Everything You Need To Know About The Ordinary Foundations & Primer!

The Ordinary is a brand that has been seriously doing it’s rounds in the blogosphere lately and the products that intrigued me the most were the foundations and the primer. I didn’t want to chance it and order a foundation online, so when I went to London earlier this month, I headed to the Covent Garden Deciem store to give them a swatch. The store is actually very modern and chic and I’m so glad I swatched the foundations as they came up very light in my opinion!

Let’s start off with the foundations first then and the number one thing to know is that there are two formulas! The first formula is a ‘Coverage’ formula and the second is a ‘Serum’. For the sake of the blog, I picked up both formulas to try in the same shade, 2.0YG. When buying foundations, I normally go to the second lightest shade or the lightest shade with golden undertones first. The shade 2.0YG here is actually the 12th darkest shade on the website which in my opinion shows that they come up pretty damn light! There are five shades on the website that I would say come into the category of ‘dark’, but out of 21 shades this is pretty slim pickings for darker skin tones!

To break down my shade for you, the 2 represents the fact that it’s in the medium skin tone category (I would definitely say i’m normally ‘light’) and the .0 represents that it’s the lightest shade in that category so this one is described as light-medium. The Y represents that the shade is suited to skin tones with Yellow undertones and there are also P (pink), N (neutral) and R (red) undertone options available. Something I didn’t know is that the G in my shade means that there are slight gold flecks in the foundation for added highlight. I probably wouldn’t have picked this had I known, but there was no 2.0Y as an option and this was the best shade match. There is also an S (silver) option in some shade for silver flecks but as I can see this is only available on one shade out of the 21.  On their website, they state:

these shades use natural-looking and exceptionally fine dispersions of metallic effect pigments for added highlight. The Ordinary will introduce individual enhancers and highlighters in the near future to customize all shades.

To me it seems a little random to have this in certain shades only and also, to not offer those particular shades without the highlighting effect? I’ve got to be honest and say it hasn’t really effected me massively, however this would probably explain why I’ve felt extra glowy when wearing these foundations. In hindsight I would say it’s a touch TOO glowy for me but I might try it with only a tiny amount of my regular highlight next time I wear them and see if that improves it. I usually prefer a satin finish so perhaps the glow is just too much for me. I’d love to try it without but as I said, they don’t do my shade without the added gold particles, whereas the other shades that have the shimmer particles, have an identical counterpart shade without them. To me the shade range seems all over the place to be honest and a little bit more care should have been made when creating the range. which_foundation_from_the_ordinary

Onto the actual formulas themselves, my favourite is definitely the coverage over the serum. I believe that the actual formulation is very similar but the coverage formula includes higher quantities of the actual pigment. I do prefer a more medium coverage I would say so this was definitely more suited to me. I found that it covered the issues I have with my skin pretty well and actually stayed put most of the day. I loved how this applied and it felt like I was wearing absolutely nothing on my skin which was great and exactly what I look for in a foundation.

The serum foundation, as mentioned above, is pretty much the same formula just with less pigment so it’s more like a light coverage foundation. To be honest, I never wear light coverage foundation so found I needed to compensate with more concealer in those more troublesome patches. I also found that the first time I wore this one, I came out in a lot of spots which was a bit frustrating. They were like tiny, under the skin, bumps that were particularly obvious across my brow and forehead. I did try it a second time and it wasn’t so bad so maybe the light weight feel was a shock to the skins system originally!

The key difference for me was simply how much more liquid the serum foundation was compared to the coverage. This is clearly due to the pigment quantities and perhaps it was the liquid feel that my skin didn’t like so much. I may see if I can sell the serum formula and buy another coverage as it is just too lightweight for me. For £5.90 each these are an absolute bargain and the quality of both of them is incredible. I did expect there to be more of a difference in terms of formula between the two foundations, however it does make it easier to decide which one you’d like best, simply depending on the amount of coverage you like. The final thing to mention on these foundations is the packaging, which is simple and matte with a pump that can be locked to avoid spillages in your makeup bag. I think it’s really nice and chic, without too much fuss and to be honest, it’s completely perfect for a foundation. Lightweight, plastic and lockable, what more could you ask for.

Finally, onto the Primer and I actually have only one of the two formulations that they have on offer. I have the High-Adherance Silicone Primer which retails for only £3.90. I have to say I had pretty low expectations for something coming in at such a low price tag, however I’ve been pretty impressed so far! I feared that with it being silicone-based, it would feel greasy and heavy on the skin and give that really fake-feeling base for make up to go on top of. I was wrong actually and it’s more like a moisturising feel when you apply it, yet you can tell it has some silicone in as it’s so smoothing and evens out the texture really nicely. I noticed some difference in the longevity of my makeup when I wore it and I’ve tried it out with a multitude of foundations (not just The Ordinary ones) and it worked well under them all.

Whether you’re on a budget or not, I feel like this primer is a great buy as a tiny amount goes a really long way and creates a lovely smooth canvas, without feeling fake, greasy or cakey like many other silicone primers do. For me, this is the perfect combination of a hydrating primer and a smoothing primer and I’m really enjoying using it. You get a full 30ml in the tube which is crazy considering the cost and I would say you definitely don’t even use 1ml each time. This means it costs you around the 13p mark each time you use it which is ridiculously cheap! Again, I really like the packaging, simple yet effective and unlike some cheaper products, the packaging doesn’t disintegrate or the writing rub off after one use!

Overall I’ve been really impressed by The Ordinary products I’ve tried. I feel like they’re simplicity at it’s best and I’d like to try out some of their skincare range out now! In terms of the foundation, if you’re a lightweight girl then go with the serum foundation, if you want more coverage then definitely the Coverage foundation. I would completely recommend swatching the colours before you buy it as they are very fair in my opinion! If you have any questions, please let me know, if not, I hope this covered everything! Have you tried anything from The Ordinary? If so, what was your favourite?

Much Love

xoxo

 

ABH Brow Wiz Dupe?| Billion Dollar Brows Universal Brow Pencil!

Everyone and their mother has probably heard of the infamous Anastasia Brow Wiz but I haven’t every used it apart from a swatch in Sephora when I was in the States. For me, I always found the pencil to be very hard and that always dissuaded me from purchasing it. I know it’s a cult favourite but I really don’t like to use hard pencils on my eyebrows as I find them really difficult to work with.

Bring in Billion Dollar Brows (BDB) and their Universal Brow pencil* which, visually, looks very similar to the ABH Brow Wiz with a retractable pencil on one end and a spoolie  brush on the other to brush through the brow hairs. The pencil is designed to be suitable for all brow shades, by pressing lightly for lighter hair types and pressing harder, or building up the colour, for darker hair types.

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These are the different shades I managed to get with the same pencil using different amounts of pressure when applying.

I would say I have a fair/medium hair tone but I do like my brows to be a little bit darker so they stand out and frame my face. I have had no issues with the shade and I find it works really well with both my complexion and hair shade. I also love the soft feel of the pencil as I find that it applies really easily and sticks to the hairs offering a nice colour.

My issue with this pencil lies with how thick the nib of the pencil is and I find it very hard to stay ‘within the lines’ of my brows and that it ends up looking a bit smudged and messy. The way I’ve found to counteract this is to use my regular brow product (Benefit’s Ka Brow!) and use the BDB pencil to fill in those tough, sparser areas. This has really helped me to conceal gaps in my brows and to give them a really seamless look that I’ve been loving.Billion_Dollar_Brow_Universal_Brow_Pencil_Review

The pencil has been working great for me in terms of colour, texture and ease of use. However, I feel like they’ve missed a trick by not making the nib that little bit thinner. Had this of been the case, I would imagine it would have been a pretty good dupe for the Brow Wiz, yet for me I don’t feel like they are directly comparable in this aspect as with the Brow Wiz you can almost draw in individual hairs as the nib is so thin.

In terms of price the BDB pencil is £12.95 from AllBeauty and the ABH Brow Wiz is only £15.50 on Beauty Bay so they are very close in price to be honest. I would say that the BDB pencil is best for filling in large areas and if you prefer a softer pencil whereas the ABH Brow Wiz is more suited for individual hairs, small areas and is a much harder pencil. Overall, I’ve enjoyed using the BDB Pencil and find it to be great for giving a really flawless finish but it’s difficult to use for sharp edges of precise brow hairs. I do think it’s worth the money for the price, however if you are lusting after the Brow Wiz, it is only a few pounds more for that so you wouldn’t be saving yourself too much money realistically.

Have you tried either of these pencils? What is your favourite brow product?

Much Love

xoxo

*Post contains PR samples and some links are affiliate links.

Send Nudes| Sephora Give Me Some Nude Lip!

As a UK citizen, it pains me that Sephora is STILL not available to peruse at my leisure in the shopping centres. Seriously Sephora, what are you playing at?! I would say one of the things I love the most about visiting one of the stores or browsing online is their favourites collections. Annoyingly, these aren’t even able to be shipped to the UK so if I can, I try and get them wherever possible as I love them so much. Lora and her husband Chris headed to the US for their honeymoon and whilst they were there I asked them to pick up the latest Give Me Some Nude Lip set. Halfway through there trip, Lora still hadn’t seen them and I told her not to worry as I probably shouldn’t be spending the money on it anyway. And that was it, or so I thought! A few weeks after they returned I met up with Lora and the rest of the gang (Sophie & Rach obvs!) and on the way home Lora said she had a gift for me in the glove box from her and Chris as a graduation gift. She’d only gone and bloody got me the lip set. There’s a reason she’s my bestie.

Story time over and on to the actual lip set! I’ve had two other set previously, another nude lip version and a bold lip version too. These are such good value for money and always contain at least one full sized item. In this set, the full sized item is the Urban Decay Liquid Lipstick in Trivial which is a matte nude pink. I would say it’s quite dusky and there’s definitely some shimmer in there. I’ve only tried this out once but I didn’t find it too drying in the slightest and it had a nice moussey texture to it. As with most UD products, I love the gun metal packaging too!

Next up in the set is the Too Faced Lip Injection in Spice Girl. I’ve heard so many people rave about these and I have always wanted to try one. Two things about this product: 1) it does actually make your lips look pretty plump and luscious, but 2) it absolutely kills in the process! This is one of the most painful lip plumpers I’ve ever tried and after 5 minutes I couldn’t hack it anymore. My lips looked pretty damn good though so at least it does what it’s meant to. There’s a reason they call it lip injection though so be warned!

DSCF0568.JPGTarte is a brand that I am really growing to love, the more products I get to try and the addition of one of their Lippie Lingerie’s in Revealed (described as a light mocha but i’d definitely say burgundy) was very welcome for me! This is a bit like a chubby stick in terms of the packaging but it packs a punch with the pigmentation. I LOVED wearing this and I found that it had a bit of a glossy finish to begin with but died down to a satin after an hour or so. It lasted really well on the lips and I adore the colour. A real winner for me again from Tarte!

When I saw that there was a NARS product in the box I was a bit indifferent to be honest as I’ve yet to find my real stand out NARS item. I find their stuff okay but nothing that sets it above other brands in my opinion. However, the Velvet lip glide in the shade Bound has really surprised me. It’s more of a glossy finish but is so comfortable on the lips and has really good pigmentation too. The applicator is perfect for getting nice clean edges and I really enjoyed wearing it. This is one of the cooler more ashy shades in the box too and I love it as I find those kinds of mauve shades look fab going into winter.

Again, living in the UK, Marc Jacobs is slightly harder to come by and I like to be able to properly try things out before investing in that amount of money. I’ve heard many a YouTuber rave on about their lip glosses and thought nothing of it really as gloss isn’t my thing. When I saw the shade Sugar Sugar was included though, I was definitely intrigued to try it. There is definitely a reason you pay a high price for premium products as this is the most silky lip gloss i’ve ever tried. It give a wonderful shine and feels weightless when worn. I like to use it over the top of other lip products but I’ve also tried it on it’s own as a very light pinky tint. I was surprisingly very impressed!

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L-R Tarte, Urban Decay, ABH, NARS, Too Faced, Marc Jacobs

The final item in the box was from the one and only Anastasia Beverly Hills! I’m not going to lie, I initially thought it was one of the liquid lipsticks which i’d wanted to try for ages so was a little bit disheartened when, instead of drying down to a matte finish, it stayed glossy. It is actually their lipgloss in the shade Kirsten and I would describe it as a liquid lip with shiny finish. This is so pigmented and bold in just one swipe but has a glossy finish that means it’s oh so comfortable to wear! I really like the cool pink shade too and find that it just goes with so many things!

If I was to say one thing, I would have liked a few more brown-nude shades rather than predominantly pink and I’d have liked a mixture of finishes as the majority of things in the box are glossy. Saying that though, I really really like the products and there are things in there that I’ve wanted to try for ages. There’s a good mix of high-end brands and I always find these sets to be well put together and great value. This only retails for $28 yet is apparently worth $70. I did do a price break down on a previous box, gram for gram and I found their estimate to be surprisingly accurate. I think these make great gifts and having now owned three sets, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy more. If any of you Americans fancy shipping me the latest one, i’d be forever grateful! Have you tried any of the Give Me Some… sets? Which one was your favourite and why?

Much Love

xoxo

Worth The Hype? |Fleur De Force Lip Glosses!

I’m not one for buying into YouTuber products really, as I often find they’ve just slapped their name on somebody else’s products and are reaping the benefits. However, I bought a gift set from Feel Unique at Christmas and this gloss was one of the products inside. I decided to try and avoid making any early judgements as I really like Fleur and hoped that this product would be a good’un!

This is one of the most pigmented lip glosses I have ever tried; it’s a strong colour in one swipe and has a similar colour payoff to a liquid lipstick but with a glossy finish. I really like the way it looks on the lips as it pack a punch with the pigmentation, but with a more natural finish because of the gloss. The colours available are all reasonably neutral but this red one, in the shade Lucky Star is a lovely addition!

What I like about these lip glosses the most is just how reasonably priced they are! You can get them for as little as a few pounds and it means they’re accessible to everyone! Fleur has also put a lot of her personal style into the packaging with a sleek gunmetal top and her logo, complete with stars, on the packaging. You can clearly see what colour the product is as the packaging is either clear or the exact colour of the product inside. The applicator is quite a traditional doe foot, however it’s comfortable on the lips and also precise enough to get a nice neat, crisp edge.

The lasting power of this lip gloss is not too great as you can probably imagine. Not down to the product itself but the glossy finish does wear away easily! It does leave a little stain to the lips which is nice so that adds to the longevity. The best thing about this gloss is that it is completely non-sticky! I’m sure you’ve all experienced the horrible hair stuck in lip gloss scenario so it’s nice to have that avoided for once!

I’m a bit annoyed as i’ve had this post in drafts for a few months and I’ve finally got round to writing it and it seems they are no longer sold on Feel Unique! I have found it on Amazon for £7.50 here if you do fancy getting your hands on one. I do think they are worth that price to be honest as they are a really lovely, quality product. A quick glance told me they sell the other shades on Amazon too if you are interested!

Have you tried one of Fleur’s glosses or any of her other products for that matter? If so which one is your favourite?

Much Love

xoxo

 

 

 

What I’ve Learned From My Degree |3 Years Are Over!

This summer marked the end of my three year degree at the University of Nottingham and it’s safe to say I’m pretty sad it’s over! You may have read my graduation post but I thought today i’d talk about what I’ve actually learned from doing my degree and whether i’d pick the same choices if I had my time over.

Firstly, I chose to stay at home during my time at the University because I was studying in my home city of Nottingham. I think people often frown upon this as they think you don’t get ‘the whole experience’ but I never had any problems living at home and I would 100% choose it again. It gave me a chance to switch off from my degree and meant I didn’t find the whole thing too consuming. Of course it’s not going to be for everyone, however I think that’s the key thing to consider, that everyone’s experience is going to be different and to not let other people sway you into decisions that you aren’t comfortable with. Choose what makes you happy and what you are comfortable with!IMG_1128

In regards to choosing a degree, the same applies as above. Make sure you are applying to a course for yourself and not for anyone else and take plenty of time to research the courses you are interested in. I thought of just about everything when I was looking at degree courses, including Maths, Economics, Languages and even Midwifery. I must have gone to hundreds of open days, changing my mind on courses each time. In the end I made a last minute decision to apply to what I was good at and what I was interested in, Business and Maths based degrees. My actual degree was a bachelor of science degree in Finance, Accounting & Management and I loved it! It was so varied and covered so many different topics that I got to learn about so many different things. Looking back at the other things I’d considered along the way, the only thing I would still consider would be a more maths based course but I wouldn’t want to do pure maths as I liked learning about businesses too. My surprise love came in the form of Accounting and it’s something I probably wouldn’t have considered previously as I had no real knowledge of it. I’m now about to embark on a career in Tax Accountancy and i’ll be doing my professional accountancy exams which is something I had never really considered. It just shows that you can go to uni with very vague plans and come out with something completely different!

Another aspect of university I wanted to cover was how much work is actually involved as I know that many people are concerned with how difficult the work load might be. For me, I found that the workload was about right and it was a hell of a lot easier than A-Levels! The key difference is that the type of studying is very independent rather than teachers guiding the way for you. This is something I actually preferred to traditional teaching and meant I could go through things at my own pace. The only difficulty arises with trying to balance studying and the rest of university life, but everyone is in the same boat and it is definitely doable! If you are studying something that you enjoy then the workload will be okay as you are interested in it but if you let someone else dictate your decision, it’ll be pretty tough. 17457967_10208638580429446_4912006868660933313_n

Finally I just wanted to say that if I had my time over again I would try and get involved in societies and activities earlier as they are such a great way of meeting new friends and doing something different to just studying. I was part of the Equestrian society and rekindled my enjoyment of horse riding, but I was also one of the first members of a brand new blogging society! This let me learn a bit more about the hobby that I am loving and to meet other like minded people. If you can’t find a society you love then definitely apply to create your own as it was such a fantastic experience to be one of the first members after my friend Nicola painstakingly got it created with the students union!19143808_1691121580916071_3790762806846844705_o.jpg

If you are a prospective student then I really hope you find the right university and course for you! If you are an alumni like me then please leave any other tips in the comments or things that you found out during your university experience! Don’t worry if university isn’t for you though as there are so many other options to get where you want to be. I think the pressure to attend can be so overwhelming so make sure if you choose to go, that it’s for the right reasons! You meet so many amazing people during your time at university and for me, I am 100% glad that I decided to go and it’s lead me on to start a brand new career that interests me. If you have any questions about uni in general then please don’t hesitate to ask!

Much Love

xoxo

Review| Australian Bodycare Tea Tree Skin Wash

Just a quick little review today and it’s all about the Australian Bodycare Tea Tree Skin Wash*! I go through body washes like there’s no tomorrow and when I was asked to try out another, I was definitely up for the challenge. Australian Bodycare is actually a brand that I hadn’t heard of previously, however since being sent the skin wash to try, I’ve seen them absolutely everywhere!

The main thing that caught my eye about this range from Australian Bodycare was the fact it contains tea tree. Tea tree is fantastic for helping with spot prone skin and I do have a little bit of that on both my chest and my back. The smell is so lovely and refreshing due to the tea tree element too and I’ve been loving after a day at work to give me a bit of a pick me up.

I would say that this is a very runny body wash compared to my usual shower gels of choice from The Body Shop! I also found that I required more than normal for it to lather up correctly which I was a little bit surprised about! Due to it being so runny, a lot did seem to collect in the lid and I felt like I lost some product through that.

For me, I like to use body wash as both a shower gel but also a bubble bath as I find that majority work really well as dual action products! I tried that with this one too and found it worked really well actually, much better than I had originally expected. It produced lovely frothy bubbles and scented the water really nicely.

Overall I really liked this product. The scent lingered on my skin for quite some time after use and it worked really well as both a shower gel and a bubble bath. For me, I would change the viscosity of the product as the product was running through the tube very quickly and actually leaking into the lid when I wasn’t using it. This has meant I’ve gone through a 50ml tube so fast that it’s guaranteed to appear in this months empties so keep an eye out for it!

Have you tried anything from Australian Bodycare? If so what was your favourite product?

Much Love

xoxo

*Item sent for review.

IntuNottsBloggers |Thai Cookery Masterclass With Thaikhun!

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.

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Mine and Lora’s cooking zone… aka the location I burnt everything in!

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.

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Fresh Tofu Rolls

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!

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Isn’t she so cute! Very proud in her hat and apron! 

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!

Much Love

xoxo

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!

 

Travel Tips |Flying Solo!

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!

Much Love

xoxo

 

Book Review| Is Wilde Like Me Worth The Hype?

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?

Much Love

xoxo

My Current Skincare Favourites!

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.

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I’ve been using the micellar water and cleansing oil from Avril as part of my routine!

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!

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LUSH Mask of Magnaminty

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.

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Evolve Radiant Glow Mask

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?

Much Love

xoxo

*Sent for PR purposes.