxing day, then I'm gonna take a little break ready for the new year. December's posts will be on a range of things, but it's gonna be alphabetical for the next 25 days. I've got skincare, sex toys, make up, homeware, mental health and more.

It's been a pleasure to work with some incredible brands this year on and because of my blog, such as Charlotte Tilbury, Urban Decay, LUSH, LeLo, Dermalogica, Fentimans, Redken and so many more. I absolutely adore working with brands and building up relationships with them, testing out new things and sharing my opinion - I've been lucky to meet the faces behind some of the email addresses, and I've tried out more make up than is probably necessary.

2016 has been full of ups and downs to say the least but as it draws to a close, I can honestly say I'm happy - I'm lying in bed with the love of my life, I'm well underway with my masters, I'm in the midst of planning another blogging event (which is in 2 days time, as this post goes live) and I'm happy. Busy, stressed, tired but oh so happy.

I hope 2017 turns out better than this one; I hope the world comes together and makes things brighter and I hope we don't lose as many amazing people as we had to this year, I hope my blog flourishes and I hope my skin improves - above all, I hope I'm still this happy in a year's time.

So there you go guys - enjoy my alphabetical blog posts (tomorrow's is about periods, so here's a fair warning) and have the best Christmas ever. I think we all deserve it!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Budget Gift Guide 2016

It's no secret that Christmas can be tough on your finances, so I've put together a list of presents that come in at under a fiver - but they're not (in my opinion) cheap crap. Enjoy!

This Penguin Impossipuzzle is from Totally Funky - and it comes in at £4.99 but I think it's quite a decent gift, especially for people who are sort of good at jigsaws but not amazing (it's only got 100 pieces but they're basically ALL the same). Perfect for secret santa if you ask me!

I'm a lover of games at Christmas time (and all year round but Christmas seems to be the only time we really sit down and play anything) and when I was browsing Find Me A Gift, I spotted this Catchphrase-style game: Say What You See which we played a bit in Krak√≥w. Some are easy and some are surprisingly difficult, and it's just a whole lot of fun, really. Again this one's £4.99 so it's spot on, really.

Coconut Grass were total babes and sent over some goodies, my favourite being their Cocktail Recipe Coasters - these are £3 each so definitely a budget-friendly gift (although you can get a set of six for just under £12) and you can personalise them, picking a person's favourite cocktail and favourite colour to make it absolutely perfect for them.

Leafy and Lovely are a brand that Superdrug carry and I'd not heard of them until a package of PR samples arrived for these gift guides; this is a hand cream and although it's a summery scent, it smells gorgeous so I can see myself using it over Christmas too. It's decent as hand creams go and full price, it's only three quid.

Another budget offering form Totally Funky is this David and Goliath Sexy Pug Mug which I'm obsessed with; it comes in blue or pink, and it's a really big, good quality mug. I don't personally drink coffee but this is my dad's favourite shape of mug (does everyone have a favourite shape of mug or is he weird? please tell me!) and he's been loving it.

There's my pick of the best budget gifts - if you're doing Christmas shopping on a budget, let me know what you've found!

Items in this post were sent to me for consideration for this gift guide, however all words and opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more info!