Thursday, 23 June 2016

Why You Still Need Waterproof Socks in Summer

"Glastonbury 2013" by Malcolm Murdoch is licensed under CC BY 2.0
With Glastonbury festival coming up this weekend, I thought that it would be the perfect time to share this post...

Summer is often the season where we all strive to spend as much time outdoors as we can, jumping at the chance to enjoy what slivers of sunshine we get! Whether we’re headed for a great summer complete with long days of sunshine, or we’re unfortunate enough to see the rain pouring down every day, there’s still chance to enjoy your favourite sports or leisurely activities.

Whatever your plans are this summer, it’s important to be prepared especially when it comes to your clothing. It doesn’t matter if you’re heading out for a couple of hours or all day; our weather can be so changeable and you don’t want to get caught in a sudden downpour or change in temperature!

Despite this, summer is the best time to spend your spare time outside, whether you fancy going on a walk in the countryside with friends or you want to take advantage of the warmer temperatures with a relaxed fishing trip or even spend your weekend partying at a festival like Glastonbury. With so many different activities to take part in, no matter what your hobby is, it’s important that you are wearing the right gear to see you through the day.

Wearing the right clothing

Having the right clothing can ensure you are protected from the elements as well as forming a barrier from the likes of mud, dust and sand. Your chosen activity is more than likely going to be more enjoyable if you have shielded your extremities from the weather.

This is why waterproof clothing can come in incredibly handy, no matter what you are doing. Whether you have an upcoming camping trip, or you have taken up cycling, waterproof socks can be a great aid if you are outdoors all day or you are on your feet for long periods of time.

Waterproof socks are the perfect accessory when conditions aren’t as summery as you first thought, helping you to make the most of the longer hours of daylight without feeling the effects of a change in weather!

Benefits of waterproof socks

Good quality waterproof clothing can do so much more than just keeping you dry. Creative technology and clever materials are combined to ensure that you remain comfortable and provide a high performance piece of clothing. Keeping the elements out while keeping warmth in can be a great advantage when you are out exploring and participating in an active day.

Great quality waterproof clothing such as socks are able to protect you from other elements such as the wind, as well as ensuring you aren’t caked in mud or dust. With so many beneficial features, they are perfect even if you aren’t near any wet conditions.

Incredibly thermal but remaining breathable for your comfort, these garments have sweat absorbing and naturally antibacterial qualities to ensure you can happily last all day on your feet.

Manufactured to make sure you can successfully carry out any activity you choose this summer, waterproof socks provide protection and a barrier against any weather. The likes of Porelle membranes and Merino wool add a high standard of quality to products like waterproof socks.


If you’re looking for waterproof socks for your next adventure this summer, check out Dexshell.
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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Changing Up A River Island Shirt Dress


Over the last couple of years, I've started to play around with the idea of wearing a shirt, or shirt dress, open as a light cover up.  With the way my body is shaped, if I were to wear a shirt buttoned up, I'd have to buy one that would end up being far too large on my arms, shoulders and bust just so that it could fit my tummy.

Wearing a shirt open with a little cami underneath is a far more attractive option for me!


The shirt dress that I'm wearing here is from the River Island Plus Size line and I fell in love with the pattern from the moment I saw it.  Yellow, dark blue, white and light blue in a print unlike anything I've seen before but one that screams River Island.

Thats what I love about RI Plus; River Island have very much created a range that is an extension of their existing line.  The prints are fabulous, the material is high quality and the cut of the fabric on each garment I've tried has been fantastic; accurately sized and cut for plus size.





I'm wearing my shirt dress over the top of a Yours Clothing longline vest top.  I have quite a few of these and they make great layering pieces.  The navy has to be my favourite though as the others tend to be quite see through.

My white jeggings are from Simply Be and in all honesty, I wouldn't recommend them.  You can find out why here.  However what I would recommend are the Polaroid Sunglasses from Sunglasses Shop that I reviewed here.  I've been wearing them for well over a year now and I'm still absolutely loving them.  They're great because they're so large that the shield a lot of the sun from my eyes which is ideal when wandering around site seeing or driving.

The shoes I'm wearing are the Fulton Moc Slip Ons by Michael Kors.  These are in the navy and gold which is a winning combination in my book!  While they're still comfortable, they actually feel narrower than the grey and black versions that I have; I wonder if they've changed the style a little.  I'm still loving them regardless, especially when paired with my trusty Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 in the Damier Azure.



I love how this River Island shirt looks in this outfit, especially with it being tied at the back and with the sleeves rolled up.  I'd definitely recommend trying out a shirt styled this way and of course, I'd recommend checking out the rest of the RI Plus size line.  I've linked all of the current range below.

SHOP RI PLUS

SHOP MORE FROM RI Plus


How do you like to switch up your outfits?

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Monday, 20 June 2016

First Time Buyers Getting Living Room Inspiration

Fishpools Sofa, Jo Malone Candle, Dunelm Flowers

This year, I am absolutely determined to purchase a house.  We've been saving up like crazy and I'm currently in the process of gathering lots of things together to do a car boot sale with as we've lived our current house for years and years and have accumulated A LOT of stuff that we don't use or need anymore.

When we do purchase our first property, we'll be starting totally a fresh, buying all of our own furniture.  In recent months, I've become a lot more minimalist with my style and I really appreciate effective storage, clean lines and no clutter now, mostly because its easier to keep clean.  So basically that's the inspiration and goal for when we decorate our first home.  Getting to this point will be a bit of a process and involves changing habits of a lifetime but we really want to have a stylish, clutter free space.

Alongside our saving, we have been making a note of all of the things that we'll need to buy for each room, especially rooms like the kitchen, as this really helps to give us an idea of roughly how much money we'll need to furnish our home.  This is a tip that one of my best friends gave us and in fact, she bought the things on her list gradually before she bought her house.  Since we're saving up and buying in a shorter space of time, we're focusing on getting a deposit together and then when we've moved in we'll have our list of everything we need complete to go out and buy the things we like.

Another thing that we've been doing is searching the internet and Pinterest for inspiration as to how we would like different areas of our home to look.  I say we but its more me.  My hubby and I have a very similar idea on how we want everything to look and I enjoy searching online more than he does so I tend to gather the info and then send it to him to look over!  I've been looking at the different styles that I like and then looking for products that we can buy that are within our price range and accessible to us and bookmarking those pages for each room in the home.

The first room that I started with was the living room.  The amount of friends that have told me that they were sitting on deck chairs for months waiting for their sofa to arrive is unreal.  Living room furniture does tend to take time to arrive as it needs to be made but for a lot of my friends, their room would have been completed sooner should they have made up their mind on which sofa they wanted before they moved in!  Instead, they got their keys and then spent weeks choosing which sofa they wanted!

Since we're wanting to buy a new build, our plan is to get the dimensions of the room, and start the ball rolling with ordering our sofa so that its ready to be delivered around the time that we move in.  We're in no rush to leave our current property so if there's a little bit of time to wait then that isn't a problem.

I've been looking around at sofas online for ages now and have found some great ones on the Fishpools website.  They seem to have a really varied range of styles in both leather and fabric coverings.  While I love fabric sofas, especially crushed velvet styles, I think we will end up going for a leather sofa purely because I find that they're more durable and look fabulous for far longer.

While I love the look of a white sofa, with me and my fake tan, nail polish, clumsy eating, I know it'll not stay white for too long so I think we would be best off going for a light or dark grey.  The Panamera style appeals to me the most as it has the option of a chaise seat which looks ideal for me as I love to sit with my feet up rather than off the end of the sofa!


Mirrors from TCL at Home Interior Designer Sunderland Newcastle Durham

For accessories, I think that I want to go for silver accents with subtle sparkle.  I have some glittery mirrored photo frames (very similar to these photo frames from Next) that I was given for my birthday last year that would be perfect so I would just need to buy a mirror to tie that all together.  There's an interior design showroom in Sunderland called TCL at Home which sell a huge variety of mirrors as well as so many other gorgeous pieces of homeware from companies like Coachhouse, Culinary Concepts, Voyage Maison and CIMC.  I'll definitely be going there for a lot of our furniture and of course, a mirror.

Alongside those silver accents, I'd love some lanterns too as I think that they look great on the hearth of a fireplace.  My friend has bought some from Next Home and says they're really great quality.  Their Chrome Lanterns are fabulous so if they're available when we get a home, I'll definitely go for those!

I'm a really big fan of high quality faux flowers in my home as they're obviously a lot less hassle than real flowers; let's face it, I'm concentrating on keeping myself alive let alone anyone else!  I have some faux flowers in my bedroom at the moment from Dunelm and they've lasted so well so that will be my first stop when it comes to buying artificial flowers.
Dunelm Flowers, Next Lantern, Jo Malone Reed Diffuser

I'm big on home fragrance too and I think that great quality candles and reed diffusers look as great as they smell so they serve two purposes.  My favourite brand has to be Jo Malone.  I already have one of their Sweet Almond and Macaroon Candles ready to go in our home but I'd like to get one of the Jo Malone Reed Diffusers too.

Aside from that, there's just a TV and some furniture to pick but I really feel as though we need to wait to see what kind of space we have first!  All thats left to do is to save up and pay for it all now!

I'd love to know if you have any tips for first time buyers and if you know of any places to look online for inspiration for different rooms in my future house?  I'm all ears!


*All images kindly borrowed from the respective linked websites

Saturday, 18 June 2016

4 Ways to Pamper Yourself at Home with Sanctuary Spa


When it comes to pampering yourself at home, you can't go far wrong with the Sanctuary Spa for face and body products.  Affordable, easy to find on the shelves in Boots and with a huge selection of products to choose from, they're always a brand that I know I'll find what I need from whether its a mask, a scrub or something to relax in the bath with.

This year, I feel as though working constantly has really caught up with me and I'm starting to learn my lesson; I need to dedicate some time every day to myself and to chilling out.

I love nothing more than taking a bath or a shower, using products that I love that get my skin looking its best, reading my Kindle and getting an early night.  The latter doesn't tend to happen to often but I am getting better at it.

A lot of the products that I have been using in the bath and shower recently are by Sanctuary Spa and they're suitable for all skin types.  Today I'm going to tell you all about them so that if you want to pamper yourself at home too then you can do!



The Sanctuary Spa Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser has now made its home in my shower where I use it every time that I shower to clean my face whether thats just to freshen up after the gym or to remove my makeup and pamper myself after a long day.

It is a cream cleanser which is my favourite type to use and it works wonders at removing makeup as well as cleansing the skin.  The cream itself contains a mix of essential oils and lots of natural ingredients; think Beeswax, cocoa butter, coconut, camomile and jojoba oil, which all work together to create a nourishing, softening cream that leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth after use.

To use it, I simply massage it all over my face, even on my eye lids as it doesn't sting, and then I polish it off my skin using the muslin cloth that came with it.  The muslin cloth is thicker than others I've used, very high quality and does a great job at helping to remove the cleanser and impurities from my skin whilst lightly exfoliating my skin too.  I've also used this cleanser plenty of times with my Magnitone Barefaced (review here) cleansing brush and it works perfectly well with that too.

The cleanser has a herbal scent to it; not too dissimilar to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, which is more or less a pricier version of this cleanser and to be honest, they do pretty much exactly the same thing.  The herbal scent isn't my favourite however it is only on the skin for a short amount of time and the cleanser works so effectively at removing dirt and makeup that I can overlook the fragrance.



When I feel as though my skin needs a little pick me up, I like to apply the Sanctuary Spa Beauty Sleep Face Mask before I go to bed.  Its designed to restore the skin while you sleep and while I've used restorative masks in the past, they've always been ones that you leave on for 20 minutes before washing off.

I've heard about overnight masks in the past (mostly about the Origins overnight mask) but I still think that they're fairly new to the market and this is the first mask of its kind that I've tried.

It comes out of the tube as a jelly that applies effortlessly to clean, dry skin on the face, neck and décolletage.  It has a bit of slip to it but it isn't runny at all so it smoothes onto the skin and stays there, drying slightly and then it starts to sink into the skin.  The formula is fabulous because you can literally apply it, wait a few minutes and then go straight to bed, safe in the knowledge that its not going to mark all of your pillow and bed sheets.

While you sleep, the mask is absorbed into the skin, giving it a boost of hydration and anti-ageing goodness.  In the morning, my skin does look visibly enhanced.  The mask was created so that it didn't need to be washed off however I do feel as though I can feel a little bit of the product on my skin the next morning, plus I always wash my face in the mornings anyway.  Once I've washed my face, my skin does look and feel softer and smoother and it looks hydrated and plump which is a great benefit of it, especially now that my skin is sun kissed from my holiday.

What I love about this mask is that it is completely clear.  When you first apply it, it does leave a shiny appearance on the skin but as it starts to absorb, it goes matte.  This makes it an absolutely fabulous option for taking with you on long haul flights where the air con can really dry out the skin because you can apply it and know that you're not going to look a total plonker sat there with a bright white, black, blue, whatever colour mask on!

I'm really impressed with this mask, not least because it means that I can kill two birds with one stone by sleeping and wearing a mask at the same time, and I can't wait to see the long term results from using it.





Another way that I love to pamper myself is with a good ol' body scrub.

If you're a regular among these parts then you'll know the grittier the better for me when it comes to scrubs and you can't get much more abrasive than the Sanctuary Spa Ultimate Salt Scrub which comes in this gorgeous jar.

I either apply this to my skin when its dry or when it is damp but either way, I always have dry hands to build up the most friction against the skin and I sit on the side of the bath rather than in the water itself.


If you're looking for a hardcore scrub to really slough away the dead skin cells then this is it.  This exfoliator contains dead sea salts which are the exfoliating particles that resurface and smooth the skins texture, as well as coconut, jojoba and sweet almond oils which are what moisturise the skin.

After buffing it into my skin in circular motions, I rinse the scrub off with warm water and then pat dry with a towel.  It leaves a light oil on the skin that continues to moisturise it.  My skin looks perfected, hydrated, soft and smooth after using this scrub and since it is so moisturising, there is no need to apply a body moisturiser after using it, in fact, I'd advise against it.  If you love the signature scent of Sanctuary Spa products then you'll love the smell of this scrub and I'm pleased to say that the beautiful sweet scent does linger on the skin after use.

It is absolutely brilliant for getting rid of a build up of dry skin before going on holiday so that you tan better and its great for removing the last bits of fake tan too.  It reminds me so much of the Elemis Lime and Ginger Salt Glow (review here) which I adore, except that the Elemis scrub is a little drier in formula and more than three times the price, so if you're looking for a more affordable version then I would HIGHLY recommend the Sanctuary Spa Ultimate Scrub.  It is the ultimate, indulgent pampering treat.





I like to use Ultimate Salt Scrub once every week to two weeks because it is so effective and indulgent. In between, I tend to top up with the Sanctuary Spa Air-Whipped Soufflé Scrub which is a lighter, more gentle way to exfoliate the skin.

This one combines ultra nourishing shea butter, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil and cotton extracts and whips them together to create a light, whipped formula.  Within the soufflé are rice particles and jojoba beads which is what makes this a body scrub.

I like to apply this scrub onto my skin once I've had chance to soak or stand under the water for a while but like with the other scrub, I'll apply it with dry hands and out of the direct flow of water to increase its abrasiveness as it is very gentle.  It does a good job of exfoliating the skin and leaving it feeling soft and smooth, not to mention smelling incredible too as this scrub has that signature Sanctuary Spa fragrance that I know and love!

Out of the two, the Ultimate Salt Scrub is my favourite because I find it to be more high performing but this one is great for those who sensitive skin who still want to pamper themselves at home.



Sanctuary Spa products are available to purchase directly from their website here and from Boots online and in store.  There's currently a buy one, get one half price offer on at Boots which I'd urge you to take advantage of if you like the sound of any of these products as they're affordable anyway but with that deal, they're even better!

I'm so impressed with the products I've tried, especially the Beauty Sleep Mask and of course, the Ultimate Salt Scrub which is just as good as the Elemis Scrub and at less than a third of the price, I'll most certainly be repurchasing it!

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What are your favourite Sanctuary Spa products?

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

NEW Too Faced Spring Makeup | Lipstick, Brush & Highlight

Too Faced Cosmetics New Spring Makeup Launches Review Swatches Lipstick Brush Highlighter

Too Faced cosmetics can do no wrong in my eyes.  I've worn their cruelty free makeup pretty much since I started properly wearing makeup and I'm never disappointed with their products.  Over the years, I've seen them smash it with every new release each season and this spring is certainly no exception.

I've been trying out some of the new products from them recently and to say I'm impressed is an understatement.  Let me tell you why...


Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighter in Warm Glow

The first product that I've been loving is Too Faced's Candlelight Glow which is a highlighting powder duo that comes in a handy compact.  There are two shades; Rosy Glow which is a pink toned highlight thats been around for a while now and the new Warm Glow which is the shade that I have.

Warm Glow has a champagne side and a peach side; together they create a gorgeous light golden shade that leaves the complexion looking subtly sun kissed and radiant.  It is a highlighter that works so well when used alongside a bronzer for a just back from the Mauritius glow.


Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighter in Warm Glow and Lipstick in Sugar Daddy
Too Faced Candlelight Glow in Warm Glow and Lipstick in Sugar Daddy
Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighter in Warm Glow and Lipstick in Sugar Daddy
Too Faced Candlelight Glow in Warm Glow and Lipstick in Sugar Daddy
The Too Faced Candlelight Glow highlighters are absolutely fabulous at giving the skin a soft, radiant appearance, inspired by the romantic light in a candle lit room.  They contain Too Faced's advanced photolite technology which diffuses and refracts the light to soften and diffuse the appearance of skin imperfections.  I have to say, I'd agree with this as the powder is so finely milled and it blends effortlessly into the skin.

The powder doesn't cake, cling to the skin or emphasise my large pores like some highlighters do and it works perfectly on my oily skin.  With that in mind, I'd say that this would be suitable for all skin types and therefore an ideal gift for someone too, not least because the packaging is so lush!
Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighter in Warm Glow

The secondary packaging is so beautiful with its rose gold and gold ombre box and the outer packaging of the compact is so pretty in gold, cream and pink with a generous mirror that takes up the full inside of the compact lid.  The powder is divided into two inside with a chandelier and the Too Faced logo embossed into it.

Theres a 'How-To Glamour Guide' inside the box which shows the way that you can use the two powders to create three signature looks; 'Inner Light,' 'Light Of Day' and 'Night Light' which is great for those who are new to using highlighter or for those who want some inspiration for a new look to try out.


Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighter in Warm Glow swatches

The two powders can be used individually or swirled together which is how I prefer to use them.  I usually apply this powder using a tapered brush to my cheek bones, cupids bow and down the centre of my nose and find that it adds instant luminosity to my skin.

I've had so many people asking me which highlighter I'm using lately and of course, its this one!  It really lifts the cheek bones and gives a youthful, lit from within glow.


Too Faced Mr Right Perfect Powder Brush

Another product that I've been loving is the Too Faced Mr Right Perfect Powder Brush which is actually the first brush that I've ever used from Too Faced and I can already tell you that it'll not be my last.  I'll definitely be buying some other brushes from Too Faced at my earliest opportunity!

This brush is so incredibly soft thanks to its bristles which are made from luxurious synthetic hair.  It is really versatile in that it can be used both wet and dry for foundation, powder, bronzer, blush, setting powder and anything else!


Too Faced Mr Right Perfect Powder Brush

Having used this brush every time that I've applied my makeup since I got it, I can say without doubt that the Mr Right Perfect Powder Brush is literally perfect for powder, specifically bronzer.  It is quite a large powder brush so it is great for covering large areas but because of its tapered shape, it is absolutely ideal for getting in underneath the cheekbones and applying bronzer to subtly contour the cheeks.  It picks up product really well and enables you to apply them using a light or heavy hand, building the colour up as you go.

It is definitely the best brush that I've ever used to contour with as the one that I was using previously was great for smaller areas such as down the sides of the nose but I found it to be too defining for the cheek bones for a natural, everyday look.  In fact, it is probably my favourite brush out of my whole collection; the quality is far superior, even surpassing that of my MAC and Zoeva brushes.


Too Faced Le Creme Colour Drenched Lipstick


Too Faced Le Creme Colour Drenched Lipstick
Too Faced Le Crème Colour Drenched Lipstick in Sugar Daddy, Clueless and Topless
One of my favourite products from Too Faced are their La Crème Colour Drenched Lipsticks which are so moisturising and hydrating.  They're a much loved product by people all over the world and are often raved about, not least for their beautiful brushed gold packaging.

Even their secondary packaging is cute with a pink illustrated box.


Too Faced Le Creme Colour Drenched Lipstick in Sugar Daddy, Clueless and Topless Swatches
Too Faced Le Crème Colour Drenched Lipstick in Sugar Daddy, Clueless and Topless Swatches
Too Faced have released 10 new shades recently, of which I have three; Sugar Daddy which is a Nude Rose shade, Clueless which is Shimmering Cotton Candy shade and Topless which is an Apricot Nude colour.

Each lipstick contains White Lotus Flower Extract which is an antioxidant with hydrating, soothing and lip conditioning properties, as well as Power Peptides which are thought to stimulate collagen and help the lips to appear smoother.


Too Faced Le Creme Colour Drenched Lipstick in Topless
Too Faced Le Crème Colour Drenched Lipstick in Topless
What I love about the Too Faced website is that the show a swatch of all of their lipsticks on both a light skintone and a dark skin tone which can really help shoppers to get an idea of what the colour may look like on them.  All too often are lipsticks shown on on skin tone or the other and I think it can make shopping really difficult if you're on the opposite end of the spectrum.

These lipsticks apply like a dream.  They're so pigmented and have a gorgeous creamy colour pay off.  The shimmery shade does feel a little bitty on the lips to begin with as there is a lot of shimmer in it.  However all three of the shades feel very hydrating and they're really comfortable to wear.

They're pretty long lasting on the lips and they wear off evenly, even after eating and drinking so I don't need to worry about immediately reapplying them.  They feel comfortable to wear, not sticky at all and they don't bleed so I never have to worry about the colour migrating across my face!


Too Faced Le Creme Colour Drenched Lipstick in Clueless
Too Faced Le Crème Colour Drenched Lipstick in Clueless

Too Faced Le Creme Colour Drenched Lipstick in Clueless
Too Faced Le Crème Colour Drenched Lipstick in Clueless

My favourite of the bunch has to be the Too Faced Le Crème Colour Drenched Lipstick in Sugar Daddy.  It has a beautiful warm brown hint to it which creates the most beautiful nude shade that adds warmth to my complexion.  I love the way this shade looks against my skin.

Like with the other shades, it is opaque in one swipe and its hydrating formula actually leaves a subtle glossy sheen to my lips which catches the light beautifully and makes them look fuller.


Too Faced Le Creme Colour Drenched Lipstick in Sugar Daddy
Too Faced Le Crème Colour Drenched Lipstick in Sugar Daddy

Topless is a little too close to my skintone for me to wear on its own during the day but it looks fantastic with a really dark smokey eye on a night out, or when layered with a darker lip pencil during the day.  I've actually been patting it onto the centre of my lips when I've been wearing darker nude lipsticks for more of an ombre, highlighted effect which I really love the results of.  Using it in this way is fabulous as it helps to create a fuller look on the lips.

The shade Clueless is a little too shimmery for me but if you're into your 90s makeup looks then this could be the frosty, shimmery lipstick you've been looking for.  I love that the pink has a blue undertone to it as it makes my teeth look really white!  This is definitely a fun shade that catches the light beautifully.

After looking at the full shade selection online, I really think that Too Faced do a lipstick shade for everyone!


Too Faced Cosmetics New Spring Makeup Launches Review Swatches Lipstick Brush Highlighter

I'm so impressed with the latest releases from Too Faced and would urge you to check them out on their website or online and in store at Debenhams.

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What are your favourite makeup products by Too Faced?

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