Saturday, 28 February 2015

February Loves

I can't believe we're nearly in March already! This year is just going to fly by terrifyingly fast, I can tell!

Here are a few things I've been loving this month:

I signed up for Glossybox which is something I've wanted to do for yonks. I got my first delivery last week (2 boxes!) and I'm loving it so far! Can't wait to try out my new products.

I've been taking part in the 100 Day No Spend challenge but I'm ashamed to say that today on day 55 I blew that because I bought an item of clothing. Argh! In my defence it was only £10, and actually £7.99 when I got to the till, that never happens to me! 
I bought a black poncho from Quiz, I've wanted a poncho for a while and I liked the simplicity of this one, it also looks cosy.

Continuing with my haul, I bought the Urban Decay On The Run palette, which I'm so excited about! I literally can't wait to try it, how sad am I. I'm off on holiday next week so I'm looking forward to taking it with me! 

I also bought Benefit Roller Lash which I reviewed a few weeks back. In my review I wasn't overly impressed with it, but I've been using it daily since and I think I was too quick to judge. I wasn't necessarily in need of a new mascara right now, but it was down to £17.55 today so I went for it and I'll keep it in my drawer for now.

I also bought some detoxifying Himalayan bath salts (top picture) which I'm looking forward to having a soak with. And they were only £2.99, bargain. 

Finally, I forgot all about this Orla Kierly perfume. My mum bought it for me for Christmas but forgot to give it to me, so she gave it to me a couple of weeks ago and I love it, it's so fresh and floral.

What do you think of my February picks? 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

My Skincare Routine

As I've always suffered from problem skin, I got to thinking about the products I use while I was doing my bedtime routine.
It's taken me a long time to find products that I really feel make a difference to my skin, and I really have tried hundreds
So I decided to stop wasting money on expensive products and try and get to the root of the problem.
I went to a dermatology clinic a year ago for a consultation and booked in for a salicylic acid peel (which is genuinely as scary as it sounds!) and after a course of 3 I noticed an improvement in my skin texture, acne scarring and overall complexion. So I shopped around for some new products and these are what I feel have stood the test of time:

St Ives Gentle Apricot Scrub - Sensitive
I don't really exfoliate as often as I should, and after my skin peel I had to be really careful with scrubs full stop, but I really do like this one. It's gentle and effective, smells gorgeous, and reminds me of Cornwall every time I use it (which makes me happy, haha)  

Waitrose Pure Cleansing Wash
This is a new addition to my skincare routine (I wrote a review on this range last week) but it's very good. I was using a similar cleanser to this before, and I always try and go for a gentle product for the morning because my nighttime one is not so gentle.

Waitrose Pure Gentle Toner
I've been using this for ages now and it's no-frills but gets the job done. I've liked it so much that it inspired me to try the rest of the Pure range, and so far, so good. Also included in the photo is the Waitrose Pure Eye Make Up Remover.

Dermaquest Beta Hydroxy Cleanser
Now this badboy is the kingpin of my skincare routine; it has a hefty price tag but has dried my skin out (in a positive way) so much. In order to have the acid peel, I had to prep my skin with this product for 2 weeks beforehand, and also during the recovery process. Man it stung! But it's an amazing cleanser, I've noticed a huge difference in my skin since I bought this, by drying out my skin it reduces sebum, which in turn makes my skin so much less oily and blemish prone.

Lanocréme Reviving Night Cream
This lovely night cream sinks into my skin leaving it feeling soft and nourished. It contains manuka honey and is made in New Zealand, I love it. I also have the Day Cream (not pictured) and it never makes my skin feel oily or greasy. 

Lanocréme Nourishing Eye Cream
Finally I pop on some of this eye cream from the same range, I've only recently got into the routine of using an eye cream regularly, I think when you're younger it doesn't really seem like an essential, but now I want to keep aging at bay for as long as I can!

I hope you like my skincare routine. What products do you swear by?
And if you've ever had problem skin, have you tried any of the products I use? 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

This week through my iPhone

I hope everyone is having a fab week?! Mine's been rather busy and I'm enjoying a lazy Sunday, here are a few photos of how I've spent my week:

Last Sunday was a glorious day here in North Wales, it felt like spring! Me and my Mum went for a long walk along the beach and stopped off for a spot of afternoon tea. It was warm enough in the sun to sit without a coat and made me yearn for spring, even more so now it's freezing and raining through my window!

Ben and I have been trying to catch up on Breaking Bad this week. We started watching it in 2013 and have been so busy that we haven't had the time to binge watch it. So finally we're nearing the end. I'm just amazed that we've got to this point without a single spoiler from anyone, hope I haven't jinxed it now! 
We watched it while polishing off leftover Valentines choccy.

On Friday night I went to see the X Factor tour in Manchester (I know, I know...) but it was a really cheesy fun night. We all really enjoyed it.

Yesterday I worked a wedding with Ben. I often assist him when he's shooting, but this wedding was actually friends of mine, so I didn't do as much as I usually would. When I'm working I find it hard to know what to wear as I need to strike the balance between professional and stylish (especially if I'm a guest as well). Yesterday I wore a brown patterned pencil skirt from New Look, a sheer black polka dot top from H&M and my all time favourite black heels. It was a long and tiring day but worth it as everyone looked gorgeous. Ben and I stayed in a hotel afterwards to break up the journey back, and I had a soak in the bath with a glass of wine, perfect!

What have you all done this week? 

Friday, 20 February 2015

Lush - A Thank You

As I mentioned in my Valentines post, I received the Two Hearts gift set from Ben, which I was soooo excited about!

Anyway, in my eagerness to open the box and smell my goodies, I noticed that Heart Throb was missing and left me feeling irrationally devastated! (Perhaps you can tell that I'm somewhat dramatic at times) so Ben contacted Lush to let them know. 

I had also tweeted them in the meantime, and both of us received what can only be described as amazing customer service. They were full of apologies and really made us feel they had the personal touch when it comes to dealing with complaints. 

True to their word, a replacement arrived yesterday and as a gesture of goodwill they had even given me two Heart Throbs, which was a very nice touch! 

I was so impressed I promised I would write a quick blog thanking them, so here it is. When a company really value their customers it makes such a difference, and just makes me love Lush even more. 

So thank you again, Lush, and I can't  wait to crack this bad boy in my bath water.


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Review: Waitrose 'Pure' Range

I've always been quite selective when it comes to skincare, because my skin errs on the side of sensitive, I tend to not buy products that are too strongly scented or have abrasive contents. I do like high end products, but for every day use I don't really believe in spending out because unlike makeup, with skincare you can usually get what you need without the hefty price tag.

I've had the toner from the 'Pure' range for ages now (not pictured) and I liked it. Having said that, toner isn't one of my essential products, maybe it should be, but because of that I rarely spend much on it.

So with that in mind I decided to have a bit of a haul while I was in Waitrose and picked up these bits; eye make up remover, cleansing wash and facial oil. 

The packaging, although plain (as the title suggests I guess) is a lot nicer than it was around the time I first picked up the toner. They're also very cheaply priced, especially for Waitrose.

Waitrose Pure Eye Make Up Remover £1.99

This is gentle and doesn't sting, gets make up (including mascara) off quickly and easily, and leaves your eyes feeling non stingy or red. 

Waitrose Pure Cleansing Wash £1.99

Although I prefer products with a nice smell, for the money this is good and again it's gentle on my skin and doesn't leave it feeling tight.

Waitrose Pure Facial Oil £2.99

I've never used a facial oil before so I can't make a comparison, but this is nice and not too heavy or greasy. Once I've been using it for longer I'll be able to say more accurately whether it's made any lasting difference to my skin. 

In terms of additive free products, I don't really like Simple all that much so these are a definite improvement. They're not really a luxury product, but for the money I'm really impressed. Effective and budget friendly. 

Have you ever used these Waitrose products? What are your thoughts? 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone is having a lovely day however you spend it, whether you're single or attached!

I must confess that I do like Valentine's Day, but I hate the commercial side of things. For me it's all about showing your partner that you love them and just enjoying their company. I'm much more a gestures kinda girl than a material girl, which got me wondering what the most romantic thing Ben's ever done for me was. 
I think it's the time that I told him that as a kid my favourite thing to do was build a den in the living room and huddle inside it, and so one day he surprised me by making a den in his living room which he decorated with candles and fairy lights!

What's the most romantic thing anyone has done for you? I'd love to hear about it :) 

As for this Valentine's Day, we kept it low key with a home cooked dinner in the house. I bought a meal deal from Waitrose of baked Camembert, steak and chocolate torte, which was delicious and now I'm in a food coma! Ben bought me a lovely bunch of flowers and some Lush Valentine's goodies which I was thrilled with! 

How have you all spent yours? 

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Life Lately

It's Friday-eve! Hope everyone has been having a good week so far?

Last weekend my friend and I went for some amazing cocktails. I'm a sucker for a cocktail anyway but these were just divine, I love it when they go the extra mile with decoration, it makes all the difference. The bar is a 1920's, Prohibition themed bar with table service, jazz playing in the background, and a mismatched 'living room' feel.

After mine and Ben's mini break (also last weekend) we made a stop off to a lovely place called Portmeirion. It's a very unique, purpose built village contained in a small area, modelled on an Italian village, full of bright colours and cobbled winding paths. It also overlooks a gorgeous beach. It's really unlike almost anywhere else. The 1970's TV show 'The Prisoner' was filmed there and now it's open to the public. There's also a hotel and some lovely cottages to stay in. I'd highly recommend it if you're ever in the North Wales area.

There's a lovely Italian cafe there where Ben and I had some lovely home-made pizzas for lunch. Mine was goats cheese and caramelised red onion - heaven!

Finally a few other snippets from my week; 

Another lovely sunset on my run, (somehow I'm still dragging myself out)
A healthy(ish) Wetherspoons breakfast of Eggs Royale to soak up my cocktail frenzy,
My new nails - I love love love Shellac's new range of colours, and this is 'Wild Moss',
This lovely floral garden candle I picked up from Waitrose last night. It smells gorgeous and is included in part of their Valentines offer, in place of wine. I would usually have the wine but as the candle's RRP is £9.99 I thought I'd treat myself.

What have you all been up to this week? 

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The Lake Country House & Spa

Ben and I went for a night away at the weekend. For Christmas, my parents bought us an overnight stay in a beautiful spa hotel in Mid Wales.

The sun was shining so seemed like an ideal time to put the roof down for the first time this year and take to the beautiful mountain roads.

It was a really lovely day, everywhere looked crisp in the bright sun.

(Photos taken on gopro by Ben Walker©)

It was a really long drive, so by the time we arrived it was getting close to sunset. The hotel had some ridiculously cute dogs who came out to greet us when we arrived, they loved Ben, haha.

The hotel was absolutely stunning; full of tradition and old-school glamour, very grand but without being austere. Our room was huge - with an amazing view of the grounds and a huge bathroom. 

There was a hot tub on the roof which we had to ourselves, and a pool. It was pretty idyllic watching the sun set from the roof.

After that we went for dinner, a 4 course a la carte menu served in the dining room which made me feel like I was in Downton Abbey. The food was incredible, and I tried pigeon and rabbit for the first time - surprisingly nice! 

The next morning we went for a stroll around the grounds after breakfast. A blanket of frost had fallen overnight which made the whole place feel magical and almost like a fairy-land. We could hear the ground crunching under our feet as we walked towards the frozen lake. It was absolutely stunning.

(Photo by Ben Walker Photography ©)

We absolutely loved our stay, and would come back in a heartbeat. In fact, I wish I was there right now, it truly was a beautiful winter mini break.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

The Versatile Blogger / Liebster Award

I've been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award and the Liebster Award by the lovely ladies at Sophie's Little Secrets and Armani Leigh (THANK YOU!) so I thought I would do a combined post for both.

I'm really touched to be nominated as I haven't been blogging all that long, and it's lovely to know that people have taken the time to read my blog! I've also been enjoying discovering all the other amazing blogs out there, so here goes!

So here's how it works...
1. Thank the person who gave you this award, and leave a link to their blog.
2. Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself (VB Award)
3. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gave you (Liebster Award)
4. Select 5 bloggers that you've recenty discovered or follow regularly.
5. Nominate those 5 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.

7 Facts About Me:
1. I grew up being a massive Beatles fan and was named after the song 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds'.
2. I'm scared of water but one of my proudest moments was conquering it to swim with dolphins.
3. When I was about 4 I decided I was going to marry Freddie Mercury. Hmm.
4. I have more than 200 pairs of shoes.
5. I've been to the top of the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa)
6. I've got a phobia of 2p coins. Bleugh.
7. My ultimate goal in life is to own a VW Campervan. 

11 Questions from Armani Leigh:
1. What is your favourite sweet/candy?
I'm not a massive sweet lover, but I do love chocolate, and if it's orange flavoured chocolate then even better! Give me a Terry's chocolate orange and an orange hot chocolate and I'll be your friend for life.
2. Why did you start blogging?
I love to write, and I love hearing about other people's experiences/recommendations so I thought I'd try and combine the two. I was writing a lot of travel reviews, and so I thought maybe there would be a place where I could combine my love of travel (and mini breaks) as well as my favourite beauty products, and learn about other people's at the same time. And so my blog was born! 
3. Who is your biggest inspiration?
In real life, my Mum. She's amazing. But I have an enormous girl crush on Gwen Stefani and have been obsessed with her since I was 13, so I would say her. I love everything about her.
4. Favourite Disney character?
Now this is really tough because I love all things Disney! Maybe Cinderella, because she got to go to the ball, bag the man of her dreams and get herself an amazing pair of shoes in the process. 
5. Where would you like to visit?
There's so many places I'd love to see. I would definitely say Iceland, and also Japan, because I find the culture and history so fascinating. Also Hawaii, because I love the beach life and wouldn't mind living there (wishful thinking)
6. What is your favourite quote?
"I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night" by Gallileo. I've been planning this as a tattoo for the last 3 years but still haven't got round to it. 
Also "some birds aren't meant to be caged...their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up rejoices" from the Shawshank Redemption. Gets me every time!
7. What 4 words would you use to describe you?
Chatty, dramatic, empathetic and loyal.
8. What do you carry in your make up bag?
Smashbox primer, Chanel foundation, maxfactor concealer, touché éclat, Benefit 'celebutante' palette, Smashbox eyeliner and Benefit mascara. At the moment!
9. What's your favourite piece of clothing and why?
Oh god. I just don't know. Too many! I have a lovely beaded flapper dress from River Island that I love, but can't wear often as its too memorable, so I'll say that.
10. What season would best describe you and why?
I would say Autumn - crisp walks, hot chocolate, cosy clothes and bonfire night.
11. What would you rather go without - mascara or foundation?
Mascara, I don't have great lashes anyway, regardless of what I use. I don't have good skin, so I always wear foundation.

Well, this post ended up being a bit epic! I hope I haven't put anyone to sleep yet!

My nominations are:
Tegan -

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Review: Benefit 'Roller Lash' Mascara

I've read all about this mascara on various other blogs over the last few days. I do like Benefit cosmetics, although if I'm honest I don't think all of them are quite worth the hype (and price) but as chance would have it, I've been in the market for a new mascara, and so when I found out that Elle magazine were actually giving a sample size of their new mascara away, I decided to give it a go.

As its only 3.0g, my thinking was "great, I can give it a go, and it'll be ideal for travel. If I like it enough, I'll buy it full size when it comes out in 4 weeks". 

This mascara is being touted as a "soon-to-be-cult" product, and it's revolutionary as its the first mascara to have a 'Hook n Roll' wand, designed to grab the lashes and curl them, thus making the use of eyelash curlers redundant. Personally, I'll still be using my curlers as I didn't notice a huge difference in my lashes, even after 2 coats.

I'm not blessed with naturally thick, curly lashes anyway, and I've yet to find any mascara on the market that rectifies this. I always have to use false lashes when I go out, and sadly I think I'll probably still have to. It's a nice mascara (I much prefer it to 'Bad Gal' already) but for me, it just doesn't have the desired effect of making my lashes genuinely curl and look fuller. 

I like the packaging, Benefit always make aesthetically pleasing products, and I love the way they always play on words. I am a sucker for some eye catching cosmetics, and this ticks the boxes.

I think it's great that Benefit have given it as a free gift, as for £4 it's great value. I do generally find their products rather on the expensive side. Marketing wise it's also genius, because everybody is talking about it!

I would buy 'Roller Lash', I think it's a nice, dark mascara that isn't too thick and clumpy. But I've resigned myself to the fact that my straight, fine lashes will have to live to see another day. 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Review: Lush 'Love Lettuce' Mask

I must say, I'm 100% on the Lush bandwagon. I absolutely love their products; the smell, the packaging, and of course the look of them.

I've bought this facial mask before and loved it, my Mum used some of it too and also found it great, so it's suitable for most skin types. Ever since I bought it's been out of stock in every Lush store I've been in, so when I saw it I snapped it up instantly.

I love the consistency of 'Love Lettuce', it's thick but glides onto the skin easily. It's exfoliating but doesn't drag and doesn't leave pieces of scrub under your fingernails.

put a thin layer on to start with, and then applied more bit by bit.

I left it on for 10 minutes as instructed (well anytime between 5-10 minutes but I'd just been out for a run so I thought my skin could do with the extra nourishment)

When I rinsed the mask off my skin felt smooth, fresh and glowing

I don't think my love affair with Lush is going to be over anytime soon.
10/10 Love Lettuce.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Sunday Love in the Great Outdoors

You know how sometimes you just feel like you need a blast of fresh air and some tranquility to re-energise? Well I've been feeling like that a lot lately. With the weather being miserable the majority of days, and the daily routine of work, I've been craving some peace and quiet and to just feel at one with nature.

So today Ben and I took my dog Archie for a long walk to Newborough Beach. The scenery is utterly beautiful, and the gorgeous winter sun made it seem even more breathtaking. 

There's a huge forest surrounding the beach, meaning there's loads of places to walk. It stretches for miles and seeing the sun shining through the trees was stunning.

It was surprisingly warm outside today, and seeing the sun really lifted my spirits. I didn't want the day to end! I love getting out and about and exploring nature.

I was lovely and cosy in my Fat Face jacket (which I got for half price in the Boxing Day sale.)
Archie thoroughly enjoyed his day out too, all the millions of scents to be sniffed! 

How have you spent your Sunday?
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