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

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Review: Avril Cosmétiques

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?

Much Love

xoxo

*Products sent for review.

Does Skinny Coffee Club Really Work?!

So you may have seen a multitude of ‘skinny’ drinks hitting the markets recently, claiming that they can help you shift those pounds, reduce bloating and other mega claims to boot. One that seemed to be showing up on my feeds more and more was the Skinny Coffee Club that had huge testimonials about massive weight loss, better skin and just generally making you feel good about yourself. I’d been trying to shift about half a stone for a while at this point with no luck, so decided I had nothing to lose but a few (monetary) pounds so picked up the smallest sized bag to try.

I bought mine from Holland & Barrett on offer for about £12, however the 28 day program normally retails for a huge £24.95! Thats probably not far off the cost of buying 10 coffees from a high street cafe! As I say, my box was half price so, despite being a lot more expensive than other filter coffee, it wasn’t terrible either. The packaging and branding of the products did really appeal to me and looked simple and chic with a slightly girly edge to it through the use of pink.

The things that lured me towards the skinny coffee rather than the teas were a) the fact I much prefer coffee to tea and b) that this actually has green tea in it so surely the benefits are already included. It also has lower caffeine than normal coffee and as someone who was trying to get back into caffeine slightly, this was better than a full, caffeine loaded cup of coffee.

So, was it actually drinkable? Weirdly, yes! The coffee does have a slightly off-putting green tinge to it that took a little getting used to, however the taste was alright. I mixed mine with one sweetener and a dash of almond milk as they had said you could and it was honestly okay. Totally not worth swapping my vanilla latte for it but as coffee goes, it was a reasonably nice tasting cup to start the day off with. For me it was just a bit of a faff. Who actually makes coffee in a cafetière any more?! My mum went mental at me daily as I could not be bothered with the hassle of dismantling the french press and cleaning it daily! If it had been instant, that would have been much more practical in my opinion.

Did it work? Not at all. I followed the instructions of having the coffee 20 minutes before breakfast daily for nearly the full month and I lost absolutely nothing. I wanted to see the effects of the coffee alone so I changed nothing else about my lifestyle and witnessed not one little effect. My skin was no clearer, I didn’t feel any less bloated and most importantly, I had lost absolutely no weight. Not even one pound. I was still walking the dog twice a day and eating my regular meals but this coffee had absolutely no effect whatsoever.

I’m going to address the elephant in the room with these kind of products, does it work through laxative effects? Well a) this doesn’t work at all and b) I’m pleased to say this didn’t make me run to the toilet every half an hour. You do have to be careful with some similar style products though as this is how they work to make you lose weight and over a period of time this could become a little dangerous to your body! You could end up dehydrated and lacking nutrients so be careful!

From personal experiences, I would suggest simply drinking regular green tea if you want to decrease bloating. My mum switched every cup of regular tea to green tea and was definitely less bloated and lost near to half a stone, alongside stepping up her healthy eating and exercise regime. This is the key thing with these products, it’s actually the lifestyle, diet and exercise that are going to impact the weight loss rather than the drink. I’ve switched to regular coffee instead and have weirdly lost the half a stone that I was looking to lose! I’m lighter and i’m back on the lattes, result.

The sad thing with these brands is that they are preying on vulnerable women and girls who feel insecure about their bodies and social media tells them that there’s a quick fix. There isn’t. Yes caffeine and green tea have weight loss properties and spirulina is some kind of superfood, but drinking one cup of this a day will not make you shed half a stone. If you are lucky you may get 1-2 pounds off but that’s it unless you change your diet and exercise regimes too! I think the amount of bloggers that are promoting and sharing this at the moment is wrong. It just enhances the insecurities that women have over their bodies and in turn becomes even more disappointing when the results aren’t as expected.

Save yourself the pounds and just try a more traditional weight loss plan instead if you are really looking to lose some weight. I really hope that more people don’t get sucked into buying these kind of products and just opt to try and lead happier and healthier lives instead! Have you tried any of these products before?

Much Love

xoxo

Summer Essentials| Perfect Teeth with Sonic Chic & Sensodyne!

Since having braces when I was younger, I’ve always been pretty chuffed with the appearance of my teeth. However, when I’m travelling I do miss my electric toothbrush and I find that my teeth don’t always feel as clean with a manual brush as they do at home with my electric. This is where Sonic Chic came to my rescue! They are a brand that creates sonic toothbrushes designed to be perfect for travelling whilst still giving you that electric toothbrush feel!

The team over at Sonic Chic kindly sent me over their Urban Loveheart Toothbrush* to try on my travels this summer and I have been LOVING it! Firstly, lets get the pricing out the way, these usually retail for £20 but at the moment they’re half price at Boots so you can snap up a bargain for only £10 here! They have loads of lovely designs too but I’m actually really happy with mine. It’s girly and cute without being cheesy and is bright enough to be easy to locate in my washbag!

Rather than having to be charged up or plugged into the mains, these toothbrushes run off one single AAA battery, meaning that they are perfect for taking abroad as you don’t need a travel adaptor! What’s even better is that you actually get the battery included and just replace it as a when required. You also get one replacement head which is great as I am a bit obsessive when it comes to toothbrushes and always like them to be fresh and new feeling! What seriously impressed me though, is that I took the brush away on holiday with me, which was about two and a half weeks in total, and there was no loss of power and the battery was still enabling the toothbrush to function perfectly. I did worry that, as it was battery powered, it would need replacing stupidly quickly, however I was definitely proved wrong!

What I like about this brush is that rather than the head rotating, it pulses, which means it feels gentler on your gums than a normal electric toothbrush! I found my teeth to feel just as clean though when using it twice daily and the strength of the pulses was really effective! The final feature that I really liked was the fact it has a cap to cover the bristles which also has little holes in the top to stop the toothbrush getting mouldy. I hate having my toothbrush loose in my bag so this helped to keep it hygienic whilst still being slimline! This has honestly been brilliant on my trips and will be something I will 100% repurchase when the time comes, however I feel like this still has many more trips in it yet! The only thing I don’t like so much about this is that some of the design has already started to chip off the brush. Now this doesn’t effect the functionality of it but aesthetically, it’s a bit annoying! Saying that, I would still buy another though so it’s not too bad!

Something I definitely forget with my dental care is protecting my enamel though, so i’ve been using the Sensodyne Pronamel Strong & Bright* to try and put more care into this area. I love how clean and smooth my teeth feel when I use this, which I definitely don’t normally get from other toothpastes. I also really like how it’s not overly sweetened or artificially coloured as I find this often becomes really off putting over time! The packaging lover in me also really appreciates the sleek matte packaging – weird I know! Overtime this toothpaste gently whitens the appearance of teeth too which is something I always always look for as who doesn’t want whiter teeth?!

Between these two products my teeth have been sparkling and clean all summer and have become total summer essentials for me! If you a regular traveller, I highly highly recommend Sonic Chic as they are so practical and portable and the power is as good as a full blown electric brush in my opinion!

Much Love

xoxo

*Items sent for review yet all opinions are my own!

Summer Essentials| Travelling in Style With Cabin Zero!

A few months ago I was sent a backpack from the team at CabinZero to put to the test over summer. The idea behind the bag is that it is the perfect size to use as hand luggage on an aeroplane whilst being so light (only a mere 760g!!) that you can make the most out of your 10kg allowance. As a frequent traveller and also someone who often travels with just hand luggage to avoid unnecessary cost, I was eager to see if this would work out well for me!

There are actually a variety of different capacity bags available but knowing I always over pack I picked the biggest, the 44L bag in the colour Blue Karma*.  When it arrived I actually was a little concerned that it was going to be a bit too big for me, however since travelling with it a few times I’ve found it to be absolutely perfect! There are a series of pockets inside which makes the bag incredible handy for cramming things in and also not losing things to the depths of your bag! On the inside of the main pocket there is a padded laptop sleeve and also a small zipped pouch which I used for underwear or things that I wanted to keep separate from the rest of my luggage. The most deceptively useful pocket is the main one on the front. This looks incredibly flat and if i’m honest, a bit useless, however it has some amazing ability to fit all my shoes in! Every time I’ve travelled i’ve had at least two pairs of shoes AND all my laptop cables in there and it closes perfectly!

The bag also has a couple of nifty little features that you perhaps wouldn’t have expected! Firstly, it can be carried in three different ways. It can be carried as a rucksack with two padded straps; it can be carried vertically using the strap on the top of the bag, or it can even be carried horizontally as there is another strap on the side of the bag. The other feature that I was surprised to see is that there is actually a little tag on the bag that can be registered online so you can track it if it goes missing. This is amazing if it ever gets lost or stolen and is just something that I would never have thought to add, but really makes this bag stand out from the rest! IMG_3083.JPG

The actual material of the bag is a robust canvas material that is lined on the inside. I’ve just checked on their website and the bag is actually waterproof which is an even bigger bonus for me! I honestly didn’t think it was as it doesn’t look like that horrible anorak material!  I’m notoriously quite a clumsy person and often am a bit carefree with my belongings but so far so good with this! It’s incredibly durable and hopefully will stand the test of time! Talking of time though, should anything go wrong, each bag has a 10 year warranty that comes with it and this is upgraded to 25 years if you simply like them on Facebook! I’d be pretty damn impressed if it lasted 10 years never mind 25!!

The bag I picked retails for £60/$78USD/€68 (other currencies are available!) and their website offer free worldwide shipping so you can pick up one of these bags no matter where you are in the world! I personally loved though that they are based in Leicester, which is only a stones throw away from where I live. I love supporting start-ups and local brands and this is honestly a product that I love and will be using for years to come. If you fancy supporting the brand too, they’ve kindly given me a discount code to share with you which will give you 10% off! Simply enter CZROSEBEAUTYFILES at the checkout. But be quick as it’s only valid for the next 30 days!

Where are you planning on travelling to next? Let me know what colour you like the best from their range, we’re definitely planning on picking up some more so we all have one to travel with!

Much Love

xoxo

*I have been sent this product as a PR sample in exchange for a review however all opinions remain my own. This post does contain affiliate links. It sounds cliche but this product has been a lifesaver this summer with the travelling i’ve done so far and for the trips i’ve still got to come!

My Reading Challenge 2017 |Where I Stand at the Halfway Point & my Top Books!

Okay, I’m a day late on this post. That just about sums up how productive i’ve been on this blog recently but i’m on holiday at the moment and it’s quite nice not to be glued to my laptop! So at the start of the year I set myself a challenge on GoodReads to read 150 books in 2017 and now we’re at the halfway point (plus one day) I thought I’d give you a little recap on where I stand and some of the best books i’ve read!

So in terms of numbers, I’ve read 68 books and i’m nearly halfway through my 69th. Due to exams I am a little behind schedule to the tune of 6 books but I’m not too worried as I’m off to Portugal on Tuesday and I should be able to speed through at least 4 or 5. Rather than trying to tell you all about every single book i’ve read, I’m going to do a brief run-down of the ones I ranked as 5 stars! It takes a lot for me to rate a book 5/5 so these are the ones I really really loved.

  • The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson – Possibly my favourite book i’ve read this year and thats a huge statement from me! This is a story unlike no other and the plot is just so clever and unique. ‘The Gardener’ kidnaps young girls to keep in his so called ‘garden’ and treats them like butterflies in a greenhouse. He even tattoos a different butterfly across the backs of each of his victims and ensures that they are always on show. I’m going to be honest and say that this is quite creepy and if that’s not your cup of tea then definitely give it a miss as it is a little graphic and disturbing yet brilliantly written. The story is told through one of the captives once they are out and she’s being interviewed at the Police station, yet the plot keeps you guessing right until the very end!
  • Final Girls by Riley Sager – I think theres a running theme here with my favourite books and that is that the storylines are so unique! Final Girls is about a couple of women that survive mass murders and attacks and how they carry on with their lives afterwards. When one of the three women commits suicide, the others start to question how they can carry on if she, seemingly the strongest of the bunch, couldn’t. It’s such an interesting take on the usual ‘mass murder’ style story and does make you think about what happens when those books end.
  • The Thousandth Floor Katharine McGee – I found this book through another blog post and loved the sound of it. Its set in future New York and is very reminiscent of the much loved show Gossip Girl – think New York elite with a futuristic twist. In future New York the whole city now takes place in a thousand storey high building and the higher up you live, the better your status. The stories full of glamour, love triangles and just general Gossip Girl goodness and with a second book coming out soon, it’s a must read. I honestly loved it and I found the futuristic, tech elements a really interesting twist! 945c548e-8d8b-425f-9591-68090e68512f.jpg._CB282000438_
  • Chandler by Laurelin Paige – I’m not gonna lie, I have a real guilty pleasure for saucy romance novels. If I don’t know what to read, I’ll download one of these and it’ll be finished in hours, seriously, I love them. Chandler is actually a character from a series that was alright but not blog post worthy. However, once he got his own book, it was brilliant! His character really exploded and was laugh out loud funny alongside a good bit of romance. You could definitely read this as a stand alone book rather than have to read the whole series but if you love romance books then this is fab!
  • The Night Bird by Brian Freeman – A real psychological murder mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed. These kind of books are some of my favourites as they’re really gritty and keep you guessing right until the very end. When a girl suddenly gets out of car and jumps off a bridge, killing herself, her friend cannot understand what’s going on. She was a happy, healthy woman so why would she suddenly commit suicide? But then it happens again, another unexplained suicide and a pattern starts to emerge. This is the first in the Frost Easton series and really kicked it off with a bang. If you love unusual thrillers then this is definitely for you!
  • Bricking It by Nick Spalding – I’ve written about my love of this book before (here) and it really is worth mentioning again. Who’d have thought a story about two siblings building a house would be sidesplittingly hilarious but this really is. I think I actually cried with laughter a few times and the rest of the books from Nick Spalding were equally brilliant but this was the best in my opinion. Such a lighthearted and easy read and just cheered me up no-end!

So in 6 months, only 6 books made it to the 5 star category, I told you, I really am picky! I hope this has given you some new suggestions and the next post about my GoodReads challenge will now be at the end of the year… how scary!!

Have you got any good book suggestions for me? If so leave them in the comments please!

Much Love

xoxo

Worth The Hype? – Urban Decay Sin Highlighter

First of all, hi everyone, I’m writing this from the plane to San Francisco! I’ve got 11 hours to kill so of course blogging was going to be involved! I wanted to talk about something today that I’ve had in my collection for a while, but for some reason, I’ve never got round to blogging about it! As you can probably guess from the title, it’s the Urban Decay Sin Highlighter! So many bloggers went mad for this when it first came out, so when my brother asked me what I’d like for Christmas, I knew I wanted to give this a try!

My newfound love for highlighter is no secret and since the first one appeared in my collection, I’ve been slowly adding more. The Urban Decay highlighter comes in three shades and retails for £21 but by far the most popular is sin. It’s definitely a beautiful shade and is, in my opinion, very similar in tone to The Balm’s Mary Lou Manizer. It’s a frosty golden toned highlighter that is surprisingly quite cool toned, making it quite a strong and bold highlight.DSCF0116_Fotor

One of the things I love the most about this range of products from Urban Decay is the packaging! It is incredibly beautiful, with the gunmetal chrome effect covering the majority of the square compact. The added mesh detail that displays the Urban Decay logo just makes it feel extremely luxurious! For me, they’ve got this packaging spot on and it makes it really stand out against other brands.

In terms of the pigmentation of the powder, it’s pretty good! As I mentioned, it’s quite a frosty pigment so if you want it to be more subtle, you do have to have a light hand. In my opinion, it’s a little too frosty and chunky for highlighting the nose or the cupids bow, but on the cheekbones it really is lovely! I don’t use this everyday, but I do like to opt for it when I’m going out or if I want my highlighter to pop more than normal.DSCF0115_Fotor.jpg

Overall, this is a really lovely product and looks beautiful on. The pigmentation is great and the packaging is beautiful but I would say it still doesn’t beat my beloved Becca Opal! That just beats it because of the softer texture of the powder and the more glowy (rather than frosty) finish. Have you tried this highlighter? If so what did you think?

Much Love

xoxo