If I’m completely honest, I am not very adventurous with food and Asian cuisine in particular is something that I consciously avoid. However, when the lovely Sammie from Intu Victoria Centre got in touch inviting me to their latest blogger event I couldn’t say no! Victoria Centre are expanding their range of restaurants and cafes at the moment and adding Thai into the mix was a great way of offering alternative cuisines. I’ve actually been to the restaurant before but this time it was with a bit of a twist as WE were going to be doing the cooking!
Turning up at the restaurant I was actually really early and was surprised to be the first one there! I was met by a lovely member of staff called Drew who greeted me in Thai and brought me a Full Moon cocktail that was very on trend as it was ‘millennial pink’ in colour and very refreshing. We all sipped our cocktails in the sun on the terrace and enjoyed a bit of a natter before being escorted to our cooking zone by Drew.
We were told we would be cooking two dishes during the evening, a starter of Fresh Prawn Rolls – as I don’t eat meat or fish, mine was substituted for tofu pieces – and a main of a Thai Red curry. We were placed in pairs at little cooking stations (of course I was with my bestie Lora) and all the ingredients were placed in front of us with all the equipment. We had a chef M who was demonstrating how to make each dish and we were told to follow along.
As I said previously, I am a very picky eater so the fresh rolls were a bit too healthy for me, but I loved making them. We used the rice paper rolls to encase all the fresh ingredients and it was a good way to start cooking as no actual ‘cooking’ was involved, just chopping and rolling! I was pretty chuffed with how mine looked in the end and I don’t think I did TOO badly! We all finished making our rolls and took them back out to the terrace to eat and photograph in the sun.
After finishing off the starters, we headed back downstairs to begin out Thai Red Curry. I love a curry but I do normally just have Indian curries as I love the flavours and spices that they use so using more fragrant ingredients was definitely a new one for me! We started off by heating up the red curry paste in a pan and adding coconut milk. Within two minutes M came round and told me that mine was a ‘little bit burnt’. Damn it. I persevered as I’m not one to be defeated and after all he did only say a little bit burnt!
Lora obviously found this hilarious but she was boiling hers to oblivion at the side of me so I’m not too sure whose was better! The curry looked pretty damn good in the end but I was a bit sceptical at how I’d seasoned it as I was unsure how I’d simultaneously managed to make it too sweet AND too salty. It’s safe to say my cooking skills leave a lot to be desired as M came round to taste the final product and was less than impressed to say the least. At least I tried!
We all sat down to enjoy the fruits of our labour and got to have a bit of a chat which was lovely. I was completely unaware that Thaikhun offered these cookery classes but they would make such a good children’s party or hen do option as they are so much fun and you can enjoy your creations at the end of the session too!
A huge thank you to both Intu Victoria Centre and Thaikhun for putting on such a fabulous event for us. It was one of the most hands on and active events I’ve been to and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are Thaikhun restaurants in multiple cities across the UK so definitely check out their website here to see if there’s one near you so you can try out some Thai food of your own!
P.s it was very dark in the room and when I got home I realised that the photos I’d taken were absolutely terrible so please excuse the fact there’s so few of them in this post! Hopefully the cute picture of Lora will make up for it!
I’ve had the title of this post in my drafts, along with an abundance of other travel posts, for about four months now and it’s time I got my act together! I am a nervous flyer and I have no idea where that actually came from! My mum was an air hostess and I always liked it when I was younger so your guess is as good as mine. Before this year, I’d only flown once on my own before and its safe to say it wasn’t fun. I was about 13/14 and I flew to visit my friend in Denmark and I’m sure I cried the entire flight there and quite a lot of the three day trip too! Oops. I did, however, get to experience the flight sat in the jump seat in the cockpit though which was one of the most amazing things i’ve ever done. So to be fair, getting that upset was worth it to some degree!
Over the last few years I’ve definitely become more anxious and I find that the idea of certain things such as flying alone is enough to make me feel ill. The big test came this year when my friend Emily and I arranged a trip to the States together during Easter. This all sounds fine right as we’d gone to New York together the previous Easter, but here’s the catch…she was already over there and I’d have to do the 11 hour flight entirely solo. There’s a bit of a spoiler if you’ve read my San Francisco, Seattle or Whistler diaries though as you know I did it! But here’s some tips that I found really helped me to get there:
If it’s making you ill, see the Dr! – I’m starting off with this as it really is important. The whole idea of it was making me feel physically ill so I paid my Dr a visit and got a very low dose of Diazepam. I took it the night before the flight and on the day and it definitely made me feel more relaxed. Not totally relaxed but it took the edge off!
Plan how you’re going to spend the flight – I pretty much had an itinerary! I knew what movies were available on the flight, which ones I was going to watch and when. I had three blog posts I wanted to draft and multiple audiobooks and kindle books to hand! Most airlines let you know the entertainment in advance so just google your airline and inflight entertainment and you should be able to find out easily!
Have a drink! – I never understood this one as I wasn’t a huge drinker but I had one Gin & Tonic (obviously) and it did just settle my nerves a bit. I’d probably have had another one but the Dr had said don’t drink with the Diazepam so I didn’t want to push it!
Make sure you’re comfortable. – I actually did an on the day upgrade to premium class as I was getting myself wound up in knots about the flight. For me this was the deal breaker. I had more space, better and unlimited service, I could recline and try to go to sleep and I was 50 times more comfortable in economy. I flew with Norwegian and to upgrade in advance was over £500 extra but on the day it was only £250. Worth EVERY penny in my mind. Had I not been able to, I’d taken an eye mask, the pillow from my bed at home, comfy socks and a face mask with me anyway to try and get more comfortable.
Talk to people – I was in the middle aisle and had a passenger either side of me. One liked to keep himself to himself but the other was very chatty and we spent a good few hours putting the world to rights and generally passing time. It both calmed me down and seemed to make the journey go faster so it was a win win! He also actually lived and worked in the San Francisco area so helped me out with a few places to go and things to see. It actually got me really excited to get there!
If you’re getting a connection, find other people doing the same one – On my return journey I had to connect in Toronto and we were running late. To put it mildly I was verging on a blind panic, but when I heard people discussing the flight to Gatwick nearby, I went and chatted to them and we ran to the next plane together. It was really nice not to be alone in that situation!
Get someone to take you to the airport – Both my Mum and Dad came to the airport with me and helped me check my baggage in, gather myself together and help me on my way. I’ve got to say though, walking through that barrier and carrying on on my own was the hardest part and it took everything not to run back to them. It was the thought of such a fantastic trip with my best friend that kept me going and how disappointed she’d be if I didn’t go. It’s not a feeling i’d like to relive though!
Get in the right headspace – This is the vital thing I think for me. Remind yourself what’s waiting at the other end, how short the trip will be in terms of the rest of your life and that so many people have had to do similar things. I guess to a certain degree it’s a little bit of mindfulness, living in the here and now not the what ifs. I’ve always tried to take journey’s in stages and tick them off in my head as I go and I find this really really helps! It goes a bit like: home>airport, inside the airport, the actual flight, inside the new airport, airport>destination. If any of these can be broken down any further I will do that too so I feel like I’m constantly making little achievements!
Just ask– The final thing is that if you’re unsure of anything, just ask. The air stewardesses are so helpful, as are people in the airport and for the most part other passengers too. This counts for speaking to your Dr too and anyone prior to leaving for the trip that may be able to help you out with more information!
Weirdly enough now, I actually prefer to fly solo! I find it therapeutic to have a bit of time to yourself and you’ve only got yourself to worry about. I’ve flown on 4 solo flights this year and knowing that I did the 11 hour flight really helps as I feel like I can do anything now if I set my mind to it! Stepping off at the other end is obviously still a relief but such an achievement in it’s own right too! I hope these helped and if you have any other tips yourself then please leave them in the comments!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ll probably be aware that the huge Youtube personality Louise Pentland has written her own book. Now I’m not one to jump on the blogger/youtuber book bandwagon but this is actually a fictional novel, rather than a so-called ‘beauty bible’, and was something that I thought I’d give a try. I’ve enjoyed Louise’s videos for a while now but more so recently since she’s aimed her target audience at people over the age of 12, unlike other popular Youtube Personalities of similar followings. I feel like it’s a much more mature and womanly channel and something I enjoy watching. With all this in mind, I was intrigued to see how her writing skills performed! *Please note that this review will be entirely spoiler free!*
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll probably be aware of how much I love reading! Saying that though, I also love listening to audiobooks so I bought Wilde Like Me with one of my audible credits and set about listening to it during my holiday in Portugal last month. I loved the narrator of the audio book and found her to be pretty funny to listen to. A good narrator always helps me to get properly stuck into the book if I’m opting to listen to it rather than read it myself!
I’m not going to lie, I initially, and very wrongly, assumed that Louise had had a ghost writer or someone to help her with the actual writing of the book. This was incorrect and she in fact wrote the whole thing herself which I find very impressive to say she’s not had any training in writing a novel! The fact that it’s entirely written by herself became apparent quite quickly though anyway as the way it’s written does sound exactly like her. I loved this as it was very easy to see her own character intertwined with that or Robin throughout the pages.
My pet peeve with the book is that it sounds very autobiographical when in fact it’s not meant to be. Think single mother with a young daughter (about Darcy’s age), makeup artist by trade and her ex husband has moved on to a new woman. For me, it was too similar to her own life and the difference should have been bigger in order to avoid this overlap. With that aside though, I did really enjoy the book and found the character or Robin to be both funny and likeable. Throughout the story I was desperate for a happy ending for her and I only find that happens in a book if I really engage with the character.
I found throughout that there was a good level of lighthearted humour that was very similar to anecdotes and phrases that Louise herself would say. The story wasn’t particularly gripping or page turning but I was sad when I reached the end regardless. I have heard rumours that she may be writing another book and I would definitely be up for reading that if or when it does come out. The key thing for me is that you can really tell the amount of time and effort that has been put into the book by Louise and for that she should be really commended. I just hope that if she writes a second book it’s further away from her own life and more fictional.
Overall, would I recommend it? Yes, definitely if you like romances, humour or just general light-hearted reads. Its a book that you don’t have to take too seriously and is neither too short nor too long. I was really impressed with how well it was written and I wish Louise every success in the future should she write another book. Although I wouldn’t queue up in anticipation to buy the next one, I would definitely be interested in seeing what else she had in store. Have you read Wilde Like Me yet? What did you think of it?
I feel like it’s been a while since I updated my skincare favourites over here, but if you are following me on Twitter, you may have seen a couple of tweets about products I’ve been loving recently. A few people had mentioned to me that they would like to see a more in depth post on my blog about it so your wish is my command.
First thing in most skincare regimes is of course cleansers and like most people I have two that I use at the same time. I honestly can never be bothered to double cleanse but I do use one to remove my makeup at night and one for a freshen up in the morning. At night I have been using up two travel pots of Clinique’s Take The Day Off Balm and Avril’s Cleansing Oil*. It depends how I feel on the day as to which one I use but I like them both equally. I would say the balm texture is more my go-to cleanser but I think oils are quicker at breaking down my makeup so it really is swings and roundabouts. As i’ve gone into more detail about the oil previously (post linked above), i’ll just touch on what I like best about the balm. I love how this is unscented and gentle on the skin. I don’t feel like I have to tug at my skin or be particularly persistent. I find it breaks down my makeup quickly and effectively without being stripping or leaving a greasy residue on the skin.
In the morning, I have been opting for a quick swipe of Avril’s Micellar Water* on a cotton pad just to give my skin a little pick me up. It’s lovely and herbal smelling so I find it quick awakening and invigorating on the skin. Perfect for those sleepy mornings!
Next up is toner and I honestly have hundreds lying around my room at the moment! I always seem to prefer ones that come in a spray form though as there’s no need for cotton pads and they are quick and easy. At the moment, I’m reaching for LUSH’s Tea Tree Toner Water. The tea tree in this means its ideal for blemish prone skin as tea tree is a natural way to keep your skin clean! The spritz on this is perfect for delivering a fine mist and it also smells lovely!
Serums and oils are things that I am very noncommittal about as it really depends whether I can be bothered or not. At the moment I’ve got quite a good routine going on and i’ve been using the Clinique Smart Custom Serum and the Dr Botanicals Moroccan Rose Superfood Facial Oil*. The serum I believe is actually anti-aging and helps to balance uneven skin tone which aren’t areas of concern for me at the moment, I just really like the way it makes my skin feel. It’s hydrating and enjoyable to use and whilst I’ve got a decent travel size of it on the go, I’m continuing to use it every night. The rose oil is possibly my favourite oil i’ve ever tried. The smell is absolutely beautiful and it’s completely non-greasy so it doesn’t leave any kind of film on your skin. It soaks into the skin quickly leaving it lovely and plump and the more watery texture means its easy to apply and a little goes a long way. This has been my favourite Dr Botanicals product i’ve tried so far and I would definitely repurchase this in the future! It’s aim is to repair skin and I definitely noticed that my spots clear a little faster and in general my skin was clearer when I used this.
Eye cream is something I often skip but now i’m firmly past my teens and well into my early twenties, I think its probably something that I need to focus a bit more on. When I was in the states I got a generous sample of the Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment after i’ve heard so many of my blogger friends go on about it. Oh my goodness this is such a nourishing eye cream and I actually enjoy applying it every night. It takes a few minutes to soak in but I feel with eye creams you want them to linger around a bit longer than some other products. I am totally going to be buying the full size of this, I just have at least two others to finish off first before I can justify it.
Normally I just use the same moisturiser for day and for night which I know is not what you’re meant to do but it really does get expensive! However, I went to an event recently at John Lewis in Nottingham (post to come!) and inside were two generous tubs of the Lancôme Hydra Zen Day & Night Creams. I used them originally to take away travelling with me but I soon became pretty hooked on them and now i’m using them at home too. They are nourishing but not greasy and I can definitely tell the difference between the day and the night. The night is a little heavier so it takes longer to soak in which is perfect for over night. The day cream is more quickly absorbed into the skin and leaves no kind of residue once it has. A quick search has just told me buying the full size of both of these would set me back over £80. No wonder why I like it! Damn I can’t justify that at the moment but if you have the cash and are in the market for new creams then these are wonderful!
Finally, onto masks which I use a few times a week. If i’m honest, my complete favourite at the moment is the LUSH Mask of Magnaminty but i’ve completely finished my tub up and I have so many masks on the go I can’t buy any more. Saying that I did just buy the L’Oreal Clay mask for blemish prone skin but I did have a voucher so it is free! The ones i’m consciously using up out of my stash at the moment though are the Evolve Radiant Glow Mask* & the Una Brennan Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask. The evolve mask is a nice, slightly gritty mask which exfoliates at the same time. The Una Brennan mask is more of an intense attempt at keeping spots at bay. I do find the salicylic acid slightly stings my skin but i’ve had no adverse effects and i’m not far off finishing the tube.
To be fair, at the moment a lot of my routine does seem to be travel sizes, but pretty generous ones at that. I wanted to write the post regardless as I feel my skin has really been benefitting from the products I’ve been using. I’m really trying to cut down some of my stash as the cupboard is full to bursting with different products to try! The next time I get another good rotation of products I’ll write another update post!
What skincare have you been loving recently? Have you tried any of these products at all?
Tom and I have been together for over five years now and to say we I love travelling so much, you’d have thought we’d have at least spent a day together in London during that time! Sadly that wasn’t the case so this time we were determined to cram as much in together as we could! Neither of us have been down to do tourist things in London for years, instead going for work or a specific event, so we wanted to see the sights and treat it as a real holiday.
The sole purpose of the trip was actually to see Harry Potter & The Cursed Child as we’d booked the tickets a year prior to the day of the first show. We took the train down on Thursday morning and our shows were Thursday & Friday Night. I think i’m going to go into more detail about the show in a separate post for those of you who are interested, but it’ll be mentioned a little later on don’t you worry!
If you’ve ever tried finding a hotel in London, you’ll know how flipping expensive they are! I booked ours a while ago through Booking.com (that link will give you £15 off your next trip if you’re interested!) and it was the Shaftesbury Premier London Paddington Hotel. This was located really close to Paddington station which has 4 tube lines running through it I believe so it’s perfect for getting around! I found the hotel to be perfect for what we needed but we did get an upgrade after complaining about our original room so I would err on the side of caution if booking it. The room we ended up with was a club room which was brilliant but the ‘deluxe’ double we should have had was actually in the basement with next to no light and a shower cubicle the size of a postage stamp that also smelt of stagnant water. Be warned.
On the Thursday we arrived at our hotel at around half 2 and after a quick freshen up, we headed out to Trafalgar Square to see Nelsons column and then on to Covent Garden. It’s safe to say Covent Garden was entirely my choice and was purely to head to Ladurée, Deciem & Charlotte Tilbury! Macaroons eaten, I went to find my shade in The Ordinary foundations as I hadn’t wanted to guess online! I ended up going back to buy some for Lora & Sophie too on the Sunday!
After a bit of shopping, we had to grab an early dinner as the theatre recommends being at the show an hour in advance of the start time (7.30pm). Tom had found a place called Polpo online and it turned out it was directly opposite the theatre! It was a really cute place that served tapas that was delicious! If I was to be picky I’d say that the staff were too attentive and almost bothersome and I got my prosecco served in a IKEA tumbler! Not quite what I was hoping for but we had a delicious meal all the same!
From here we crossed the road to the palace theatre and queued to see the Cursed Child part 1! Our tickets were in the dress circle which I would say is always my favourite place to sit in the theatre. They do come with a bit of a price tag though as I think they cost us £70 each per show! In my opinion they were totally worth it though and if you’re going to go and see the show, you may as well do it properly and not scrimp! The acting and the special effects of the show were absolutely out of this world and I was on the edge of my seat at times! I’d actually read the book so I knew the story line but I was actually glad about that as I didn’t have to spend ages focussing on the plot and I could just sit back and enjoy it all! Part 1 does end on a bit of a cliffhanger though so I could imagine that if you’re new to the story, waiting 24 hours felt like a lifetime!
Day two started with a real bang for us as we’d actually arranged to go on one of the Thames Rocket Tours*. As someone that can get a bit sea sick I was a little nervous beforehand but I loved it! The trip runs from the London Eye Pier and lasts around an hour. On arrival we were given warm waterproof coats (very handy!) and life vests! Each boat takes about 12 visitors and has a tour guide and a skipper. Our tour guide was a lovely guy called Bill and our skipper was Andy! For the first 20 minutes of the ride we leisurely rode out towards Tower Bridge, taking in the sights at our leisure. Bill came round to take some pictures for us all and even took a sneaky selfie on Toms phone.
Once we’d hit Tower Bridge (not literally thankfully), the fun began and we sped off at around 30 knots. I’m not a speed demon but this was amazing and the hilariously dramatic soundtrack in the background was fantastic. Think James Bond, Don’t Stop Me Now and Rocket Man to name but a few! I was so so sad when this part of the journey ended as it was so much fun and unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It’s safe to say I looked very windswept when we got back on dry land and Tom’s hair had taken on a mind of it’s own!
The final 20 minutes of the journey was at a leisurely pace again but this time, Bill pointed out major sights on route. His favourite things to point out were things that hadn’t perhaps gone to plan and gave Tom and I a tonne of facts to take away with us! My personal favourite is that Waterloo Bridge is also called Ladies Bridge as it’s the only one to be built by women. Its also the only one to come in under budget; get finished on time and it also cleans itself! Girl power at it’s best!
Once we had disembarked the boat, we decided to do a bit of wandering and looking at the sights. We crossed over Westminster bridge to take a look at the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben (which is actually the name of the bell, not the tower!) and made our way towards the Shard! We were going to go up the Shard but for around £55 for the pair of us just to go up in the lift we decided to give it a miss! We did have a spot of lunch on the ground floor though at Lang! It’s part of the Shangri-La hotel and offers amazing pastries! We had a toastie each and then it was on to the most fantastic cakes! I had a salted caramel tart and Tom had a raspberry and rose macaroon! They were delicious! One very random thing that was present at Lang was a heated toilet seat! If we had that at home, I honestly don’t think i’d ever see Tom ever again!
Feeling rather heavy, we decided to walk to Borough Market to take a look at what it had to offer. There is an amazing array of food stalls and all sorts of other goodies there and if I lived in London I would love to get my groceries from some of the stalls! It’s definitely an upmarket place though, selling truffles and caviar and other fantastic, yet very expensive, delicacies on every corner! We got the tube to Buckingham Palace from here as it’s just a must-see place for any London Tourist! We saw the beefeaters and took a good wander around the park and the lake, just enjoying being outside in the reasonably nice weather! We finally took a little gander at 10 Downing Street although since I was last there security has naturally been stepped up and you can barely see a thing. We also ended up walking by New Scotland Yard, where Tom took a little boomerang of the sign for his Insta Story!
After heading back to the hotel for a quick freshen up, it was time to head back out to see part 2 of The Cursed Child. Having never seen a show in London, to see two on consecutive nights felt like a right treat! I found the second part to be very emotive, partly because I knew it was the final of something I’d be looking forward to for so long and also from how the story unfolded. I feel like the actors were incredibly emotive and the casting had been picked exceptionally well. My favourite character was definitely Scorpius but I would say 90% of the characters represented both their paper and film counter parts amazingly! It’s totally worth a visit if you can!
Day three was our final full day in London and being people that spend a lot of time on social media, we wanted to take a trip to Camden Market to try and find THOSE Halloumi fries from Oli Baba’s! I had no idea how big Camden was so it took us a while to find them. I may of perhaps tripped into a distillery shop and picked up yet another new bottle of gin, but this one, Half Hitch, is actually made at the market so I couldn’t not get some! We finally found the fries and oh my god they were amazing! Deep fried halloumi with mint yogurt, something that tasted a bit like balsamic glaze and fresh pomegranate seeds. Simply divine!
We wanted to do a spot of shopping from here so we of course went to Liberty’s, Carnaby Street and Harrods and Harvey Nic’s amongst others. I always love Liberty’s and Carnaby street has such a buzz about it. I actually hadn’t realised I’d never been to Harrods before so we whiled away plenty of time in there as it’s HUGE! They sell absolutely everything you could think of and I loved exploring it. It’s a crazy shop full of so many treats that I can’t even begin to list them! After a quick walk down Sloan Street to see if we could spot any super cars for Tom, we headed back home for a quick refresh before dinner.
Oh dinner, how amazing it was! We went to the infamous Distillery on Portobello Road which specialises in gin, gin and more gin! We ate in one of the two restaurants they have there, Gin Tonica. This was yet another delicious tapas restaurant with a gin list a mile long. Weirdly, Tom dislikes gin so he chose a wine that was absolutely delicious! I thought ‘when in Rome’ and opted for the Portobello Road gin which was amazing! We shared numerous tapas dishes which were mouth watering and a pudding that still has me thinking about it! My only thing was that the gins were VERY pricey, the cheapest ones were around £10 a glass so I felt like I could only really have one for fear of racking up a huge bill! I would 100% go back though next time I was in London and I’d LOVE to stay in the hotel they have there! They also have a fantastic gin experience that I am totally putting on my birthday wishlist!
On our final day we had to head back just after lunch time so we decided to have a yummy breakfast instead to finish the holiday off in style! On recommendation from Lora and her husband Chris we joined the queue at The Breakfast Club in Soho and decided to wait in line no matter how long it took. As we were a two it was actually only around 35-40 minutes which I’m lead to believe is pretty good in there! Tom had a full english along with a tea and I had cold pressed orange juice with a veggie breakfast. The juice was some of the nicest i’ve ever tasted and the breakfasts were gigantic! I think next time I would opt for something a bit more specialist so I can try their take on things but the veggie breakfast was amazing! We were both so so full after we’d finished and didn’t need to eat anything again until dinner time!
Sadly that brought our trip to London to an end but we had an absolutely fantastic time full of action packed boat rides, amazing food and wonderful theatre! Let me know what your favourite thing to do in London is!
*Tickets provided for PR purposes. A huge thank you to the team at Thames Rockets for helping to make our trip so wonderful!
Quite a few months ago now, a lady called Marion got in touch with me from a french brand called Avril Cosmétiques asking if I wanted to try out a few of their products. Of course I was only happy to oblige, who doesn’t love trying out new things hey?! I was asked to pick 5 products that I wanted to try from any of their ranges, so I tried to pick something from the skincare, makeup and tools to get a good overview of what I liked!
Lets get the negatives out the way first as nobody likes ending on a bad note! I wasn’t a fan of the makeup products sadly. The volume noir mascara* didn’t really do anything for my lashes at all, it was neither volumising nor dark, and the ‘highlighter’* was more of a matte pressed powder. I’m a full on glow girl who likes full lashes so these fell short for me sadly!
The other three products I picked were the Micellar Water*, the Cleansing Oil* and the Fan Brush* and these were the stars of the show for me! Both the micellar water and cleansing oil were only €7 each and the brush was only €6! These were really really good value for money and things I would definitely repurchase!
Firstly, the cleansing oil! This has a lovely fresh scent and a little goes a really long way. I found it to be very effective at dissolving my makeup, even heavy eye makeup, and it was neither stripping nor greasy. I also was pleased that it didn’t irritate my eyes at all and left my skin feeling nourished without being too much for it! I’ve got this in my shower at the moment and I’m using it nightly to take off my makeup and I’ve been really happy with it!
Next was the Micellar Water and to be honest I don’t normally use these waters as it’s a step I just can’t be bothered to add in. However this one is a huge bottle at 400ml and has a lovely fresh herbal scent rather than a alcoholic scent. I use this in the morning before I do my skincare regime to give my face a quick refresh and I’ve really been enjoying it. This bottle is going to last me a lifetime but again I don’t find this to be stripping in the slightest so its going to get finished…eventually!
The final item was the fan brush and I picked this as I don’t actually own one from any brand but i’ve heard they’re great for highlighter! The bristles are synthetic as the entire brand is organic and natural. For €6 this certainly matches other well known synthetic brush brands on quality! I’ve not had one bristle shed from it and the hairs have been shaped perfectly. I’ve used this nearly every day since I received it with my Becca Highlight and its fab! It allows me to get a more concentrated highlight rather than a wildly spread out array that I normally end up with!
For me, I really liked the concept of the brand overall and they have a wide range of products on their website, all at very reasonable prices. I didn’t try any of their hair or body care but they do carry lines in those categories too. I would say to try the skincare first as that was a real stand out for me and something that I would repurchase. Maybe I was unlucky with the makeup items I picked but the brushes were of a brilliant quality for the price!
Have you tried Avril Cosmétiques? What products do you like the sound of the most?
So a few months ago I was invited to an event held by Swatch in Victoria Centre in Nottingham. Unfortunately, this fell whilst I was away in Norfolk with the boys so I couldn’t attend, although it looked absolutely amazing from the instastories i’ve seen! However, I was very lucky to be allowed to pop into the shop anyway to pick up one of their new range of watches to try and review!
Swatch is a brand of watches that have been going for around 30 years and have become firm favourites with customers across the world. I had personally never had a watch from the brand before, but both Tom and his Dad have and both of them love them for their sheer comfort and practicality. The whole idea behind the event was to showcase the new launch of more ‘Skin’ watches to their range. These are designed to be incredibly lightweight so it almost feels like you don’t have a watch on. The whole event was designed around movement and being able to feel comfortable in your watch whilst being on the go.
I was invited to pick a watch out from the new skin range and of course the one I was instantly drawn to was from the old range. Please tell me it’s not just me that this happens to?! I was with my mum at the time and she pointed to one I hadn’t seen in the top corner and it’s safe to say I fell in love. Now, I have two silver watches and one rose gold/nude watch and that’s it so when I saw the deep Navy SkinSparks* watch I knew that that was the one I wanted as it was so different to anything I already own.
When the lovely sales assistant passed the watch to me I honestly couldn’t believe how light it was! I haven’t weighed it myself, but a quick search online tells me it’s around 18g. 18g! How is that even possible?! The dial is a gorgeous metallic navy with a tiny delicate crystal marking each of the hours. It also has a very comfortable dark navy silicone strap which I initially thought I wouldn’t like but the sheer comfort of it totally won me over! It’s silky soft too yet doesn’t slide around when i’m wearing it which is a real pet hate of mine!
This watch retails for £79.50 which I honestly think is a complete bargain. It’s perfect for wearing day-to-day, is water resistant up to 30 metres and is so light that you forget you’re actually wearing a watch! I’ve been using this the most for the evenings i’m at work as it’s pretty and delicate, yet the face is still 40mm so it’s really easy to read too. As a girl that adores sparkles, the tiny little crystals are the perfect addition to make it that bit more glam! I can see this quickly becoming a staple for me and when I can be bothered to return to the gym, this will come in handy for those days too! My mum actually never wears a watch but has said she’d love to borrow this as the navy seems to go with everything and it’s understated yet feminine! On the website there were 54 watches in the skin range to choose from so you’re guaranteed to find something that suits your style! I’m seriously debating going back for the Rose Gold one I initially fell in love with as they are just so comfortable and easy to wear and that one has a metal strap so would be more suited to work!
What do you think of the Swatch Skin range? Let me know which one you would pick!
* I was gifted this product for PR purposes but all opinions remain my own.