Wednesday, 5 May 2021

My recent beauty empties: May 2021

I can't believe I'm writing another empties post so soon, but I've got through a bunch more beauty products so I thought I'd hit you with some more quickfire reviews - did I like them, were they worth the money, would I repurchase them and so on! Read the last one HERE.

Products with a * denotes a PR sample.

Lee Stafford Keep It Clean Dry Shampoo*

This is hands down the *best* dry shampoo I've ever tried. It soaks up any oils/grease, doesn't turn your hair white AND smells amazing. I've spoken about it before and still love it. This retails for £5.49 which personally I think is pretty pricey for dry shampoo, but I recently saw it in Home Bargains for £1.99 (!!!!) so I bought three. I always share "bargain hauls" on my IG stories and I've made a highlight as they are most popular content - check it out here!

Lee Stafford Poker Straight Shine Serum*

Another Lee Stafford product - I was on their PR list at some point, so I have a bit of a stash! This is a genuinely brilliant serum, doesn't leave your hair sticky or greasy but really does smooth down any fly-aways. Plus it smells nice! It's £7.99 which I think is fair as a little goes a long way, and I'd definitely buy it again. PURCHASE HERE

Garnier Mineral InvisiCalm Deodorant 

It's just a deodorant, it's fine for the most part but after a while I noticed that every time I opened it, dried up white bits would fall off the rim. That's annoying, but other than that it's okay - cheap, cheerful and smells good.

Sanex Dermo Sensitive Deodorant 

If you need something entirely unscented then this is for you - it works well, is great for sensitive skin and only costs around £1. What a winner.

Gerard Cosmetics Slay All Day Cucumber Setting Spray

Any long-time blog readers will know this is my favourite setting spray - it's expensive but it really works, and it smells so nice. They do loads of scents but I've decided the cucumber one is my favourite. It does make your face last all day which, frankly, is all I ever want! I already have a new one... PURCHASE HERE

Colourpop Cream Bronzer

I don't think they make this any more but regardless, mine has now entirely dried up. I think I've owned it for about 4 years so this is entirely to be expected, but a shame because I really liked this even if it was a bit dark for me. Not much else to say seeing as you can't get it these days!

iT Cosmetics CC+ Cream*

I just love this stuff - this was a travel sized one they sent me ages ago, back when we could travel *sob*. You can read more about what I think here but rest assured it is one of my favourite go-to make up products and I recommend it regularly. PURCHASE HERE

iT Cosmetics Secret Sauce*

A very expensive moisturiser, yes, but one that I loved using. It leaves your skin feeling so plump; make up applies well on top of it, it feels SO luxurious to use and it has a lovely scent to it. Plus the packaging is glass and just feels very fancy. Big yes to this one - would easily repurchase if I had £58 (!) to spend on skincare right now... PURCHASE HERE

Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Moisturiser*

Another pricey moisturiser, but it *is* a product category I believe in splashing out on. This is just amazing, so thick but sinks in super quick, smells nice but not too strong, soothes redness and battles dry patches. Another one on my saving-for list! PURCHASE HERE

Revolution 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc

In my last empties post, I mentioned I'd used up The Ordinary's version of this (more on that here) and wanted to repurchase - but it was out of stock, so I thought I'd go for the Revolution dupe. It's £1 more expensive but I think I actually prefer this one. They do a supersize version which I've just added to my BeautyBay basket; it just cleared up blemishes, brought any redness down and overall made my face look a bit nicer. Love it! PURCHASE HERE

What beauty bits have you used up lately? Have you tried any of these products?

Sunday, 11 April 2021

What I've read in 2021 so far

I can't *quite* believe we're a quarter of the way through 2021 and I've only read six books - compared to last year, this is set to be a very slow reading year for me. It's mostly because I'm so busy with work, but also because I'm in a bit of a reading slump. Nevertheless, I thought it might be worth sharing the six books I have managed to read so far in 2021...

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

This is a thriller that I picked up from The Works, and one that I've always seen people rave about. I didn't guess the twist but other than that I thought it was a bit 'meh' - very slow, to be honest, and it took me a while to get through it. Like I say, a lot of people love it; it's about a young lawyer who has a troubled personal life. There's murder, blackmail, family drama... it has all the right ingredients, I just think the finished product is an acquired taste. Buy Blood Orange here.

The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

I got my hands on a proof copy of this (thanks, Penguin!) and I wasn't sure I'd love it but I absolutely did. It's about a young woman called Birdy who, for *reasons*, ends up in Scotland masquerading as a sommelier. It's got romance, fun, scenery, fall-outs, wine and so much more. I'd highly recommend reading this when it comes out in April! Pre-order The Summer Job here.

The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth

I got this for Christmas, and you know I love a YA book so I flew through this one. It's about Saoirse and Ruby who decide to creating their own "falling in love montage" like in the movies, but without the actual love part. It's a gorgeous LGBT+ coming of age novel and I adored everything about it - representation aside, it's funny and handles some really sensitive topics really delicately. A yes from me! Buy The Falling in Love Montage here.

The American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Again this one took me forever to read, but it's absolutely not a reflection of this stunning novel. Roy, a black man, is in prison for something he didn't do - and his wife Celeste is trying to navigate the world without him. There is so much passion, emotion and raw feeling woven into this story and I ached for them both throughout. It's a very poignant story and one I would definitely recommend. Buy The American Marriage here.

Nailing It by Anna Jefferson

I was part of the blog tour for this so had a proof copy before it was released - it is out now, and you should definitely read it especially if you have kids. I don't and still loved it, though, so realistically I'd recommend it to anyone! It's just an all-round fun book about raising little ones in different circumstances, and the power of female friendship. Buy Nailing It here.

The Festival by S J Naughton

Speaking of female friendship, this is another book that focuses on a group of women; it follows Orly, Thea, Lenny and Mel to a festival in their hometown. They've been friends since school and now they've all gone off in their own directions, with kids/jobs/rich husbands/loss/poverty under their belt. They reunite for a weekend at this festival and it all goes wrong, getting really dangerous. There is a breathtaking twist in this book and I read it in a day - if you love a bit of a thriller, read this! Pre-order the paperback version here.

What have you read so far this year - and have you read any of these?

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Etsy home favourites: the hallway

I'm still hoping to buy a house this year, as you might know, and last week I took the step of getting in touch with a mortgage broker - which is, obviously, very exciting. To celebrate, I thought I would post another 'Etsy homeware favourites' blog post featuring all the best stuff I've found that would be perfect for a hallway!

First of all is this hairpin leg console table - I love hairpin legs, and this table is ideal for a hallway in that it's small enough to fit in a narrow space but still handy for putting *stuff* on. I like this wooden vibe, too! It's £45 with free delivery (decent, I think) and I just really love it.

Tripod lamps are soooo cool, and this industrial one is amazing. I think lamps are great in hallways for warmth and security, and I reckon this would look great in a corner. This one is around £55 with free delivery, and I think it's boss.

A coat rack is a good time, and this fits with the aforementioned industrial vibe. You can fit shoes on, and there's plenty of hanging space for jackets, and if your hallway is big enough I think this would look incredible and provide some much-needed storage. It's £75.99 which is genuinely cheaper than I expected it to be, too.

This 'abstract face vase' is adorable and would look so good on the console table. I love really fun and unique pieces like this, and you could put flowers in it or not - either way it would still look really cool. It's £15 and you can get it in black or white!

Prints are a must and I think this pink and red 'Come on in' print would be amazing for a hallway - so welcoming and I love that colourway, plus the cute font. Just everything about it, really! Prices start at £8 and the bigger the print you get, the more expensive it is.

This rug is sooooo cute. I love patterns like this, and I think a rug is great for adding interest to a hallway which can often be a small space. Prices for these start at £12 and go up as the rugs get bigger - I'm just all over this gorgeous Turkish style rug!

Last but not least are these grey felt storage boxes, which I think would look lovely on the shelves of the coat rack up there. I just love this whole vibe - what do you reckon? These baskets are actually coming from China so postage is pretty pricey, but you can find similar things across the site!

What's your favourite piece? I just can't choose...

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

My friendsofglossier haul

Friday 5th March will go down in history as the day make-up/skincare lovers across the internet were briefly united in sheer joy as we all realised that a 50% off 'friends and family' code for Glossier had been leaked. Group chats were pinging, timelines were full of excitement and frankly it was just about the best moment of 2021 so far. 

Whether the code was leaked accidentally (how and why?) or whether it was a VERY clever marketing ploy remains to be seen. The official line is that it was a leak and Glossier will be honouring all orders made using this code, which is brilliant considering I made two of them. Mine have arrived (yay!) so I thought I'd do a little haul and show off my new Glossier products/tell you my first impressions...

Glossier Boy Brow

Everyone raves about this, so I had to get it because we all love a bandwagon. My first thoughts were IT IS TINY and that thought hasn't changed - the brush/wand itself is tiny too, which personally I think makes it difficult to use. I've tried it a couple of times and I don't hate it, but I don't love it either...

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

I'm obsessed with this so far - it smells amazing, cleanses really well, gets make up off and feels refreshing for a morning cleanse too. Love love love it.

Glossier Balm Dotcom

I got my Balm Dotcom (another cult product) in the Birthday Cake scent. The packaging is glittery and so is the actual balm, which I wasn't expecting given that it's a multi-use product. I think I'll just use it as a lip balm! It smells amazing though, like properly to die for, so sweet and lovely. Honestly a win for me.

Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack

I'm a sucker for a face mask (seriously, at last count there is about 30 in my skincare drawer) so I had to get my hands on this. I've used it once and it's really nice - takes a while to dry, but left my skin feeling soft with no redness or dryness, and I think it actually did help soothe some blemishes I had on my cheeks. Would recommend this!

Pink Glossier Hoodie

I live in hoodies and sweatshirts, and my collection is massive - so I thought I'd add to it anyway. I adore this hoodie; I got the XL and I'd say it would fit around an 18-20. It's super soft, really long, so comfy. I've already worn it loads and love it.

Did you get your hands on anything in the short-lived but wonderful friendsofglossier moment? Let me know and tell me what you think! You can also get 10% off if you shop through this link...

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Nailing It by Anna Jefferson

I read Winging It by Anna Jefferson last year, and when I got the press release through for her upcoming sequel Nailing It, I couldn't wait to read it. It comes out in 2 days, on April 1st 2021, and here's what I thought of it...

When I first read Winging It, I thought I would find it hard to relate to a book about motherhood as someone who doesn't have or want a child - but it was so easy to fall in love with the characters and the story, and Nailing It was exactly the same. It's funny and charming, a reflection of how different women parent differently and all the ups & downs along the way.

Emily, Tania and Helen met in the first book, when their babies were teeny tiny, and their friendship has blossomed - they're very different people, but supportive of each other and able to bounce off each other in that beautiful female-friendship way that so many of us can relate to. There is something so special, as a woman, in reading about groups of female friends and Anna Jefferson writes them SO well.

There is nothing preachy or profound about Nailing It - it is a fun and very real story, a perfect contemporary look at life and motherhood and everything in between. If you like humour and a good old dose of drama (not in a fickle way, just in an "everything's a lot" kind of way) then you'll love Anna's writing and this book. The situations and conversations that make up the plot of the book are things you could definitely imagine happening to you and your friends - getting the days mixed up and not knowing who's turn it is to pick the kids up from school, for example, or complaining about the cost of a cup of tea in a sticky cafe. 

Whether you have kids or not, this is a hilarious novel that provides the perfect sequel - I loved the feeling of watching these little ones grow up with their brilliant mamas, and I would definitely recommend this book to parents and non-parents alike!

You can get your hands on Nailing It HERE. Have you read Anna Jefferson's first book? Let me know...