Tuesday, 28 April 2015

185. Lush Brightside Bubble Bar - Summer, in a bath!

Hello lovelies.

I apologise for the overkill of Lush product reviews lately but, seriously, I just can't get enough of them right now. Every time I'm near a Lush shop (which, for the record, is not very often - damn you countryside living) I can't help but pick up a few items to try out.

I spotted this summery bubble bar - Brightside - when I was in the Metrocentre's Lush a few weeks ago, when I went to see the new Cinderella movie with a friend (it was also the trip where I picked up the Toothy Tabs that I reviewed last week), and after a quick sniff I knew it was the one for me.

The smell of oranges is one of my absolute favourites (along with sun cream and bonfires, FYI) so Brightside, with Sicilian mandarin and tangerine essential oils, was right up my street. Lush describes the ingredients as 'uplifting' and I couldn't agree more - I felt so refreshed and energised after my first use.
It's definitely worth mentioning the amazing colours that this bubble bar creates, just look at the photo below - it's awesome! I used about 1/3 of the bar in my bath and it turned the water bright orange with a lovely creamy layer of bubbles. 
I had my second Brightside bath last night and I'm still totally bowled over (mainly by the gorgeous smell) and I'd definitely repurchase - I think this bubble bar is perfect for summer!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

184. Pregnancy Pro's & Con's: The Pro's

I thought it would be fun to write a little blog post (well, it's more like a list and we all know I love lists...) of what I've found to be the best and worst bits of pregnancy. Obviously, as I'm only 31 (going on 32 on Tuesday!) weeks pregnant, I've yet to experience the unavoidable labour, or the inevitable constant discomfort in the last few weeks. So, bare that in mind as I take a light-hearted look at the Pro's of Pregnancy.

It brings your family together.
As I'm the first of my four siblings to start a family, it's an exciting and new experience for the whole family - first niece, first granddaughter, first baby in the family in 15 years! My family have been an incredible support so far and it's made me feel so much closer to every member of the family, but in particular my sisters (who were the first to hear the news - after S of course!) and my Mum who has provided constant reassurance and helpful advice throughout.

You can eat a second breakfast (and a mid-morning snack, lunch, a pre-dinner sandwich, dinner and supper) and not to get judged for it.
People are nice to you.
Obviously, this should happen all the time - wouldn't it be a nice place if people were nice, all of the time? But yeah, that doesn't happen. I've found that people have, generally (not in 100% of cases) been really lovely to me since I announced my news. People want to take care of you, they want to make sure you're okay, they want to help - and it is so, so nice. Seriously, anybody who has shown me any support - no matter how small - so far, you have no idea how grateful I am.

You don't have to feel guilty for doing nothing.
I try to vary my days off; as in, one day I'll make plans to see friends and get errands done, and the other day will be spent in the house - watching Netflix, having a bath, sleeping... all the things that you want to do with your down time, but worry that people will judge you for 'wasting time.' Nope, when you're pregnant you can do it as much as you want and nobody can say a thing - because, God knows, you'll have no down time once the baby arrives!

You get paid to stay at home with your baby.
You get a baby - a real life baby - at the end of it.
All those aches and pains, all the morning sickness and midnight trips to the loo, all those months without a glass of wine... they're all worth it. Because, after all the pushing is done, you get your own little baby to take home. And then the fun truly begins...

I cannot freaking wait for sleepless nights for all my clothes to be ruined by sick to never stop worrying for my baby to arrive.

Friday, 24 April 2015

183. 24 Before 24 - Donate to Charity

Hello lovelies.

Three weeks ago, after a lot of deep thought and daydreaming, I finally compiled and published my 24 before 24 list. This list is part of a challenge, set by me - for me, to complete 24 goals before my 24th birthday (which is in October 2016). The list contains a real variety of items - from blogging goals to travel, trying new places and spending time with family and friends. 

Today I ticked my first goal off the list: Donate regularly to Macmillan, St. John's Hospice and British Red Cross. 

Why do I want to do this?

In my mind, donating to charity is incredibly important. Charities do amazing work and rely so heavily on public funding, so if you know that you can afford to spare a few pounds each month (and, lets be honest, most of us can) then why not give it to a good cause rather than spending it on a magazine or a coffee? It's so much more worthwhile; it helps people, and it makes you feel good knowing that you're helping somebody else who is less fortunate than yourself.

Why Macmillan?
The majority of us will have been, or will at some point be, affected by cancer in some shape or form. Whether it's a family member, work colleague or close friend who has suffered from this terrible disease, or perhaps you've suffered yourself - it affects so many of us that it's hard to turn a blind eye.

I lost both of my grandfathers to cancer - one to bowel cancer, and one to prostate - and, in their final weeks, they both received wonderful care from Macmillan nurses, who also provided aftercare, counselling and support to the family following their passing. 

Although I couldn't afford to set up a substantial donation to Macmillan, the amount I am giving will, over the course of the year, pay for one hour of a Macmillan nurse's time and, in turn, help to support an individual, and their family, in a time of great need.

You can find out more about donating to Macmillan here.

Why St. John's Hospice?
This time last year, my Grandad was spending time in St. John's Hospice, in Lancaster, whilst fighting prostate cancer. We visited him in the hospice in April and, as he seemed so content and so happy in the beautiful surroundings, we had no idea that I would be the last time we'd see him. It makes me so, so happy to be able to remember him smiling and chatting and having a bit o' banter with the hospice nurses, and I know that so much of that was down to the exemplary care provided by St. John's. That is why I chose to donate to them. 

Hospices do incredible work to help people feel comfortable and content in their final months, weeks and days, and I think that this is so important which is why I would urge you to donate to your local hospice - as you never know when you, or someone you love, will rely on them.

Why British Red Cross?
I love the ethics behind British Red Cross; they treat every emergency or crisis relatively - meaning that they don't compare something happening in the UK to something happening in, say, Syria or Africa. To the British Red Cross, a crisis is a crisis - no matter where it is and no matter how many people are affected, and I completely agree with this. 

British Red Cross are currently running emergency appeals for survivors of the Iraqi war, the Ebola outbreak and conflict in Syria, South Sudan and Yemen, as well as numerous projects across the UK and the rest of the world. From refugee support, tracing missing people and providing social care, the British Red Cross are a great support to thousands and thousands of people, and this deserves our support in return. 

You can find out about donating to British Red Cross here.

How did I achieve this?

To be honest, this was probably the most straightforward of all of the challenges on my list. It's incredibly simple to set up a Direct Debit to donate money to a charity either monthly or annually. I set up my first one a couple of weeks ago, and set up the remaining two this morning. And that's that - done. 

My donations are only a total of £10 a month which, in the grand scheme of things, is a tiny amount but will, undoubtedly, help these three incredible charities to continue their inspiring work. 

Do you donate to charity?
If not, what could you sacrifice in order to do so?

Monday, 20 April 2015

182. What's In My Everyday Make Up Bag?

I love looking for new make-up. In fact, Superdrug is probably my second home. I'm always on the look out for new products that are affordable and, frankly, do what they're supposed to. That's why I wanted to share, with you lovely lot, the contents of my Everyday Make Up Bag. These are the products that I use every single time I apply make-up; whether it's for work, a meal out or something more special, this is my go to selection of products to achieve that everyday look.
First up, skin. I've been using my two main skin products for such a long time now that I've actually lost track, but it must be well over a year! I start off by applying Seventeen's Phwoarr Paint, in Fair, under my eyes to eliminate any dark patches, as well as dabbing it on any ugly spots that have popped up. It reminds me of Benefit's Boi-ing concealor, which is equally good but a helluvalot more expensive. At just £5.49 you really can't complain - this stuff lasts months and works wonders. 

Next up, I use Rimmel's Match Perfection foundation in Ivory 100. It's a lovely, runny but not watery, liquid foundation and it applies seamlessly with a foundation brush. You hardly have to use any of it to get a good, medium coverage and, at just £6.99, it's definitely worth it. I get through a bottle of this every two months, and that's with daily use. 

To ensure my make-up stays put all day, I use Maybelline Matte Maker powder, in Classic Ivory. I apply this pressed powder with my Real Techniques powder brush all over my face, especially around my nose, chin and forehead as these are the areas where my foundation seems to want to escape from my face! The powder is only £3.99 and lasts a good few months for me. It's very handy for carrying around in your handbag whenever you need to get rid of that shine too. 

Finally, to add a pop of colour, I apply Bourjois Blusher in Rose De Jaspe to the apples of my cheeks and brush upwards and outwards, with the Real Techniques blush brush. It's a gorgeous deep, shimmery rose pink and is subtle enough to avoid the clown-like look, but pretty enough to make your skin look just that little bit healthier. I've been using this blusher for about six months and it's still about half full, definitely worth the modest £7.99 that I spent on it.
Once I've got my skin looking clear and healthy, I move onto my eyes. First up, my eyebrows which I think deserve a good bit of attention. I've always loved dark, statement brows but - unfortunately, being blonde, pale and with the tendency to frown a lot - I can't quite pull the Cara Delevigne look off. Instead, I try to find some middle ground by using the Collection Work the Colour Eyebrow Kit, which is just £3.99. I use the middle shade and apply it with the brush which is included in the palette, it's a double ended brush and is perfect for shaping and filling in your brows, giving off a natural look but enough definition for your eyebrows to really stand out.

Once my brows have been tamed, it's time to tackle the make-up nightmare that is liquid eyeliner. I've been applying liquid eye liner for a good 8 years now and I've done it the same way the entire time, so I don't struggle with it nowadays, but that may also have something to do with the eyeliner that I choose to use. I've recently been using Seventeen High Drama liquid eyeliner which I picked up for just £3.99 in Superdrug and it's honestly so good. I've never been sucked in to buying expensive, high-end eyeliners as I honestly believe that the budget versions do just as good of a job (in fact, I prefer this to my old Eyeko eyeliner which was triple the price!). This eyeliner creates a solid black silhouette around your eye and lasts all day long, even in the heat or the rain. I'd recommend it to anybody, plus the shape of the brush makes it so easy to apply, especially for those cat-flicks!

In an attempt to make myself look less zombie like, I use a white eyeliner pencil, in the form of Maybelline's Big Eyes Liner. I apply the eyeliner to the inner corner of my eye, both on the top and bottom water lines, as it really helps to make my eyes look brighter and wider. The eye liner is only £4.99 and includes both a black and white eyeliner pencil, so it's a real bargain!

Last but certainly not least, the mascara that I've sworn by for years: Max Factor's False Lash Effect, in black. At £10.99 it's actually, by far, the most expensive item in my make-up bag but it probably also lasts the longest. I find that the brush is brilliant for even, all over coverage and doesn't give me lashes that spidery effect which is all too common nowadays. I've tried numerous mascaras over the years but I always come crawling back to False Lash Effect as it really is just so good, even when the gods forgot bless you with gloriously long, thick lashes. 

So, ten minutes after unzipping my make-up bag and letting the contents spill out all over my bed, I just add a slick of colour to my lips depending on my mood, and I'm good to go!

What about your make-up essentials?
Have you tried any of my favourites?

Saturday, 18 April 2015

181. Lush Toothy Tabs: An Alternative To Toothpaste?

I'm big on impulse buying. Now, I know that's not something to brag about but, sometimes - just sometimes, it means you stumble across some absolute gems. Things you would never have thought about, things you had no idea you needed (usually because you didn't) and things you've never even heard of. This is why I love it.

I headed into Lush recently when I was at the Metrocentre with a friend and, whilst queuing to pay for a Brightside bubble bar (review coming soon!), I spotted an intriguing display: Toothy Tabs. As this was something I'd never heard of before, I asked the sales assistant who kindly explained exactly what Toothy Tabs were to me. An alternative to toothpaste; environmentally friendly as they use recycled paper boxes (rather than the usual plastic or aluminium which would end up in a landfill) and, as always, cruelty free.
There were several different options to choose from but I went for Sparkle, promising 'gleamingly clean' teeth, which I thought sounded perfect as I'm conscious that my teeth aren't exactly as white as I'd like them to be. (I'm blaming years of drinking diet coke, smoking and having a penchant for curries and tomato-based sauces, which my dentist tells me aren't ideal if you want sparkling, white teeth.)

Now, the idea of using what is, at the end of the day, a weird little tablet to brush your teeth does take some getting used to and it took me a couple of attempts to actually perfect the method. But, once you've figured it out, it's pretty straight forward - you take one tab, put it between your teeth and gently crush it so that it forms a powder, then you just brush your teeth with a wet toothbrush as usual. The tabs quickly foam and your mouth is filled with a delicious, refreshing taste that reminds me of the paste that dentists use to clean your teeth. 
Image Source

The main ingredients in Sparkle Toothy Tabs are black pepper oil, lemon oil and powder and grapefruit oil. These ingredients combine to create a really pleasant, refreshing and warming flavour and sensation. I've seen a couple of reviews claiming that the peppery taste is far too strong and off-putting but I haven't found this to be the case whatsoever; it goes without saying that I am a chilli and pepper addict, but even so, I think it creates a lovely, warming sensation. 

I have to say that I haven't noticed a difference in the colour of my teeth or their general appearance but I've only been using the Toothy Tabs for a little over a week, so I guess I need to give them a little longer before I judge them on that. However, I do love the taste of them and they leave my teeth feeling incredibly clean and fresh, which is my main aim from a toothpaste or - in this case - 'toothy tab.'
At £2.50 for a 12g box of Toothy Tabs, they are a lot more expensive than regular toothpaste which I usually pick up in the supermarket for about £1, but they're almost an experience in themselves (if you're as sad as I am...) and they really do 'do the job' so I can't complain.

For some, they may be a novelty product and for just £2.50, you can't really go wrong, but if you're keen to find a cruelty free, environmentally friendly alternative to toothpaste, I'd definitely recommend you give Toothy Tabs a go. Check out the full range on the Lush website or find out more about "Why?" you should use Toothy Tabs here.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

180. 30 Week Pregnancy Update

Hello lovelies.

As I now enter my 31st week of pregnancy (insane), I'm officially 75% of the way there... more or less, depending on whether this little one decides to turn up early, on time or fashionably late. 
The weeks are still zooming by and, in the coming few weeks, I'll be starting my antenatal classes and preparing for my maternity leave - which starts in just over 5 weeks! I'm beginning to get really impatient as I'm so ready to meet our little baby girl, so lets just hope the time continues to fly by.

So, how do I feel?

Not much has changed in the last few weeks. I still feel really tired and achy by the time I get into bed - bubble baths are my absolute saviour at the moment - and I'm struggling with how many times I'm waking during the night; mainly to go to the loo, but also just to move around and get comfortable. 

The lightheadedness has faded a bit, which is a relief, but I still have to eat and drink something within about half an hour of getting up, otherwise I find myself feeling pretty weak.

Moodwise, I'm still feeling very stable. I don't feel like I'm losing my temper or getting emotional particularly easily, but I guess all that's still to come.

The main thing I've noticed is that I am hungry. ALL. THE. DAMN. TIME. It's seriously a miracle that I haven't gained a good couple of stone already, with the amount I've been eating in the last few weeks!

How do I look?

I've been gaining weight at a steady rate of 1lb a week for the last 6 or so weeks now, so I'm now 1/2 a stone over my start weight. I think my weight gain is around the normal rate, especially as I didn't gain anything until I reached the 6 month mark, but I'm hoping that I don't gain too much more - not from an aesthetic point of view, but because I've been warned by midwife about the complications that excessive weight gain can add. 

I'm feeling pretty whale-like at the moment too as I'm struggling to find any flattering clothes. I've been wearing lots of floaty dresses which are pretty but I feel quite dumpy in them. I'll keep trying new things though!

Are we prepared?

I picked up some more adorable baby clothes the other day so we're now collating quite a nice wardrobe for our baby girl, although admittedly it is about 90% baby grows, rather than any outfits as I think I'll leave them until the baby is a couple of months old. If it's going to be covered in milk, sick and God knows what else, what's the point?
Tesco has proved a great place to pick up affordable, cute baby clothes!

We've got one more bit of furniture to put up and then the nursery is sorted, even though we won't be using it for around the first 6 months. It's still nice to get everything set up whilst we've still got the energy. 

My blood test results came back fine so that's good news, I had to rearrange my whooping cough vaccination as I slept right through it (oops!) so I'll be having that in the next couple of weeks, my job has officially been advertised in the paper so the reality of my impending maternity leave is now sinking in!

I'll be back in a couple of weeks with my 32 week pregnancy update!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

179. 12 Things I'm Grateful For

1. Having an amazing, close-knit family who support me through every decision and every mistake I make and who I love spending time with. I truly believe family are the most important thing in life and I wouldn't change mine for the world.

2. Still being in a strong relationship with S after 5 and 1/2 years together, finally living together in our lovely home, and knowing that very soon we will become more than just a couple - we'll be a family, and knowing that I've chosen someone who will make an incredible, involved and loving father to our daughter.

3. Living in a beautiful home where I feel safe, comfortable and that I look forwards to returning to whenever I'm away.

4. My small but perfectly formed group of close friends who each lift me up and make me happy. 

5. A job which, at times, challenges me but is, for the majority, a fun and relaxed job, where I can help people, learn new things and spend time with lovely people. Plus, it pays the bills. 

6. Baking, reading, blogging, eating out, long bubble baths, catching up on my favourite shows on Netflix and all those other little things that I get to do on my days off. 

7. My health, mind and body for only ever giving me minor niggles and keeping me ticking over, able to move about and with enough energy and drive to get out of bed each morning.

8. This beautiful weather that we're currently experiencing up North and the fact that there are so many stunning places nearby where we can enjoy it.

9. How much my anxiety, in particular social anxiety, has decreased over the last 6 months or so. The fact that I look forwards to trips out and very rarely spend a whole day in the house is a massive achievement for me, not to mention the lack of sweaty palms and a racing heartbeat when I'm somewhere busy.

10. Having this little blog where I can write about what I want, when I want, with no pressure and the lovely feedback that I receive from fellow bloggers and even friends and family who read it. It makes it all worthwhile.

11. Feeling our baby girl moving about inside me. It's the most incredible feeling.

12. The amazing experiences I've had so far in my life and those that are just around the corner, such as a trip to Liverpool in October and a 4 night stay in a Yorkshire cottage next February.

What are you grateful for?

Thursday, 9 April 2015

178. A Day in the Life

As I had a fun day planned for my day off today, I thought I'd share with you some snaps from throughout the day. Enjoy!
A little after 8am, I dragged myself out of bed and made the strenuous journey to the living room sofa instead, armed with my two-course breakfast (yup, that is a necessity when you're seven months pregnant) of chocolate Cheerios, Marmite on toast and fresh orange juice, where I watched the latest episode of Ordinary Lies (has anyone else been watching?! Today's episode had me gripped, and last weeks made me so teary!) before getting ready. 
An hour or so later, I headed down the street - passing the gorgeous, sun-lit Hexham Abbey in the photo above - to drop some stuff off at work, before popping into Superdrug where I picked up the new Barry M nail polishes, some nappy cream for the baby and some new powder and moisturiser. 
Around 11am, my Mum picked me up and we, along with my two sisters, set off to Newcastle for a day of shopping, sightseeing and - of course - eating. It was a beautiful, bright day in town and the first day this year that I've been out without a coat on!
With it being half-term, and a lovely day, Newcastle was bustling so we sought out some peace and quiet in the Laing Art Gallery after a quick look in Superdrug and Game. There were some amazing exhibitions, including Pablo Picasso's work, and it was a really nice way to spend a couple of hours, rather than just shopping or watching a film which is what we usually do when we all get together. 
After months of me craving chicken katsu, I finally had my dream fulfilled. My sister loves Wagamama's so she suggested we go for lunch and everyone was pretty keen. Fi went for the chilli chicken ramen whilst Meg had chicken ramen and my Mum had a spicy green curry (I'm not sure what it was called, but it smelt delicious!) The service was brilliant, I managed to eat 99% of my meal with chopsticks *proud face* and it satisfied my craving, but I'm not sure chicken katsu is something I'd go for again - perhaps it was just my pregnant taste buds playing tricks on me, I'm not sure!
Not that our meal at Wagamama wasn't filling enough... but I suggested we pay a visit to one of my new favourite places - Wheelbirks in Stocksfield - for some ice cream on the way home. It was absolutely packed but we managed to get a table outside in the sunshine where we could enjoy our treats. I went for one scoop of Toblerone Crunch and one scoop of traditional Chocolate, and it was well worth the £3. New Girl in Toon has a fab review of Wheelbirks here
Early evening was spent catching up on blogging and I managed to get a few posts scheduled before we settled down to catch up on One Born, Masterchef and The Island with Bear Grylls, and tucked into tasty bacon sandwiches before heading to bed for an early night. Busy days are tiring, you know?!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

177. Book Review - The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Hello lovelies.

Today's post is another book review, to add to my collection - the most recent being Salt & Honey, a wonderful book set in South Africa, which I reviewed here.

I just finished reading Jonas Jonasson's The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared after a couple of weeks of getting well and truly stuck into it. I picked this book up in Waterstone's months ago and it was sat on my to read shelf for quite a while before intrigue got the better of me and I decided I'd best give it a go. And, believe me, I'm so glad I did.
 (As you can see from the photo, my copy is now well worn after many trips in the bath with me!)

The title was what had initially drawn me to the book. It's not everyday that you get to read about a hundred year old man making a run for it. 

The story is based in Sweden and the main character, one Allan Karlsson, is an elderly but most certainly not decrepit Swedish man, with a wealth of adventure and experience behind him, and he isn't ready to give up those adventures just yet. So, he does exactly what it says on the tin cover: he climbs out of the window, and disappears.

One of my favourite things about the narrative style was that it swapped between present day - as care home escapee Allan travels across Sweden with no real destination in mind - and a past tense, almost biographical, format; giving the reader an in-depth insight into Allan's former years, from birth right up to just before he climbed out of the window, on his final, epic adventure. 

We learn, throughout the novel, that Allan played a key part in many historical events - from the making of the atom bomb to communism in Russia, China and North Korea; all seemingly unlikely but so ridiculously believable due to Jonasson's story telling prowess. 

There are many crucial characters in the novel and none of them fail to deliver on substance or relevance, each adding something to the story and complimenting Allan's character. Each character is also described in a somewhat humorous way, and I loved that this humour was present throughout the book. It takes a lot for a book to make me laugh out loud, but this one did. 

As well as a hugely entertaining, and at times very moving, tale The Hundred-Year-Old Man is also an inspiring read. It made me want to forget about planning and worrying and just embrace the moment and see where it can lead, just as Allan does for his whole life, seemingly without a care in the world. 

I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone looking for something a little bit different, and to anyone who likes to read something with the ability to make them smile. I can't wait to see the film, I just hope it lives up to my expectations!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

176. 24 before 24

Everyone who knows me knows how much I love lists. I write to do lists for each month, I write to do lists for work and for my days off, I plan my meals for the week and base my shopping list on it. Seriously, I just love lists. 

I attempted a 21 before 21 challenge in the months leading up to my 21st birthday, way back in 2013, and managed to complete about half of my goals. The aim is to write a list of things you'd like to achieve in a certain time frame, and work towards them, ticking them off as you go.

I've been working on a 23 before 23 list for months and, as I've only just managed to think of 23 things I'd like to/can realistically achieve, I decided it's a little late (as my birthday is in October!) to begin this challenge... so, instead, I'm giving myself that little bit longer to work towards my 24 before 24 challenge. 

24 before 24
 (Deadline: October 15th, 2016. 560 days)
1.     Get a full driving licence and my own car
2.     Holiday with our baby girl
3.     Introduce a pet to our family
4.     Pay off and keep credit/store cards under £500 at all times
5.     Learn a second language enough to make conversation
6.     Reach 300 followers on Bloglovin
7.     Stay in a 4 or 5* hotel
8.     Treat mum to a spa day
9. Visit Fi in Sheffield
10.  Take up a sport
11.  Try Vietnamese, Korean and Turkish food
12.  Try 18 new eateries
13.  Re-watch all of Breaking Bad and Peep Show
14.  Read every book on my ‘to read’ pile (31)
15.  Visit Liverpool
16.  Walk to the top of Winder
17.  Improve my own health and fitness; more sport, no smoking, healthier eating habits
18.  Get my eyebrows properly shaped
19.  Regularly donate to Macmillan, St John's Hospice and British Red Cross
20.  Go to a blogger meet up/event
21.  Holiday with Dad, Tristan and Megan
22.  Treat myself to (and learn how to use) a good camera
23.  Get my teeth whitened
24.  Have a night away (just S and I)

Do you think my goals are achievable?
Are any of them similar to what's on your bucket list?

I'd love to read other peoples bucket and ** before ** lists, so please send me your links!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

175. March Empties

Hello lovelies and welcome to April!

I've collected a fair few empties this month so I wanted to share my thoughts on them, with you. As you will see, all the products are high-street products, available from places like Boots and Superdrug. 
First up, one of my all time favourites: Soap and Glory's Heel Genius. I've written a full review of this amazing foot cream here, and I still swear by it to this day. It's incredibly moisturising and smells amazing - I've used it on my feet, elbows, basically anywhere with dry skin and it always does the trick. Although it's towards the pricier end of the scale, it is definitely something that I would repurchase as it's just so good. 

A new purchase for me, and one that I've already repurchased, is Provoke's Touch of Silver shampoo. I went for their twice a week brightening shampoo and, as suggested, used it once or twice a week to refresh my hair colour and keep brassy tones away. I wouldn't say that Touch of Silver completely eradicates brassy, yellow tones but I think it makes my hair appear a lot lighter after using it, as well as feeling fresh and clean

Shampoo seems to have been my 'thing' last month, as I also finished my L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Shampoo, which I bought on a whim one lunchtime. It claims to nourish dry hair from root to tip, leaving it soft, shiny and detangled. Perfect. Although it doesn't act as a miracle cure for my hair which is so prone to knots and split ends, it smells gorgeous and leaves my hair feeling nourished and soft. It also feels so luxurious to use, which is a definite winner for a budget hair care product! 
When you're as lazy as me, and your mane is as thick and as much of a pain to wash as mine, dry shampoo often acts as a life saver. I absolutely swear by Batiste's Dry Shampoo as I've always found it to do a better job, and have a much nicer scent, than the other offerings, from Superdrug's own brand to Herbal Essence's. I usually go for the Oriental scent which smells beautifully floral and fresh, it's a very 'girly' smell, that's for sure. And it certainly does what it says on the tin, or in this case - can, as it leaves my hair looked refreshed and feeling softer, rather than limp and greasy.

I've blogged about my love for Sure Maximum Protection anti-perspirant deodorant before, and I'm constantly banging on about it to anyone who'll listen, because it is incredible. If you're prone to 'getting your sweat on', whether it's from exercise, stress or that's just the way you are, this is the solution. It comes in a variety of scents and lasts 48 hours. No jokes. It even withstands baths and showers; it's like the cockroach and nuclear apocalypse scenario - it can survive anything. 

Whilst everyone raves about Benefit or Eyeko's latest eye liner offerings, I faithfully stand by my tried-and-tested, budget favourite - Collection's Fast Stroke Eyeliner. I've been using this eyeliner for as long as I can remember and, although I've tried others in between, this always comes out on top. The shape of the brush means that its easy to create either a thick or thin line, and flicks with ease, and it lasts all day - as pure black; none of that patchy, grey mess that you get with some eyeliners. For just £2.99, in Superdrug, you really can't go wrong if you want to give it a go!

Have you tried any of my March Empties?
Any products you'd recommend I try out this month?