16 August 2017

Makeup brush cleaning wipes: do they actually work?!

Makeup brush cleaning wipes: do they actually work?!

Makeup brush cleaning wipes: do they actually work?!

We can all agree that cleaning makeup brushes is one of the worst chores out there. I mean, it's on par with changing the bed sheets. Both chores make you feel amazing and totally in control of your adult life when they're done, but the process is just ugh

Cleaning my brushes is something I just totally forget to do. That is until they're full on grimy, covered in product and I can't use them without breaking out. We've all been there (right?!).It doesn't make the cleaning situation any easier. Instead of a quick weekly clean, I end up doing a super long every-time-I-remember clean, which is nowhere near weekly. 

There are so many brush cleaning products out there at the moment. You've got solid cleansers, liquid cleaners, gel cleansers, mitts, brushes to clean your brushes. The list goes on. But, Ecotools do makeup brush cleansing wipes. I'd never heard of such a thing and had to try them.

You use them by placing a wipe on the palm of your hand and swirling the brush around your palm to get rid of product. I was so excited to give these a go, and honestly kinda expected them to be a miracle product that would make brush cleaning quick and easy. 

To be brutally honest, I was completely disappointed. They barely touch my foundation-encrusted brushes, and probably took about as much makeup off them as it would just using my hand. I was gutted.  However, there is a silver lining! Ecotools recommends using these for minor cleaning, which was totally not what I was trying to go for, and they actually have a brush shampoo to pair with the wipes for a deeper clean. This is not a sponsored post, I just love the ethos behind this company!

Having given them a couple of goes now (there's 25 in a pack so why not experiment?!) I can say that they can come in handy. They're pretty fab at removing powder makeup. So, I now have a quick, portable way to clean my eyeshadow and powder brushes. But, I'm still on the hunt for a good all round brush cleaner. Please send me your recommendations, because I need to get a new one asap!

What's your favourite type of brush cleanser to use?

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13 August 2017

July book haul

July book haul

July book haul

We all know I love love LOVE a good book haul. I genuinely feel so blessed by the fact that there's an amazing British Heart Foundation charity book shop in my town, and it sells some absolute gems for a fraction of their OG price. 

11 August 2017

Currently crushing on: my new daily planner

New daily planner from Ohh Deer X Urban Outfitters

New daily planner from Ohh Deer X Urban Outfitters

My yearly diary is my very own lifeline. I always have a mid year to mid year one because when I was at uni it was what made the most sense. Now I've kept up the tradition as it's nice to have that little six monthly reset: I set new goals and ambitions at New Year and re-motivate myself at around this time with a fresh new diary.

8 August 2017

Honey I Washed My Hair Solid LUSH Shampoo review

Honey I Washed My Hair Solid LUSH Shampoo review

Honey I Washed My Hair Solid LUSH Shampoo review

Honey I Washed My Hair Solid LUSH Shampoo review

Solid shampoos are my ultimate bae at the moment. They last for ages, they don't waste any plastic packaging, and once you get the hang of it, they're really easy to use. I've got a myth-busting post all about how to use them and what they're really like here, but essentially you massage the shampoo bar into a lather between your hands and then use it as you would normal shampoo.

I've got quite dry hair at the moment, what with it being summer and with having dyed my hair a lot in the last few years. So, I wanted to go with something that would really moisturise my hair, keeping it soft and shiny. Honey I Washed My Hair seemed like a fab answer to this, and in a way it was.

It kept my hair shiny and feeling super clean, but I was so upset to realise that it's definitely had an impact on my sensitive scalp. I've had really bad dandruff recently, and once I stopped using this there was a noticeable improvement. However, if you don't have a sensitive scalp and just want your hair to be kept hydrated and moisturised then this is honestly really fab. 

Have you ever used a solid shampoo? What did you think?

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7 August 2017

8 quick and easy ways to support other bloggers

8 quick and easy ways to support other bloggers
There's been so much hate and nastiness in the online blogging community recently; it feels as though I can't log on to twitter without seeing a series of subtweets about a blogger's recent post or Youtube video. So, today I thought I'd share the love a bit with this post on some really quick and easy ways to support your fellow bloggers. Let's spread the love, not the hate!

1.) If you love a post of theirs, send out a tweet about it. Let them know that you're reading their work and share it with your followers.

2.) Pin their images. I get so much inspo from other bloggers' images, so I pin them to beauty boards, photography boards or straight up blogging inspiration boards. 

3.) Like their Instagram posts. IG sucks at the moment in my opinion. Everyone's engagement is down and it's basically impossible to gain a reasonable number of followers anymore. Scroll through your timeline for a few minutes and give a lil double tap to all the bloggers you love.

4.) If you find a blogger you love, follow them on their social media pages as well as bloglovin. There's SO many blogs that I read that I only recently noticed I wasn't even following on Twitter. If you love them, help them boost their growth.

5.) Support #AD or #Spon posts. Just a quick RT or a two minute read of a post can help boost engagement so they can feel fab about the post they've written.

6.) #Follow Fridays. I suck at doing this, but I always feel so happy and supported when someone does it to me, so I'm determined to do it more often.

7.) Do a monthly roundup of all the bloggers and posts you've been loving. It will make someone's day, and I love both reading them and making them to find new bloggers to follow.

8.) Leave a comment on their post. I know it's a little 'old school' in the blogging world, but everyone breaks out into a smile when they get a nice, thoughtful comment on a post.

What else would you add to the list?
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6 August 2017

Soap and Glory foot rescue duo

Soap and Glory foot rescue duo

Soap and Glory foot rescue duo

Soap and Glory foot rescue duo

Soap and Glory foot rescue duo

Working on your feet all day must have some perk somewhere down the line, but I'm not sure I've found it yet. The dull pain you get in your heels at the end of a long day never really goes away, no matter how often you work on your feet, or how long you've done it for.

A little pamper is my favourite kind of indulgence. A face mask, hot bath and lots of candles are a vital part of my mental health self care routine. But, sometimes it's important to remember to take care of the bits of your body you don't associate pampering or skin care with.

Without getting too OTT, your feet guide you on this earth, and if Yoga with Adriene has taught me one thing, it's how important taking care of them is. FYI, if you're into yoga, then her channel is one of the best out there to help improve your practice. 

My self-care/pamper routine with my feet involves a hot bath and face mask obvs. I set myself up with a book, lots of candles and my favourite shower gel. Towards the end of the bath I reach for my Soap and Glory Scrub of your life. It's honestly the best scrub I've ever used. I massage it into all areas of my feet: the heels, the ball, the toes. I actually take the time to take care of my feet and think about all the pressure I put them under and how important they are.

I have quite sensitive skin, so I always have to moisturise after exfoliating. Every single foot lotion I've ever tried is peppermint scented, and I hate it. But, Soap and Glory's heel genius butter 1.) doesn't smell like peppermint and 2.) really works its way into my feet and makes them SO SOFT. I slather this on, and again, massage it into my feet, and then pop my fluffiest bed socks on for a few hours.

This pair is honestly a godsend for people who work on their feet all day, and it's one of my favourite parts of my pamper routine. What do you do to keep your feet soft and happy?

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3 August 2017

5 Netflix Originals you NEED to watch

5 Netflix Originals you NEED to watch

Netflix is a godsend for the modern day introvert. You can binge watch your fave program without advert interruptions, and can do it wherever you want: you're not restricted to your TV. I for one am a massive fan. It got me through TV-less student life, and now that we're living in an actual adult rented property, we've found that all we need is this and amazon prime. I mean, we totally intended on getting a Sky subscription and have the TV licence for it, but I'm not sure how I would handle only watching one episode of a show at a time. I mean, who does that???

Netflix originals used to be pretty shite. IMO anyway. But in the last couple of years they've definitely come into their own and now I'm obsessed. They're pretty much all I watch on Netflix at the moment and I canNOT wait for some new seasons of my faves to come out. So, here are my top 5 must-see Netflix Originals: 

1.) Orange is the New Black. This is the first Netflix original that really made it big and I can 100% see why. It celebrates diversity in all its forms, and is the first mainstream show I've watched that has unapologetically shown what being a trans* individual is really like. It features a cast which isn't whitewashed, and covers some really important topics. Each series just gets better and better in tackling political issues and taboos.

2.) Riverdale. This is totally different, and a bit of an easy, fun watch. Not that OITNB isn't, but this is targeted at a younger audience I believe. So far there's only one season of Riverdale, and I've not finished it yet, so NO SPOILERS PLS, but I'm hooked. It tracks the murder of high school football star Jason Blossom, and I'm very excited to find out what actually happened to him. Plus, I fall a little bit more in love with Jughead as I watch each episode.

3.) 13 Reasons Why. This had me shook to my core. It comes with a massive trigger warning from me about self harm, suicide and sexual assault. It's incredibly powerful. Each episode in the series is one side of a tape recording that Hannah made for the thirteen people who gave her cause to kill herself. It makes you think about your impact on others' lives. My one problem is that the way it is played out suggests that Hannah can get some kind of retribution for her death, and almost see what's going on post-mortem. 

4.) Spotless. This is definitely the least well known of my five, but 100% worth a mention. If you enjoyed Dexter (which isn't a Netflix OG but is one of the best TV series' ever), then you'll porbably enjoy this. It follows the story of a Frenchman, Jean Bastiere, living in London, whose brother turns up one day with a corpse in his van. It's a dark comedy, in which the pair get dragged into a criminal underworld via a series of accidental situations.

5.) Stranger Things. I couldn't leave this out, could I?! This rocked everyone's world last Autumn, and totally has the added benefit of reminding me of that time of year (which FYI is my fave). Stranger Things is all about a small town in America in which a young boy goes missing. No one knows what's going on, but his mum is convinced he's still alive. Will is indeed alive, but he's not exactly in the same place as his mum is anymore. It's creepy and thrilling and season two is coming out soon so ya better get watching. 

What's your favourite Netflix original series? I need more to watch!

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2 August 2017

FINALLY adding decor to our home (aka a lil Homesense haul)

FINALLY adding decor to our home (aka a lil Homesense haul)

FINALLY adding decor to our home (aka a lil Homesense haul)

FINALLY adding decor to our home (aka a lil Homesense haul)

FINALLY adding decor to our home (aka a lil Homesense haul)

FINALLY adding decor to our home (aka a lil Homesense haul)

FINALLY adding decor to our home (aka a lil Homesense haul)

I'll be the first to admit that the house that me and my partner rent is bare. When we moved in we were intent on using our money to buy furniture. Then Christmas rolled around. Then a big holiday. Now, ten months in we're finally starting to get there. We've put some wall art up that's been hanging around in the basement since day 1. We've taken some rugs off of the floor that just weren't working for us (we've been ignoring it in the hope that it just ebbs away for months now).

I've been so intent on the idea that we need big, expensive things to make this house a home that I've overlooked the little things we could be changing. I'm obsessed with the idea of having lots of mirrors and real plants and decluttering our possessions, but we haven't had the time or money to sort any of this out.

But, it turns out that Homesense totally has my back. I always find that when I head in I either hate every single product I see, or find hundreds of things that I 'need'. 

You see, I found a leftover Christmas voucher (yaaaaaas) and decided to actually spruce up our home with some little things to make a big difference. This haul has made me so inspired to switch things up in our house to make it more homely.

Candles

I love candles. To an almost unhealthy extent. I've got a big ol wicker toiletries basket of them, and if I'm sat down at my desk to do some work I usually have one or two lit up in my office. Burning candles has been something that has helped me concentrate on my work for years, and I actually always used to have one going when I was doing my homework.

I must have sniffed at least 50 candles in Homesense, until I found three that looked beautiful and smelt incredible.

Sand and Fog's simple glass candle with a patterned lid is only made better by the fact that it's strawberry mimosa scented. For real. I've never had a strawberry mimosa before, but I need to try one now. This is sweet and delicate and I cannot wait to burn it.

I couldn't resist DW Home's lavender chamomile candle either. I'm a BIG fan of lavender. But, so many lavender candles I smelt were either too bitter, too faint or just a bit musty. This is a fresh, sweet lavender scent and I love the fact that it's hand poured, so has that extra bit of love. 

The last candle I picked is one that I want to burn whilst doing yoga. I've never had an aromatherapy candle before and the 'breathe' one from Mindful Earth smells incredible. It's a mix of citrus and herbs and freshness, and is the strangest smelling candle I've ever come across. But I love it. Plus, have you seen how pretty the jar is? It reminds me of an old-fashioned medicine bottle. 

Plants

I really want a home filled with lots of plants. Real, fake, big, small, whatever. I want to breathe in their goodness and break up the stale white walls of our home. At the moment I have one solitary plant indoors. It's a red demon chili plant, and I'm SO proud of having grown it from little seedlings. BUT, the chilis are so strong that I can't handle eating any of them, ffs.

This cute lavender pot plant is exactly what I had in mind in terms of plants. I would LOVE a real lavender plant, and I'll get one someday. I really wanted a plant (or two) to pop in the bathroom, but there's no ventilation system in our one and I just know that any plant wouldn't thrive there. This fake lavender fits perfectly on our bathroom shelves and just adds a splash of colour to the room. 

Beauty

Does anyone actually head into Homesense without coming home with a brand new strange beauty product? It's like hunting through a treasure chest to find a speck of beauty gold that 1.) isn't just pure shite and 2.) actually suits your needs. 

I'm just about starting to get into the whole sheet mask trend. It took me a while to find ones that actually worked for my skin, and I'm really hoping these ones do too! I got a four pack of sheet masks from Beauty Concepts: two are tea tree and claim to repair your skin, and the other two are charcoal masks and claim to purify it. I honestly canNOT wait to give these a go as my skin is in serious need of being both repaired and purified. 

Food

I always get drawn in to the weird and wonderful herbs and spices at HomeSense. Himalayan pink salt IMO is the way forward over regular table salt. It's a lot better for you, and although it's a little more expensive, I got this massive bag of it for £2.99 so I can keep my salt pot topped up. 

So there we go: my little HomeSense haul which has totally inspired me to focus on changing the little things in our home to get a better overall image.

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