Long Time No See: Where Have I Been?!

Hello again, after an unexpectedly long hiatus from blog writing! I genuinely can’t quite believe how long it has been since I last managed to type up a post! Before I start writing posts again, I wanted to share what’s been going on behind the scenes here at The Rose Beauty Files and hopefully where it’s heading for the rest of this year.

New Theme!

Firstly, you might have noticed there’s been a bit of a design shake up! I’m not completely happy with it yet as it definitely needs some tweaking but it’s starting to look a little bit like how I had envisioned and with a little bit of help from Tom, it should be looking great in the next few weeks!

New House!

If you don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram, then you might not know that I have just bought my first house. It all happened incredibly quickly with initial house viewing to getting the keys only taking a meagre 8 weeks! Its been a very exciting but slightly stressful time and it has been using up 90% of my free time recently and I will imagine that that will continue to be the case for a few more months yet!

As this is a whole new chapter for Tom and I, we thought it might be nice to document the whole process together to be able to look back on. With The Rose Beauty Files already being an established blog, we decided that rather than create a new blog dedicated to home decor, renovation and DIY, we’d simply add a page onto this blog where all the posts will appear. I’m hoping that this can be a bit of a project we can get stuck into together and that at least some of you will find it interesting to watch our progress!

I’d like to cover all sorts of topics from ‘Top tips on buying your first house’ right down to ‘what you need to buy before you move in’ style posts. I’ve also learnt so many new skills along the way including how to strip wallpaper, how to find good plasterers and how not to murder your boyfriend when he moans about how the paint doesn’t look quite how he imagined it to. I’m so excited to start writing these posts and I’m looking forward to sharing lots of before and after pictures with you!

New Job!

As I think I have mentioned before, I started a new job in September which means that gone is the relaxed ‘part-timer’ uni life and a new 9-5.30 routine has set in. It’s definitely taken some getting used to and I would still say i’m not entirely used to it! The really difficult part for me is that I am still taking exams to become a chartered accountant and fitting revision in around work is proving to be incredibly difficult and more stressful than I could ever have imagined. My next set of exams are both on the 4th June, just under two weeks away, and after that, I’m off on holiday where I’m hoping to get my blogging mojo back and take a well earned break from studying, work and DIY!

I’ve genuinely been so disheartened that my blog seems to have taken a bit of a sideline over the last few weeks but I have SO many ideas to share with you all and I’m hoping that June is the month I actually get them posted! Let me know if there’s anything in particular that you fancy reading and I’ll see you on the other side of these dreaded exams!

Much Love


December, January & February Empties – Skincare!

I‘m finally back with part 2 of my mega empties and today’s post includes all the skincare items that I managed to finish up in ‘the great 3 month empties roll over’ over 2017/18. I’m impressed with how many items I managed to finish up and there were definitely a few hits and misses!


I finished up two cleansers and weirdly both were from Clinique. I say weirdly as I don’t really buy many products from Clinique but I seemed to have accumulated a fair bundle and they all seem to have appeared in this post! First up was the Take The Day Off Balm Cleanser which I have tried before and I love using. The tub lasts absolutely ages and a small amount just destroys all makeup with very little effort. I also like that it has little to no scent to it and that it doesn’t leave a film on my skin, nor does it leave it dry. I would say though that the Body Shop Chamomile cleanser is just as good and about half the price if you’re on a budget! The other cleanser was the 2-in-1 exfoliating cleanser which I had been using in a morning if I jumped in the shower and wanted to give my face a quick clean. I hadn’t used it for a couple of weeks and picked it up to find it had completely gone off. I’ve never smelt anything like it and there was absolutely no way I was putting it on my face again! I hate it when products go off so quickly so I will not be buying the full size of this product as it just feels like such a waste of money!

Moisturisers IMG_0958.jpg

I’ve finished off the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion + in the deluxe travel size and the Glam Glow Volcasmic Matte Glow Moisturiser in a mini size. The Dramatically Different lotion is a cult favourite and when I briefly worked on the Clinique counter over summer, it was a real best seller. Personally, I’ve always put it on the back of my hand and been completely underwhelmed, I found it never sunk into the skin and just kind of sat there. So when I got this tube I was determined to give it a good try to see if I could change my mind. Although I did start to like this moisturiser more, I definitely didn’t love it and found that it didn’t provide my skin with enough moisture! Ironically, this particular variant is targeted towards very dry and dry combination skin and I would NEVER describe my skin as ‘very’ dry so if you do have very dry skin, this would barely do anything for you!

The moisturiser that did completely win me over however was the Glam Glow Volcasmic Moisturiser. Boy is this stuff good! It’s a hydrating cream, that’s a little more solid than other creams I’ve tried, and smells deliciously of chocolate orange without being overpowering. I don’t know how it does it but my skin has a satin finish whilst still looking radiant and glowing in a ‘lit from within’ kind of way and that tiny pot has left me wanting to buy the full size for *gulp* £40.


First up in the miscellaneous pile is the LUSH Tea Tree Toner Water which seems to have lasted me about 6 months! I absolutely love facial spritzes but I couldn’t tell you whether this one did anything at all. I enjoyed using and the smell was lovely and refreshing, but I didn’t notice any improvement in my skin and I think it’s very overpriced for some water and a few drops of tea tree oil. You could definitely make it yourself for a lot cheaper than £4.95 for a small bottle.

Up next is the Rodial Rose Gold Serum which I absolutely loved using! After 2-3 days I had decided I was going to treat myself to the full size as I loved it so much…. until I saw the price. One hundred and ninety bloody pounds this thing costs… for 30ml! Trust me to like the most ridiculously priced item ever to grace my skincare collection. No more needs to be said on this one, it is 100% not worth that amount of money and no-one can convince me otherwise.

Omorovicza is a brand I have wanted to try for a long time, in particular, their Deep Cleansing Mask. This little pot lasted me about two full applications and I’m sad to report, I noticed absolutely no difference at all, in fact, I felt like it dried my skin out completely! I was so disappointed, but at the same time, it retails for £62 so if you want a more luxury mask I’d save £20 and try one from Glam Glow if I were you!

I’d seen a lot of people rave on about the First Aid Beauty Blemish Control Pads so when I saw them on sale for £10 I jumped at the chance to try them. You get 60 pads in a tub which is a really good amount actually and they stay reasonably saturated in the solution for quite a while after opening the tub. However, I found this these did literally nothing for my skin at all. I noticed no difference in my blemishes, skin texture or even just the general condition of my skin. I wouldn’t bother with these again as they’re normally about £20 and I do not think they’re worth that in the slightest!

Sachets and Sheet MasksIMG_0960.jpg

My favourite thing that I finished was the Glam Glow Bubble Sheet Mask but I’ve written a whole review about it (here) so i’ll save you the ramble again if you’ve already read that post! On the subject of Glam Glow (again – sorry not sorry) I finished up a sample of the Thirsty Mud Mask which is one of my absolute favourites, the Galacticleanse Jelly Cleanser and the Glow Starter Moisturiser in Nude Glow. I’ve got full reviews in the pipelines for the thirsty mud and galacticleanse so I’m going to keep quiet on those, but I’ve got to be honest and say I didn’t like the Glow Starter Moisturiser at all! It didn’t feel very moisturising and the ‘glow’ element was full on shimmer so in my opinion, definitely save your money there and opt for an alternative!

Included in my birthday gift from Space Nk was two of the Nu Face Prep-N-Glow wipes. These are individually packaged wipes that are exfoliating on one side and smooth on the other. I really really enjoyed using these and the exfoliating side was effective without being too abrasive! Sadly, they were in the same set as the Rodial Serum and again are crazily priced! They are £9 for 5 wipes! Yes you heard me, 5 wipes! I just cannot part with that much money for face wipes so sadly these are another fail for me! Finally I tried another sample from Omorovicza in the form of their Gold Flash Firming Serum, which I did enjoy using but I didn’t find it did anything that would make me rush out to buy it. The word ‘gold’ in the name makes me think that this might also be another astronomically priced product. (Just checked out of curiosity and yep, I was right… a cool £140. Jesus Christ!).

So there we have it, on reflection it seems like a lot of product price bashing this time but there are definitely some good’uns in there too! Have you tried any of these products? Would you pay some of these crazy prices if you really liked a product? There’s still one more part to this seemingly never ending empties collection which I plan to post this week if I can!

Much Love





Glam Glow Dupes?! – L’Oreal Pure Clay Face Masks

Face masks seem to be absolutely everywhere at the moment with brands from all price ranges battling it out to try and have the best offering on the shelves. A popular favourite (and one of mine too!) is Glam Glow, but at £42 a pot, they’re not exactly purse friendly! A little while ago now, L’Oreal brought their own range to the table in the form of the Pure Clay masks and at around £5.99 a tub, I was keen to try some to see how they compared to my beloved Glam Glow.

I have managed to try three of the formulas: Blemish Rescue, Glow and Detox. The one I picked up first ,and is probably my most used, is the Blemish Rescue. It’s a bright blue smooth clay that makes you look a little like a reject from the Smurfs and claims to clear and unclog your skin. It contains 3 different clays and some marine algae extract (whatever that is) and has a really fresh spa like scent that is not too over powering! You only need to apply a thin layer and leave it to dry for 10-15 minutes. I’m really pleased to say that I have genuinely noticed a difference in my skin when I use this! It leaves my skin looking clearer, feeling softer and any blemishes look calmer and less red. For me, any clay mask that doesn’t dry your skin to bits is also a complete winner and this leaves my skin feeling perfectly balanced!

IMG_0324.jpgNext up is the Glow mask and again, this is another real winner for me. Clearly I like the ‘algae’ masks as this one contains red algae (again not sure what this is particularly). It is targeted at dull, uneven skin types with the aim to brighten and exfoliate. I wouldn’t say my skin is dull but it can definitely be uneven so I use this to give my skin a bit of a scrub when its needing a bit of a pick me up. The texture is slightly gritty but is quite thick like the other clay masks and a little does go a long way! Again, a thin layer is all you need and I would recommend leaving it on for the 10-15 minutes, before using a warm damp flannel to remove it. It is a manual exfoliator rather than a chemical one so the removal is actually when the exfoliating comes into play. I can’t really say I noticed my skin looking brighter, but it definitely felt softer, smoother and generally in better condition.

Finally, the detox mask, and this is probably the most directly comparable to a Glam Glow mask! It’s very similar in appearance and description to the Supermud Mask but comes in at a fraction of the price! This mask contains charcoal alongside the clays and is targeted at congested normal skin to cleanse and clarify. As with all the masks, this one smells lovely but has a more masculine scent to it compared to some of the others. The masks are targeted at men and women so I like the fact the scents aren’t overly feminine. I did find this to be the most drying of the bunch and for that reason I haven’t used it as much to be honest. My skin is some weird combination of dry and dehydrated and a bit oily at the same time if that is even possible so I just felt that, unlike the other two, this one left it feeling a little bit unbalanced. To be fair though, I do find that with Supermud too so I would say these are best used in targeted areas as opposed to all over the face.

The L’Oreal masks (like Glam Glow) are designed with multi-masking in mind so you could use more than one and target the different needs in the different areas of your face. I would definitely say that the Detox and Supermud masks are pretty comparable to be honest, the main difference being that Supermud gives the skin a nice tingling sensation whereas Detox does not. Otherwise, I’d say they are pretty damn similar!

If I could only pick one mask from these three though, it would 100% be the Blemish Rescue! It’s genuinely a lovely product to use on the skin and the tub has lasted me well over 10 uses so far so I would imagine I could easily get somewhere between 15-20 uses for £5.99 which is a complete bargain! I also love the simplistic packaging and branding and I feel like L’Oreal have done a great job producing this line! There are a couple of other masks in the range but I have yet to try those – watch this space!

Have you tried any of the L’Oreal masks? Which one is your favourite? Let me know if you try any of these out!

Much Love


December, January & February Empties – Makeup!

I fell into that terrible terrible trap again of letting my empties roll over for three whole months. There’s a huge collection of bits and bobs this time so I’ll try and be as quick with my mini reviews as possible! I started writing this and I was about 500 words in after half of the makeup items so I’m going to separate it out into category posts to make it slightly easier to read.

I’m going to start with makeup as I’ve finished off an impressive amount of items! To be honest, i’d forgotten that half of these were in the box as it’s been so long! So I finished up four whole mascaras this month: Tarte Light’s Camera Lashes, Urban Decay Perversion, MAC Upward Lash & Rimmel Wonderfully Real*. The Tarte and Urban Decay mascaras are repeats for me and ones that I would keep repurchasing as I love them! They separate, length and don’t flake or smudge throughout the day. I surprisingly really loved this MAC mascara, it had a really nice tiny wand and it worked well at getting right to the root of my lashes, I’d definitely give it another go! Finally, the most disappointing of the bunch, Rimmel’s Wonderfully Real. I absolutely loved this mascara and it made my lashes look amazing (see below!), however after using it for a few weeks I started to notice it was smudging all over the place! It was up to my brows, underneath my eyes and even smudged in random patches on my face. Why do all the mascaras that work instantly smudge?! (I’m looking at you Charlotte Tilbury!).Mascara Review

I’ve also finished up two high end concealers over the last two months and again, these are repeat purchases. Clarins Instant Concealer in the shade 01 is one of my all time favourites. It works well under the eyes and covering blemishes which is a massive bonus. It’s about £20 so it’s not mega cheap but it’s brilliant if you can find a shade that works as there’s a very very limited selection sadly! The other concealer was the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer* in the shade Vanilla which I actually received as PR (can’t believe i’m saying that) back before Christmas. I’ve been through a tube of this in the past and I do really enjoy using it so it was nice to have it in my makeup bag again. My only issue is that I seem to use up the tubes very very quickly, otherwise I love it and would buy it again!IMG_0009_Fotor.jpg

Hold up. I used up an ENTIRE highlighter. That needs some serious praise surely?! It was the amazing BECCA Shimmer Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal and it has been my holy grail highlighter for the past year or so. The formula is so soft and blends like a dream and the shade is just a gorgeous pale champagne pink. Despite having other highlighters in the mix, I have replaced this but I’ve tried the shade Moonstone this time in order to warrant another purchase!

I seem to hoard primers so i’ve waded my way through three for this post. The first is The Ordinary High Adherence Silicone Primer which I picked up in London late last summer. I’ve got to say it’s one of my favourite primers and for the price I am definitely going to be picking up a new one once i’ve worked through some of the others that are lingering in my collection. Next up is the Benefit Porefessional Matte Rescue and I’m going to put it out there and say that this is 100 times better than the original Porefessional. I really didn’t like the original and could never understand the hype around it, this one however is way way under appreciated in my opinion. I really noticed a mattifying effect so I limited the use to my t-zone, however the cool gel like formula was really enjoyable to use and again I would think about buying the full size in the future. Finally, I finished off a tube of the Urban Decay Primer Potion which is my favourite eye primer but I really don’t use eye primer that much in general. I think I have a couple of other sample sizes which seem to last a lifetime, so I won’t be reaching for the full size just yet.Empties - Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal

In the last few years, I couldn’t tell you when I last finished a brow product, however pencils definitely seem to be much easier to go through. Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil in the shade 3 is my go-to at the moment. It’s made getting ready in the mornings a lot quicker and is perfect for chucking in my makeup bag. I love how it makes my brows look and I have actually replaced it pretty much instantly. I wanted to try the shade up this time, although that seems to be the most popular and it was out of stock everywhere I tried, so I’ve stuck with shade 3 again for now.

The sense of pride I feel when I finish up a MAC lipstick is pretty epic!  I went through a whole tube of MAC’s Modesty and I’m actually sad it’s finished. It’s a cremesheen formula so it’s very easy to wear for work but it isn’t that long lasting sadly. This will stay in my back to MAC box for the future but in the meantime, I don’t think I can justify another purchase with the 7000 other lipsticks living in my dressing table!

The final makeup empty this time is actually something that I only bought in the January sales and it’s the Cover|FX Illuminating Setting Spray! It came as part of an illuminating set and I have used it nearly every day since I bought it. It gave myself a healthy radiance without looking shiny and the rest of my skin felt reasonably matte. The spritz nozzle wasn’t the best nor the worst I’ve tried and I did like the way it felt on my skin. This is £23 full price so it’s definitely up there but I would consider it once I’ve finished some of my others off. I’d quite like to try the matte one too throughout summer so I might buy the mini of that first!IMG_0011_Fotor.jpg

We’ve made it to the end of the makeup portion of these empties! Phew! Looking back, I’m kinda sad that I finished so many great products off as it’ll ultimately mean more purchases are necessary in the near future! Have you tried any of the products I’ve mentioned?

Much Love


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Glamglow Mini Series: BubbleSheet

Hello, long time no speak! It feels strange that although January seemed to drag on longer than anything else, it feels only 2 minutes since I last wrote a blog post! That aside, I’ve been posting on Instagram quite regularly and A LOT of those posts have featured one brand: Glamglow! I asked if anyone would be interested in a mini series and quite a few people said yes so here we are, finally starting it!

The first in the mini series is a post all about the Glamglow BubbleSheet mask! I picked it up during a promotional offer Glamglow were holding where any purchase earned you four deluxe sized samples. I hadn’t really heard anything about this mask when I bought it but it is relatively new to the Glamglow range so I think that might be why. The mask retails for £7, which is pretty pricy for a single use sheet mask, but Glamglow is notoriously pretty expensive so I guess it’s to be expected!IMG_0789

The mask is marketed as a weekly oxygenated deep cleansing mask that is infused with charcoal. I think £7 weekly is pretty expensive but as a skin treat it’s not too bad. The packaging is pretty typical of a sheet mask but I do really like the monochrome colour scheme and that the branding is very synonymous of the of the other Glamglow products, simple yet chic.

Removing the mask from the packet, it’s clear that it’s a very saturated black sheet mask and once unfolded and placed on the face I found it to fit really well and have eye, mouth and nose holes cut in the perfect places unlike a lot of other masks I’ve tried. Another thing I like was that it adhered to the skin perfectly and did not slip and slide around like other masks. IMG_0782_Fotor

The mask is only meant to be kept on for a surprisingly short 3 minutes, in which time it is meant to ‘bubble up’. I was quite impressed with how many bubbles did form on the mask and it did add a really funny level of enjoyment to the mask treatment. IMG_0784_FotorAfter three minutes, you are supposed to remove the mask and rub the residual product on your face into a lather. This is to get a deeper clean on the skin and remove any final bits of makeup and dirt from the skins surface. Finally, all that’s left to do is to wash the remaining product off the skin and then pat the skin dry. IMG_0785_Fotor

In terms of the process, I really enjoyed it. It was quick enough that I didn’t have to set aside a stupid length of time for it and could be used as part of even the busiest schedules! I did feel like it was expensive to only use for 3 minutes though but I honestly don’t think that would put me off buying another one in the future.

My skin felt the cleanest it had felt in years and my skin was both soft and hydrated and had a plumped up look that I really liked. I noticed these effects instantly and they then lasted for a couple of days afterwards. I had no negative effects or breakouts and my skin felt in perfect balance! It really did feel like a detox for my skin. Out of all the Glamglow masks i’ve tried (and i’ve tried most of them!!) I would honestly say that this is my favourite! I think it’s worth the £7 for a treat but I wouldn’t use it weekly.

I’m going to say i’ll probably give this a 9/10, only knocking a point of for the value for money aspect of this product.

I hope you enjoyed the first in this mini series and I hope you’ll keep an eye out for the rest of them which will hopefully come in the next few weeks. Have you tried this bubble mask yet or do you think you might give it a try in the future?

Much Love


What I Got For Christmas 2017 |Beauty

So I don’t think i’ve done a ‘what I got for Christmas’ post before but I LOVE reading them so thought I’d add my offering into the mix as a lot of you said that you enjoy reading them too! I’ve only included beauty items in this post as I thought it made sense to keep things in categories. There might be another addition with ‘other’ items but who knows as my blogging schedule has been pretty non existent lately!

Tom was the contributor of most of these beauty items I believe so I’ll start with what he got me! First up was a new highlighter from Becca in the shade BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter“>Moonstone, I’ve had Opal before and absolutely loved it, but believe it or not, I’ve nearly finished the entire thing and fancied trying out a new shade. Moonstone is a tiny bit lighter than Opal but it still has the wonderfully soft texture that I love! He also picked me up a couple of bits and bobs from Glam Glow as I am fast becoming their biggest fan! Of course another mask was on the cards seeing as I am obsessed with the other versions that I’ve tried, I chose the GLAMGLOW Powermud Dualcleanse Treatment“>PowerMud mask this time and after using it once, I’m certainly impressed!

The next item from Glam Glow was their new GlowSetter setting spray. This comes in an amazing hot pink bottle and produces the finest mist I’ve ever seen from a setting spray! There’s a full review to come but I have absolutely loved using this so far! Finally from Tom, he knows how obsessed I get with blackheads and picked me up a Electric Pore Cleaner from the brand Etereauty. This is such a weirdly satisfying little device and I’ve seen some pretty good results straight off the bat so I’ll keep you posted with how good it ends up being!

My Mum & Dad got me a couple of sets as stocking fillers and to go alongside my main present and I was so pleased with what she chose! In my stocking, I found an Urban Decay Little Liquid Vices set which sadly now seems to be out of stock everywhere! It contains four deluxe mini liquid lipsticks in the shades Back Talk, Amulet, Purgatory and Crimson. These shades are to die for and I was really impressed with the formula actually! I wore Crimson on Christmas Day and it was perfect! The other set they bought me was from MAC and it came from their Snow Ball collection! The Snow Ball Mascara kit comes in a gorgeous pewter coloured makeup bag with a little disco ball on the zip and inside is their False Lash Maximiser, False Lash Mascara and Clear Brow Set. I was really impressed with the three products and Mum had managed to find some of the only MAC products I haven’t tried!

My Grandparents kindly gifted me my absolute favourite perfume J’adore Dior in a huge 75ml bottle. This is a pricey perfume that I actually managed to get discounted for them at my local World Duty Free airport sale! With careful usage, this will hopefully last me until next Christmas, or at least my birthday in October!

Alongside some gin (obviously) my bestie Emily got me a deluxe mini of the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. I convinced her to buy herself one of these when we were in the states as it’s up there as one of my favourite mascaras ever! I’m so pleased to be able to use this again as I haven’t bought it for myself in a while!

My brother got me Benefit’s ‘Date Night With Mr. Right‘ set which included a mini Rockateur blush, Watts Up! cream highlighter, They’re Real! Mascara and one of the new They’re Real! lipsticks. I’ve not tried the new lip products yet so I was excited to get hold of one! I wore it on Boxing Day and I really like both the formula and the ombre effect that it gives!

Finally, the last beauty items came from Tom’s parents who know that I adore makeup! The main gift was one of the Stylpro brush cleaners which I was so pleased to see under the tree! I’m not going to give anything away with this one and I’m going to save it for a full review in the new year! To run alongside the theme, they got me the Real Techniques  Bold Metals Flat Contour Brush which is one of those brushes I did not know I NEEDED until I’d tried it! I absolutely love it and I now want to try and get some more brushes from the Bold Metals collection! Again, running with the theme, I also got a bottle of the Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Gel which smells absolutely amazing! Finally, I got a new bottle of the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish which I’ve had before and love!

I was so spoilt by everyone this year and there are so many new beauty things here for me to try and review! Let me know what you’re most interested to hear about and what your favourite gift was this Christmas! I hope you had a lovely time on Christmas Day and got to spend some quality time with your loved ones!

Much Love


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Blogger Secret Santa!

If you’re a regular reader you will probably know that there are three bloggers that I would consider my besties and we regularly make time to see each other. Of course I’m talking about Lora, Rachael and Sophie! This year we wanted to do something extra special and do a secret santa between the four of us. As we speak nearly every single day, I’d say we’re pretty well equip to purchase things for each other! Saying that there are certain serial spenders in the group who I would have had to think long and hard about what they didn’t already own.

The one person I knew instantly what I would buy if I got them was Lora and it was just my luck that I drew her name! I feel like we all actually picked the name that we actually had ideas for so it worked really really well! My name was pulled out by Rachael, who has tried and tested more makeup than I would know what to do with so I knew I was onto a winner! Each of us have written a blog post explaining what I got so if you’re nosy then please check out the other girls posts!

Now, onto the good stuff and what Rach decided to pick up for me! First up was a ‘pug in a mug’ tea diffuser. You’re probably aware that I am obsessed with dogs, pugs and pug crosses in particular, and I’ve also started drinking tea a lot more at work so this is perfect! I’m going to pick up some loose leaf mint tea to keep in my locker at work so I can continue to be the crazy pug lady that they already know! IMG_0575.jpg

The next thing I opened was the Zoeva Caramel Melange palette which I had been eyeing up for ages! I already own the Cocoa Blend palette and, taking everything into consideration, I think that may be my favourite palette EVER. With this in mind, I was so excited to try this new palette out as the colours are even more up my street and I know I love the formula. It’s safe to say that it didn’t disappoint and I absolutely love it. I would 100% recommend picking it up and I’m just pleased to have been able to add some more Zoeva to my collection!

As if those two items wasn’t enough, Rachael also added a makeup geek single shadow into the bag in the shade Voltage, a gorgeous duochrome gold shade. I didn’t think I’d actually tried any of the makeup geek shadows before until I remembered that Rach also gifted me the foiled shade ‘Houdini’ earlier on this year. I’ve been really really impressed with the quality of the shadows so far and Voltage is such a versatile shade to own. I have reached for this as an inner corner highlight so many times now and I absolutely love it!

Thank you so much to Rachael for picking so well! I love everything she bought but to be honest, all the gifts were lovely and I think the four of us did really really well! If you’d like to see what I bought for Lora then click here. Don’t forget to also check out what Lora bought Sophie (here) and what Sophie bought Rachael (here). Have you taken part in a secret santa this year? If so what did you get?

Much Love


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November Empties 2017

I cannot believe that it is actually December and Christmas is just around the corner! Honestly, where has this year gone?! November has been pretty busy but it’s safe to say i’m ready for the festivities to begin and to have a couple of weeks off work with the family. Of course, the end of the month means it’s empties time again and this months is definitely smaller than the previous two but there’s some interesting bits and pieces to talk about!

Bath & Body

Naturally, there is of course a Body Shop shower gel included in this months empties but this time it’s the limited edition Vanilla Pumpkin scent that was released around Halloween. This is absolutely gorgeous but it’s definitely more of a cream than a gel consistency. I have another bottle of this in reserve but i’d definitely buy more in the future. I have been using this in both the bath and the shower throughout the month and I’ve loved it. I’ve also been using the Oliver Bonas Pink Fizz Bath Salts as they smell absolutely gorgeous. The little box lasted about 6 baths and would make a lovely gift to someone for Christmas.

I’m doing quite well at finishing off all my perfumes at the moment and I’ve sadly come to the end of my bottle of Coach EDP this month. It was a 50ml bottle that I bought in the sale last year and I love it for a nice light everyday scent. The bottle could definitely be a bit more ‘special’ but that aside, I would buy this again. Another regular in these empties posts is of course my trusty Dove deodorant stick. An old favourite and even when I deviate away from this I always end up using it again.

The final ‘body’ product is actually a hand gel from Bath & Bodyworks and I’m actually pretty sad that it’s over. It’s the Stress Relief eucalyptus and spearmint anti bac hand gel. I absolutely love these gels and will always buy them when I go over to the states or Canada. This one is one of the few scents that I don’t get bored of by the end of the bottle and I’m sad to see this go!


I can’t quite remember where I picked up this sample of Omorovicza Intensive Hydralifting Cream but I liked the feel and effects of this moisturiser but the scent was hideous. It smelt incredibly strongly of roses and definitely not in a good way! The scent really lingered on the skin and that alone would 100% put me off buying it. I’ve also just looked and it’s safe to say that the hefty price tag of £130 and upwards for only 50ml has sealed the deal that I will not be buying the full size!

Sticking on the theme of moisturisers, I also finished up a travel size of the Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer. This was a weird one for me as it was quite mattifying but felt more like a primer than a moisturiser and, in my opinion, it didn’t provide much ‘moisture’. It felt very thick and silicone based when applied to the skin and I didn’t know whether to apply a primer or not after using this. I wouldn’t buy the full size of this to be honest as it’s not the kind of consistency that I like from a moisturiser.

As a lover of sheet masks, I was intrigued to try the Boots Charcoal and Willow Bark one that Tom brought home the other week. It aims to be cleansing and purifying and is actually made in Korea. I was really pleasantly surprised with this, it fit the face well, had a good amount of product on it and didn’t leave a horrible film on the skin. For only  a couple of pounds, this definitely rivals similarly priced sheet masks that I’ve tried. I would probably give this another try at some point.

The final thing I’ve finished up this month was a sample of the Fresh Sugar Lip Caramel Hydrating Balm. To be honest, I have a tonne of lip balms lying around and it’s not my favourite product to buy or use but this was bloody lovely. It was really nourishing without being thick or greasy and left my lips so soft. The smell (and taste) was really nice and subtle, but set it apart from other balms I’ve used in the past. If I didn’t have about 100 lip balms lying around and this wasn’t a pricey £15 a pot I would be sure to buy myself some!

What have you guys finished up this month? If you have any good recommendations then please leave them below!

Much Love


*Post may contain affiliate links

A Trip to Burleigh’s Gin Distillery!

If you’ve followed me for any length of time at all, you’ll probably know just how much I love gin. It’s a drink I never used to ‘get’ and I genuinely couldn’t understand what there was to like about it. Fast forward a couple of years though and I’m obsessed. I don’t think I can tell you how many different gins i’ve tried or how much money i’ve spent on G&T’s, it’s quite simply one of life’s finer things for me!

So a couple of weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to visit the distillery of one of my favourite local gins, Burleigh’s and it was every gin lovers dream! As someone that loves to discover new things, it’s safe to say i’m a bit of a gin ‘buff’ and I know so many facts about the stuff I sometimes think I should write a book (joking obviously!). The Burleigh’s gin tour, however, aims to teach you all about their individual production techniques and gives an insight into how they get their product out on the shelves.

Mum got to enjoy a cheeky G&T too!

We were greeted with a lovely gin and tonic served in one of their own copa glasses, complete with garnishes to boot. The particular gin used was their ‘Signature’ London Dry Gin and was served with a fresh orange wedge and plenty of ice. They also served it with the new Schwepps premium tonic which I had yet to try. I’m still a Fevertree girl at heart and I love experimenting with different brands but this was still a nice mixer and let the gin and the orange come through nicely. As a little side note, London Dry doesn’t actually have anything to do with the ‘dryness’ of the gin, it is actually a method of producing gin that has been going for years and years!IMG_0401.jpg

Our tour started with their huge copper pot still, affectionately named ‘Messy Bessy’. This is where all the real magic happens! It’s a floor to ceiling, custom-made device that has a capacity of 450 litres, which may sound big to us average joes, but is in fact quite small in the world of gin distillery. The design of this copper pot has been crafted to maximise the flavour of the gin and even to remove some of those nasty sulphites that can cause us to feel rather ‘worse-for-wear’ the next morning.

What is gin without juniper… vodka!

The botanicals, water and pure alcohol are popped into the still and the temperature is increased and so begins the process of making gin. In the UK to legally be ‘gin’ there are two key factors. Firstly, the alcohol has to be at least 37.5% ABV and secondly, the main flavour of the gin has to be juniper. As part of the tour, we were shown some of the botanicals that go into the Burleigh’s range and some were definitely more unusual than others! I for one did not know that Silver Birch could even go in a gin!? IMG_0405.jpg

After producing the actual flavours of the gin, of course we need to bottle all that good stuff and believe it or not, this is all done by hand! Cleaning the bottles, actually bottling the gin, applying the labels and popping in the cork is all done by two people on site. For me this personal touch really appeals as it shows how much love and care go into each individual bottle and it’s nice to know that you’re not just getting something that’s mass produced.

IMG_0446Finally, we got to go and check out the full range of gins they had to offer. Of course we’ve already mentioned the ‘signature’ range which is quite a fresh number with notes of eucalyptus, pine and citrus. This has an ABV of 40% which, from past experience, is about standard for a more niche gin. They also produce an Export Strength gin which follows the same recipe as the Signature but has an ABV of 47% this is perfect for popping in cocktails when you don’t want the flavour of the gin to be masked or even just for those who like a stronger tasting gin. Personally, I don’t usually opt for gins with such a high ABV% as I find it a bit overpowering.

IMG_0419The Distillers Cut was a really lovely gin as this was a softer and more floral flavour. With hints of violet and a slight hint of pepper, this was a real winner for me and something I can definitely see myself drinking! The Burleigh’s pink edition was actually the first gin i’d tried from them. With Japanese Cherry Blossom, hibiscus, rose and pink grapefruit, it really is a very unique flavour. I had this with Fevertree Aromatic tonic and a wedge of pink grapefruit and it was to die for! IMG_0418

The final gin was a real surprise to me and it’s their Leicester City Football Club edition! It follows on from Leicester’s win in the Premier League and the fact that they wanted to celebrate the amazing things the city had to offer. Strangely, it is inspired by a pork pie, but don’t worry ‘inspired’ is the key word here. Thyme, sage and nutmeg provide a herbal flavour and make this similar to Mediterranean style gins such as Gin Mare. This was possibly my favourite and I’m hoping to get my hands on a bottle of this (and maybe a pink) for Christmas! IMG_0415

As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed my trip to the Burleigh’s gin distillery, I’ve got my eye on their gin school and I really hope to head back there in the future. Tickets for the tour cost £20 per person and are available on Wednesday evenings throughout the year.

Do you like gin? Please leave me suggestions to your favourites below as I always want to discover new brands!

Much Love


*Tour provided for PR.

Xtava Infrared Straighteners and GIVEAWAY!

My unruly hair is pretty much the bane of my life. I’ve spent years looking for serums and lotions and potions to help tame it slightly, but unlike with makeup or skincare, my heart really isn’t in it! I do straighten my hair from time to time using my Mums GHD’s but they’re too thin and I didn’t really want to splurge on the wide plate version. So when an opportunity came up to try out the Xtava Infrared Straighteners*, I thought I’d put them to the test as anything that can cope with my hair, must be pretty damn good!

First things first, these are wide plate straighteners so they’re definitely made with thicker hair types in mind. The plates are 5cm wide meaning I can take bigger sections at a time and cut the length of time it takes me to do my hair almost in half! I was so chuffed with how I didn’t have to go over each section hundreds of times, two or three did the trick!

In terms of ease of use, I don’t think these could be any easier! There’s an on/off button and increase and decrease temperature buttons and that’s about it. A small screen lets you set the temperature you would like and it also lets you know when it’s reached the temperature. There are 11 temperature settings to choose from between 130 and 230 degree celsius and it only takes up to 90 seconds for the straighteners to come up to temperature. Perfect if, like me, you want things done yesterday!

IMG_0033.jpgI feel like the design of these straighteners is both simple yet well thought out. It has a nice long cord which rotates 360 degrees to avoid those awkward moments of getting tangled around your dressing table! The bag that these come in is entirely heat proof so you won’t be burning any surfaces or holding them until they’ve cooled down. I found this to be perfect for travelling and it also kept them away from anything else in my bag. I also liked the matte black casing and I felt that they really matched the design quality of brands that are a lot more expensive!

For me though, the best thing about these is the price, they retail for only £29.99 and I would happily pay double that! Anything that can manage my hair is a huge deal for me and I have exclusively been using these on my hair since I received them. They are available on Amazon and if you have prime then they can be delivered the very next day. The best part of this post is that I have a pair to give away to one of you too! All you have to do is click the link here: Win the xtava Pro-Satin Infrared Straighteners.

I can’t wait to see which one of you wins these and I really hope whoever does loves them as much as I do! Above is a quick before and after of my hair, these aren’t taken on the same day but on the left is what my hair looks like if I do nothing to it and on the right is after using these straighteners.

Much Love