Friday, 31 July 2015

July Empties




  • Halo deodorant wipes
  • New Look Antibacterial hand wipes
  • Nivea Miceller water
  • Gillete Satin & Care shaving foam
  • Clarins Tighten life serum
  • Nivea In Shower moisturiser
  • Bryt Skincare day cream 
  • Marc Jacobs Oh Lola! shower gel
  • Dior Pure Poison shower gel
  • Nars Laguna
  • Clarins Gentle Refiner exfoliator
  • Batiste blush dry shampoo
  • Elemis Frangipani body oil
  • ELF Baked highlighter

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Lush Recycling Programme





The Lush recycling programme is one of my favourites because not only are you doing your little bit but you get a free face mask out of it too. Over the weekend, after I'd used up my second pot of Dream Cream I gave them all a good scrub and went in to Lush Southampton to return them. The Lush recycling programme has been going for a number of years. They're made from polypropylene plastic and every pot you recycle gets cleaned, melted and re-moulded to make more black pots for your favourite products. If you go onto the Lush website you can read more about their recycling programme and watch the video which I found really interesting. 

I picked up BB Seaweed as my free face mask as I'd been given two samples of it last month and really liked it. BB Seaweed is a calming facemask with fresh seaweed, ground almonds, rose absolute and aloe vera which all helps to sooth and soften the skin. I'll give it a proper review once I've used it a bit more but so far I'm really liking the effects on my skin. Don't forget to save and clean your pots so you can pick up a free face treat too!


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Monday, 27 July 2015

Harvester Windhover Manor








Everyone has been to Harvester right?! Well up until last week I'd never stepped foot in one so when I was asked to visit my local Harvester* and try their menu I thought it was better late than never. I took along some friends who were big Harvester fans. We ate light during the day as we were determined to pig out that evening and have the full Harvester experience. 

We were greeted on the door and shown to our table where the lovely Charlotte, who was our server for the evening, sat us and gave us some menus to look through. We all ordered bottomless drinks to fill up ourselves with their touch screen machine which I found more difficult to use than necessary. If it wasn't for my friend showing me how to use it, I would of had to rely on the eight year old girl behind me. Major blonde moment. After browsing through the huge menu we ordered starters of Nachos with all the trimmings, Breaded Mushrooms and Spicy Crackerjack King Prawns. 

While waiting on our starters to arrive we hit the free salad more so than we probably should of considering the food we ordered. For a free salad bar I was really surprised at how fresh and tasty it was and could of quite happily just eaten the salad bar all night. Starters arrived and they were so good. I find some Breaded Mushrooms really greasy but these weren't like that and they were really tasty! Charlotte was attentive the whole evening and kept coming over to check we were okay, which for a cheap and cheerful restaurant, made a nice change! 

We had mains of Mega Ribs which were nice but a bit too fatty, Sticky Steak & Rib combo which my friend really enjoyed while I tried (and failed) to eat the The Harvester Beef Fully Loaded burger. The burger was delicious but I just did not have the stomach to finish it, plus I needed to save room for one of their mouth watering desserts! After drinking some Peppermint Tea to combat the serious food babies we were sporting we ordered the Chocolate Fudge cake and the Lemon Meringue pie to fill our dessert stomachs. 

I had such an enjoyable evening filled with friends and food. Charlotte was fantastic all evening too. It makes such a difference having a waitress who's friendly and gives you their full concentration even when they're being called for left, right and center. Harvester have definitely found a new customer in me. 

*Sponsored post
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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Belseva Birch Water






I've been enjoying my fair share of plant based drinks this year with Aloe Vera being one of my favourites so when I first heard about Belseva Birch Water I was really intrigued. Belseva was founded thirty years ago in France by Patrice Cordebar after telling a friend he wanted to plant trees on his land for his family to enjoy. Birch trees were suggested as they were better suited to his land and it all went from there. The natural sap was harvested from Patrice's land and has since been exported all over the world. 

Belseva Birch Water* has so many health benefits, helping weight loss alongside a sensible eating plan, water retention and stress. It's also ideal if you have a low immune system, have had a heavy night or if you're just feeling tired and sluggish. Birch sap hydrates and rejuvenates the body, eliminating toxins while giving you an overall boost. 

Belseva is pure organic birch sap so you get all the benefits in one handy carton as some birch water companies add extras into their drinks. Belseva is also the first Tetra Pak birch water with a screw lid so you can chuck it in your bag on the go. The taste wasn't what I was expecting, I'm not entirely sure what I thought it was going to taste like but it was nice and very refreshing when ice cold. Belseva pretty much tastes like water (duh!) but with a slight sweet taste to it. I haven't drunk enough to see any health benefits but I do need to track some Belseva down in Southampton so I can stock my fridge back up with it. It would be my new way to kick my body into action for the day ahead.


*PR Samples
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Friday, 24 July 2015

Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze





I'm a huge fan of Cocoa Brown tan and have raved about it since I first tried it last year and I always have a can of it in my bathroom ready to use. I've tried a couple of their other products from the Chocolate Whip moisturiser to the Tough Stuff scrub and the one I've been using recently is the Gentle Bronzer, a gradual tanner. The Gentle Bronzer* is their latest innovative tanning product which gives you beautifully tanned skin every day.  

The first time I used this, I just slapped it on like I would a normal moisturiser and I woke up with odd looking tan lines. Big mistake. This is essentially a light tan so you need to follow the same tan instructions as normal just with a little less effort. I didn't rub it in properly like I should of and I didn't wash my hands after like you're meant too. After a shower and a quick scrub down with Tough Stuff it didn't look half bad, thankfully. 

I've since been using it every day for the last week, carefully rubbing it in and of course washing my hands after like I would when using a normal tanner. I've been left with a quite subtle, natural glow which is what I prefer as I'm quite pale and not into the over tanned look. It leaves my skin smooth and hydrated and in much better condition than when I've used products such as Johnson's Holiday Skin which leaves my skin looking patchy and dry. For £5.99 you get 200ml of product which is a pretty good amount and it doesn't smell half bad either. All Cocoa Brown products smell slightly perfumed but not over bearing like some. I can't put my finger on what it does smell like, it's not floral but it's not too sweet either. 

If you're looking for a gradual tanner that doesn't break the bank then definitely keep an eye out for Cocoa Brown which you can find in Superdrug and Primark. It's worth picking up and trying for yourself. 

*PR Sample
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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

NARS Velvet Matte Lip in Cruella





Nars Velvet Lip Pencil in Cruella has been on my wish list for a very long time. I've gone to purchase this twice before and both times I've had an email from House of Fraser saying I was just that little too late and I've been re-credited my money instead so on a recent trip to Brighton I decided I wasn't leaving without it. Arriving in Brighton on a very wet morning I practically ran to Space NK and was served by a some what rude sales assistant. You know the kind I mean, the ones that look down their nose at you because they feel you shouldn't be in there, which was such a shame because I've always had really great service in there on previous visits. Anyway...

I'm a big mattes fan, you all know that so there was definitely no other finish of pencil I would be buying. Cruella stood out the most because it was such a rich shade of red and you can never have too many shades of red in the collection. The shape of the nib makes this really easy to apply especially when creating the perfect cupids bow and it applies so smoothly. Cruella really is super velvety, it leaves the perfect pop of colour on the lips and it's incredibly long lasting. Plus the matte packaging is pretty sophisticated too.  

Considering it's a matte lip product it's pretty moisturising on the lips. You still need to do the matte lip prep with a good lip scrub and a decent lip balm but Cruella is no way as harsh as the likes of Ruby Woo which takes a lot of patience and effort to wear. Cruella is easy to apply on the go and has fast become one of my favourite reds. Dolce Vita and Red Square are two I'm planning on picking up next but if you have anymore recommendations please let me know. Nars has well and truly taken the place of my beloved Mac lipsticks. 

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Monday, 20 July 2015

Esqido Unforgettable Lashes





I use to wear false lashes quite regularly, just the  standard Eylure ones but I got to the point where I couldn't be bothered anymore. I had mascaras that did the job for me so the lashes were thrown and only bought for special occasions. Amy from amzyinwonderland told me about some she'd been wearing recently from Esqido when by some sort of coincidence an email dropped in my inbox asking if I'd like to try them for myself. Amy basically answered the question for me and the Unforgettable lashes* arrived from Esqido.  

Light and natural looking, the Unforgettable Esqido false lashes are made from naturally shed Mink hair set on a soft, cotton band making them comfortable enough to wear all day. They're also aimed to last for twenty five wears which makes the price ($32) not too bad at all. I wore these for a day at work with light make up and on an evening out with friends with a heavier make up look to see how they worked in both situations and I almost have no complaints. I cut mine down to size so I didn't get that unflattering eye lash flick when they come away and they stayed put perfectly. The cotton band definitely helped with that more so than the band you tend to find on synthetic lashes. They're also so, so soft, beautifully crafted and come in some pretty instagrammable packaging. Rose Gold anyone?

My only complaint is that you have to buy the glue separately so for someone that doesn't wear lashes so much anymore, it meant I had to go out to find some lash glue before I could try these. Esqido ship free to the UK and it takes one - five working days. They also have a refer a friend programme where you can get $10 credit for each friend you recommend who makes a purchase. I really think these would be the perfect lashes for a special occasion such as a wedding, graduation or big event and I'll definitely be wearing mine in a few weeks for the Southampton Blog Event Amy and I our hosting. Have you tried Esqido lashes before?

*PR Sample
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Friday, 17 July 2015

Rodial Super Fit Bodycare





The Rodial Super Fit range has a cult following and rightly so! From their much loved Tummy Tuck to their Boob Job and Arm Sculpt which are also in the range, Super Fit is a targeted body care range which promises to firm, tone and smooth the body. Aimed to help our wobbly bits, it's definitely body care I can get on with. I've seen a lot about the Super Fit Turbo Shots in magazines and newspapers and there's also rave reviews on the Arm Sculpt, a product I'll definitely be buying for myself next.  

I've been using both products now for six weeks. with more surprising results than I thought. As much as I'd read great reviews on the Super Fit range, I didn't hold much hope as to whether they would actually do the job. Now don't get me wrong, I don't automatically look like I've had a boob job and tummy tuck but there's definitely a difference in the before and after photos which I haven't posted for obvious reasons. I'm not about to get my boobs out on my blog, review or no review. Both products come in squeeze tubes and the duck egg blue packaging is very pleasing on the eye but for costing £65 each, a matte finish would make them look even more high end and special. They do smell pretty incredible though and remind me a lot of Bergamot oil, my favourite scent. 

The Super Fit Boob Job* gel contains peptides, volufiline and hyaluronic acid to improve the appearance of the bust and décolleté area. The revolutionary gel blocks fat cells as they travel around the body, applied every day the bust can increase up to half a cup size. Now I haven't increased a cup size but they definitely feel firmer and my skin is really smooth. Having used the Boob Job daily for six weeks, I'm quite surprised at how long it's lasted and I Reckon I've got a few more weeks in it. It's something I thought my body care routine could do without but I was very wrong and I'll happily keep this step in permanently. 

The Super Fit Tummy Tuck* is one of Rodial's best selling products, it has a huge cult following and aims to reduce your waist by an inch in eight weeks. The intensive formula, Gemmoslim helps to improve skin tone while the wheat protein smooths, the fig extract firms and the laracare moisturises. I don't know if it's this that's made me lose inches on my waist or a huge change in my eating the last few months, either way I'm a happy girl. My abdominal area is tighter, smoother and in a much better condition than it was six weeks ago. The old saying of spending more on your body care is definitely right in the case of Rodial's Super Fit range and if either of the products above are anything to go by the rest of the range will be just as good.  


*PR Samples

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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Photo Strips with Cheerz





After a very lengthy Pinterest session I went on the search to find a company I could print off my Instagram pictures as Polaroids with and came across Cheerz, previously known as Polabox. I did a post on Cheerz back in April after buying a couple of their polaroid boxes of 30 which I still haven't managed to get up on my wall with some yarn and little pegs. 

As I have polaroids coming out of my ears at the moment I opted for the Photo Strips* so I could put a couple on the fridge and also on my dresser in my room. You get five strips of four photos that you can import from your Instagram, Facebook or Computer. Once you've chosen which photos you want you can edit and move them until you're completely happy. It's really easy and you can do it all on their website or via their app available on iOS & Andriod. Cheerz are definitely a company I'll be using again and again to print my photos. The quality is unreal considering they're downsized photos with filters and the delivery is super speedy too. 
*PR Sample
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Monday, 13 July 2015

Colour Switch by Kiss Cosmetics







It was IMATS this weekend and Kiss Cosmetics unveiled their incredible new product Colour Switch, released on the 16th July on their website. Colour Switch* is about to completely change how you wear lipstick. A white matte base, blanc injects the fun back into make up. Used as a base, you then apply any lipstick of your choice over the top. I used Kiss Cosmetics Lip Vinyl in Frisky Fuchsia in the above photos which is a vibrant pink shade. 

As the colour applies over the white base, it starts to blend into a completely new shade! We all have those lipsticks that we've bought on the spur of the moment thinking the shade was so us right?! Well this product enables you to start using those lippies you've just chucked into a draw. There's so many possibilities and I sat for a good couple of hours trying this with each one of my lipsticks. The bad side to that is that I've worn it down quite a bit already but you can't put a price on fun especially when it took me back to playing with my mother's make up when I was much younger. 

Colour Switch comes in a matte white tube with a ribbon pull on the end. It's cruelty free and smells of berries. It's also surprisingly moisturising, I thought it would dry my lips out but I've been pleasantly surprised with its silky smoothness. Available 16th July on kisscosmetics.co.uk, it will be retailing at £9 which is such a bargain considering how much it can change up your make up! If you picked this up or saw the demonstration at IMATS this weekend I'd love to know your thoughts on it.
*PR Sample
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Sunday, 12 July 2015

July Birchbag // Birchbox






After last months very disappointing June Birchbox with French Sole I had all my fingers and toes crossed that July's would be better and with a sneak peak of this months Birchbag shared on their Instagram I had a glimmer of hope. This week a padded envelope arrived with my July Birchbox* enclosed or in this month's case, the Birchbag! This years holiday essential. 

I received the Ibiza edition, neon pink, splash proof and the perfect size for all my beach essentials. If only the beach I'll be gracing was in Ibiza! There are four versions available, each representing a holiday destination by the most renowned magazines in the UK. Coral by Edwina Ings- Chambers of  Sunday Times Style represents St. Tropez, Turquoise by Fiona Joseph of Conde Nast Traveller represents the Greek Island of Hydra, Yellow by Rose Beer of Grazia to represent Somerset and Neon Pink by Jess Diner of Birchbox to represent Ibiza. 

The Ibiza bag features products from some of my favourite brands, Benefit Cosmetics and Balance Me and some I've never heard of such as Jelly Pong Pong, Barely Cosmetics and Unani. Each product is perfect for taking abroad with you to see you from beach to bar. Benefit Cosmetics Dream Screen is a silky matte sun cream for the face with SPF 45. It applies easily, leaving your face oil free and has a scent that smells just like Summer. The Unani Aloe Gel is the perfect item to use after a day in the sun, it's also really handy for insect bites. Balance Me Congested Skin Serum is another handy item that helps smooth spots and blocked pores to keep you looking fresh skinned and fabulous for those balmy nights. 

The make up items this month were also really fab! Barely Prep, Blot and Blend is a small sponge used to apply moisturisers, serums & primers and it can be used for blending visible lines and streaks under or over make up without making any changes to your make up. There's also a few more sponges in their range including a defining one. 

There were also two more make up pieces to take you to bronzed goddess in a few simple steps. Jelly Pong Pong Glow Getter in Ibiza is a weightless gel highlighter made up of 80% water. It's also oil free and so light that it doesn't clog pores, it just gives you a bronzed highlight where you need it most. Pop Beauty Bright Up Your Eyes eyeshadow trio in Peach Parfait is all you need in your make up bag for your eyes for a week a way. With a shimmery nude, taupe and bronze it's the ideal summer make up edition. Each shadow is super pigmented and used all together, creates a beautiful bronze smokey eye. I'm so glad Birchbox pulled it out the bag this month, I know a number of you unsubscribed after June's fail but it's definitely time to resubscribe, especially for Septembers.

*PR Sample

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Friday, 10 July 2015

Making Memories #ALittleMemory







When Solopress recently got in touch with me about their new campaign Making Memories, it didn't take me long to say yes. They have partnered up with Little Havens Care, a children's hospice in Essex which specialise in making special memories for children with life threatening conditions. Memories are something that we all cherish and I have many that I hold very closely to my heart. I'm quite old school when it comes to photos, I like to print them out, filling photo albums and frames with them. 

Solopress created my own special memory book for me as part of their #alittlememory campaign. I decided to get 15 photos printed of myself and my blogging best friends. We've had such an incredible time since meeting a year ago that I wanted some of my favourite moments together in one place. I also received a One Line A Day memory book which I've wanted for so long and a selfie stick which will come in very handy for our group selfies on our days out.

For every person that tweets a photo of their memory using the hashtag, #alittlememory Solopress will donate £1 to the children at the hospice to help them create their own special memories. It would be fab to get as many people to upload their own memory so make sure you tag your friends to do the same to keep the chain going! I shared a photo from a Foo Fighters gig a few years back which you can see on my twitter - @alicespake. Let's fill Twitter full of memories and raise as much money as possible for this fabulous charity. 

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Friday, 3 July 2015

Lush Haul







More often than not you will find me browsing in Lush Southampton and buying as many of their products as I can carry, so after yet another trip the weekend to top up the basket, I thought I'd post a haul up on Annie Writes Beauty. I stuck to bath bombs this time as I'm all stocked up on Dream Cream and their shower gels for the moment. Some of the bombs I've picked up I've never used before whereas a couple are old favourites and ones I always make sure I have at home. 

The old favourites are Ickle Baby Bot and Sakura. Ickle Baby Bot is a Lavender bath bomb aimed at children but when I've had a hectic day it's perfect for getting some much needed calm, plus they're only £1.95 so I usually pick up a few at a time. I've used Sakura many times before as it smells so good. Inspired by Cherry Blossom in Japan, it doesn't do much to your bath but it's pretty to look at and it leaves an incredible, lingering fragrance. 

Twilight, Blackberry, Phoenix Rising and the Badger bomb are all new additions. I've seen so much on Twilight and Blackberry on other blogs that I'm unsure as to why I'm only just trying them. I'm going to be giving Twilight a try first in my bath tonight.

The last product I picked up was the Love Soap which has been created for Lush's new campaign, #GayIsOk. It's still a criminal offence to be gay in 76 countries, which in this day and age, isn't okay. Profits from Love Soap are going towards LGBT charities around the world to help enable change which is what is desperately needed. Pick up your soap in your nearest Lush and don't forget to take a selfie with it using the hashtag, #GayIsOkay.

What Lush products have you been buying and using recently? I'm always up for recommendations so let me know in the comments or tweet me :) 
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