Saturday, 31 October 2015

Lord of Misrule Shower Cream






Lord of Misrule is my favourite bath bomb ever so when it was brought out in shower cream form, I had to get my hands on it. I haven't yet been to Lush Oxford Street, I feel like I'll need a whole day there just to take it all in but I do have some lovely friends that have been who always bring home some goodies for me. 

Lord of Misrule is usually brought out at Halloween but is now available all year round thanks to the Lush gods. The colour reminds me of the foundation shade the Wicked Witch of the West would wear... you know, if she did. Too much OUAT coming out there I think. Packed full of patchouli, peppercorn and black pepper with a subtle hint of vanilla, it's a real treat for your senses and one I love as it's so distinctive, I could sniff it out blindfolded. 

The shower cream is really runny but foams well considering the consistency. It leaves my skin feeling so smooth thanks to the wheatgerm oil which provides a lovely dose of Vitamin E. Lord of Misrule comes in four sizes, 100ml right up to 1kg of green goodness. I wouldn't be without this now and I'm beyond happy this is available all year round. If you haven't tried it yet then hop to your nearest Lush and pick up this or the bath bomb. You won't regret it .

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Friday, 30 October 2015

Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder




I will openly admit I hate washing my hair and will go five days without doing so because I really cannot be bothered so something like Bumble and Bumble's Pret a Powder is a life saver. When I don't wash my hair, I don't ever get to the point where I look like a greasy stray cat, I leave it long enough where it's bouffy and looking good and to get those extra few days I rely on this little gem. 

Pret a Powder is pretty pricey for a dry shampoo but so worth it. I also use Batiste alongside it as that's hands down the best cheap dry shampoo out there. Pret a Powder is described on the bottle as "equal parts dry shampoo, style extender and volume in a pinch" and it does exactly that, plus it smells pretty awesome too. All you do is sprinkle the powder on the roots of your hair and massage it in as you would a shampoo. It leaves hair smelling fresh and looking volumised without that chalky look you can sometimes get with cheaper alternatives. 

I even use this after a wash and blow dry as it just gives instant lift at the roots, plus you can't beat a multi use product. You're technically saving money with this or at least that's what I tell myself. It's available in two sizes, 14gm for £7.50 which is the perfect size for festivals or 56gm for £22 which is what I buy. Bumble and Bumble stock some of my favourite hair products as they just understand hair. It's definitely worth a look into their products if you haven't already. 

Have you tried Pret a Powder before? What did you think of it?

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Thursday, 29 October 2015

At Home Spa with Espa







Espa products take center stage in my daily routine and have done for the last year. Jo from Espa Southampton usually comes along to our Southampton blog events to give each blogger a skin consultation and I also go to see her for facials every now and then. Jo has taught me so much about my skin and what I'm using on it, I've completely stepped up my skincare routine since and fall more in love with their products every time. 

I was recently invited into Espa in John Lewis with my mother to be shown how to do our own facials using their products at home. The minimal make up we had on was removed with the Bio-Active eye cleanser before Jo talked us through each of their products. Espa work on using your senses to tell you what your skin needs. Jo placed two product soaked cotton pads in a bowl and we were asked to smell each one, whichever one we were most drawn to determined what our skin was most in need of. I always seemed to sniff out products aimed for hydration. 

My skin always feels so refreshed and happy after an Espa facial as their products are so natural and full of goodness. The 24 hour replenishing moisturiser, Optimal Skin Pro-Serum and Bio Active eye cleanser are three of my favourite products and once I've used up the Optimal Pro-Serum and I'm onto my second I'll be posting a review up. I really wouldn't be without it. I'm off for another facial later today with Jo to give my skin a boost as the colder weather has really affected it recently. I've posted previously about having a facial with Espa which you can read here - Espa Facial at John Lewis, if you're near an Espa counter, it's so worth speaking to the consultants if you have any skin care complaints. They're so knowledgeable and are always so helpful.

Have you tried Espa before? What did you think of the products?

*PR Samples
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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

MAC Cremeblend Blush // Something Special






MAC and I have had a long, loving relationship for many years and the one product I always go back to is the Cremeblend blush in Something Special. I'd never used creme blushes before this, always opting for powder as they were easier to use. When I first bought this I was undecided for quite some time until one of the MAC girls showed me the easiest way to use it, over foundation applied with a stippling brush and boy has it changed my life. 

Something Special is a light coral shade which is perfect for pale skinned ladies. Stippled onto the apples of your cheeks, it gives a subtle pop of colour. The formula makes it so easy to blend to the slightest hint of colour. It also goes really well with a natural tan and bronzer which is how I usually wear it in the Summer. If you've always avoided creme blushes in fear of the dreaded clown look then have a go with a stippling brush, you may be surprised and fall in love just like me.

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream with MTV Staying Alive & Tinie Tempah






Kiehl's have joined forces with MTV Staying Alive foundation and their Ambassador, Tinie Tempah to release their iconic Ultra Facial Cream to raise money for the charity. The MTV Staying Alive foundation is a global charity dedicated to stopping the spread of HIV in young people. In the last ten years they have helped 200,000 people get tested and distributed 7 million condoms. They have also just been announced as Kiehl's official UK charity partner for 2015.

As of the 12th October, you will be able to buy the limited edition Ultra Facial Cream* designed by Tinie Tempah online and in stores where the cream will be retailing at £43.50, £2 of each sale will be donated to the MTV Staying Alive foundation up to the value of £6000. I personally feel like that isn't enough considering the cost of the product and will instead be donating directly to the foundation which you can also do if you follow this link - MTV Staying Alive - Donate. I'm all for companies raising awareness and making money for charities but I'm more for it if they don't cap the donations they're giving.

*PR Sample
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Monday, 26 October 2015

Seventeen Blogger Network




I have been a fan of Seventeen products for many years. They're my go to for most of my base products and I use the Falsifeye mascara every day. Seventeen recently launched their blogger network where you can join, share reviews on their fabulous products and chat with other bloggers about all things make up. 

If you use this link - Seventeen Blogger Network then you can also join up and get a piece of the action. I've spent hours on the website reading posts, searching what other products I have left to try and also having a sneak peak at exclusive content. Also make sure you use the hashtag on Twitter, #Seventeenbloggernetwork to interact with other bloggers who are also a part of the network.

I'll be reviewing some of the products in the above photo soon on Annie Writes Beauty so keep an eye out :) 

(Photo contains pr samples)
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Sunday, 25 October 2015

Mettricks Coffee House // Southampton








Why I have waited until now to post about my favourite coffee house in Southampton I do not know but after spending one afternoon drinking coffee and eating scones with my sister and finding ourselves in an extremely rare, empty Mettricks, I took full advantage and took some photos. Mettricks was opened in 2013 in the Old Town in Southampton by Spencer who saw exactly what this wonderful city was missing, a coffee house with better coffee, a cosy home vibe and fresh, local food. This city is littered with the likes of Costa and Starbucks but Mettricks was something we didn't have and it's somewhere I spend a lot of my time as many of you will know. 

The original coffee house is situated in the Old Town, my favourite part of the entire city. Stepping inside is like coming home; Full of artwork, mismatched furniture and board games, it's the perfect place to come on a lazy afternoon and just sit back and chill. There's also a great outside seating area which is perfect for people watching (come on, we all do it). 

The coffee they serve is the best in Southampton, there is no competition. As soon as you step foot inside, the smell of fresh roasted coffee beans greets you. Pair that with one of their fresh warm scones or cakes and you're onto a winner. Myself and the Sotonbloggers girls regularly meet at Mettricks for a drink and a catch up before events. They've recently opened a pop up branch opposite the Bargate monument in the city centre which I think is testament to just how popular this family orientated coffee house is. It's not often you get an independent coffee house expanding in such a large city over run with the same old franchises.

Mettricks message is simple, better food and drink paired with a welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff. You can't go wrong with that. Spencer and the Mettricks family have got it spot on and I hope they're around for many years to come. If you ever find yourself in Southampton, make it your mission to pop in for a coffee. You will not be disappointed.



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Saturday, 24 October 2015

Lush Oxford Street Winter Haul






The winter months are my favourite time of year when it comes to Lush Cosmetics. There are so many fabulous products to try that a little haul here and there becomes inevitable. This haul wouldn't of been possible had it not been for my sister, Mandy and Jess. The winter launch at my local lush was really disappointing so thanks to my lovely friends being in London and Brighton one particular weekend, they all picked me up the the bath bombs I couldn't get my hands on. 

Cyanide Pill isn't part of the winter range but it's one of my favourites from Lush Oxford Street so I finally have two more to keep in my basket of lushy goodness. The Yog Nog soap was a favourite of mine last year so when it was released in bath bomb form this year, I needed to try it. It's not as strong scented as the soap but it'll do. Yog Nog turns the bath an acid yellow colour much like Cyanide Pill. Lord of Misrule is by far my favourite bath bomb ever. I only ran out of last years supply in July so thankfully didn't have to wait long to stock up again. Containing patchouli and black pepper oil, it's a spicy treat perfect for this time of year. 

Mandy always picks up some bath melts for me as they're only £2 each and she always picks good'uns so she chose for me again this time. Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment, Orange Blossom and Floating Island all came home with her, each smelling amazing as each other. The bath melts always leave my skin super soft and they make a nice change from the standard bath bombs. 

Have you bought anything from the Lush Winter range yet? 

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Friday, 23 October 2015

Gingembre Rouge by Roger & Gallet





Roger & Gallet are one of those brands that have been around for decades and have built up an extraordinary reputation. The perfumery was created in 1862 and Roger & Gallet went on to create timeless fragrances many have loved for years. I've recently tried Gingembre Rouge which comes in an energising shower gel, body lotion and fragrance.

Inspired by the exotic island of Zanzibar, both products smell  incredibly spicy and vibrant. The Gingembre Rouge Fresh shower gel* contains aloe vera, ginger root extract, pomegranate seed oil and coco betaine. Each ingredient helps soothe, moisturise and tone while also helping with cell renewal. The scent lingers for hours and paired with the body lotion, it leaves the skin smooth, soft and smelling like paradise. 

The Gingembre Rouge Energising Sorbet body lotion* is a gentle shimmer moisturiser. Containing passion flower oil, corn & rice oils plus apricot kernel oil that are mixed alongside aloe vera, avocado oil and beautifying micro pearls. Aimed for normal to dry skin, the moisturiser gives 24 hour hydration. After using the Gingembre Rouge set the for last two weeks, I've been asked what I'm wearing numerous times. I find describing scents difficult sometimes, as I said above this is quite spicy but with a subtle floral hit. Next time you're in M&S, track it down and have a whiff. You won't be disappointed. Roger & Gallet is available to buy online and from selected Marks & Spencer stores.

What have you tried from Roger & Gallet before? 

*PR Samples
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Thursday, 22 October 2015

Merumaya Mud Marvels Mask






Merumaya is the leading company for integrative effective skincare, concentrating on preventing and perfecting skin aging. I have tried a number of Merumaya products and have never been disappointed. Their latest innovative product is the Mud Marvels Mask*, a deep, detoxifying face mask. The charcoal and volcanic ash aims to deeply cleanse and detoxify the skin leaving it feeling refreshed. The natural alpha hydroxy acids which help with anti aging, help remove the top layer of skin to give way to the younger cells below and the nourishing oils such as sweet almond oil and vitamin e plus cocoa butter helps restore moisture, leaving the skin hydrated and smooth. 

I've been using the mask one to two times a week, as recommended. While running a hot, bubble bath I just apply a thick layer to my face ready to sit back and relax for ten or so minutes. Once dry, I just wipe off with warm water and a muslin cloth leaving my skin smooth and refreshed. The great thing about this mask is that it doesn't leave the skin feeling like it's been stripped of any hydration or nutrients, you're just left with plump and happy skin. The mask also has Merumaya's familiar scent to it much like all of their products, which I find incredibly soothing. If you're looking for a new face mask then look no further as Merumaya have all your skin needs in this handy 50ml tube. 

You can buy the Mud Marvels Mask now on their website for £19.50. Don't forget, each time you purchase a product on their website you earn Merumaya points to use in their rewards programme. Have you tried Merumaya before?

*PR Sample
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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

5 Series you need to Watch on Netflix




Netflix have revolutionised the way we watch telly. For years, if we wanted to binge watch a tv series we'd have to wait until the box set was released but now at the click of a button we can now spend hours slobbing in front of the tv watching a whole range of different films and tv series without moving. Well, until that screen of guilt appears asking "are you still watching...". I hold my hands up and admit I'm more than a huge fan of Netflix and couldn't tell you the last time I watched 'live' tv so today I'm sharing with you the five latest series I've watched that you need to too. 

Once Upon a Time - 
I saw numerous tweets on this series but just didn't think it would be my thing. My sister started watching it and I caught two episodes from season two and decided to start it myself. If you're into fairy tales, make believe and fantasy, this is the series for you. I'm halfway through season three and can't stop watching it, I also have a bit of a crush on Hook but then who hasn't?! 

Peaky Blinders - 
I love films and tv shows set in the early 1900's because I'm a bit history obsessed so Peaky Blinders was right up my street. Set after the first world war it follows gangsters on the lawless streets of Birmingham. It's rough, gritty and full of turns you wouldn't expect. I cannot wait for the latest series to be loaded onto Netflix. 

Narcos -
Based on the infamous drug cartel Narcos and the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, Narcos is a ten part series that is grim, brutal and tells the history of Colombia's drug wars. The story is told perfectly and I was hooked from the start. The majority of it is told in subtitles but you barely notice them after a while. Series two is being made at the moment, the sooner, the better!

Orange is the new Black -
I think this is a pretty obvious recommendation. A Netflix original series set in a minimum security women's prison. It's funny, lewd and the characters are incredible. A series I thought I wouldn't like but binged watched in a week or so. If anyone asks for recommendations I'm usually first to say OITNB.

Sons of Anarchy - 
SOA is another series I really wasn't sure of, especially after the first two episodes but I stuck with it and I'm so glad I did. Based on an outlaw motorcycle club, this has everything from guns and drugs to gang wars and Jax Teller. There are some incredibly gruesome parts in this seven season show but nothing that a quick duck behind a pillow won't fix. The final episode was done perfectly and there has since been talks of a spin off based on The Mayans which I'm excited for. 

I also created The Netflix Tag earlier on this year. Find the questions here and make sure you tag me if you do the tag yourself so I can have a read. What do you think of my top picks? Have you seen anyone of them yet?

Sponsored post.
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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

TK Maxx & Homesense // Southampton





If there is anything I love more than shopping for make up, it has to be shopping for homeware so when an email dropped in my inbox to let me know that Homesense was opening in Southampton, it's safe to say I had a grin bigger than the Cheshire Cats. I could happily spend hours aimlessly wandering around Ikea and Next Home but I always had to get my Homesense fix in Brighton which when you have a habit of buying awkward shaped items, isn't always a good idea.
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Monday, 19 October 2015

Soap & Glory Whipped Clean







If there is one company that always gets it right, it's Soap & Glory. I've been using their products for years and I always make sure one of their big Christmas sets finds its way home with me. Two of my all time favourite products are Sugar Crush body wash and The Righteous Butter, I don't think there is a product I don't like. I'd recently run out of the Orangasm body wash so out came Whipped Clean in its place. 

Whipped Clean is a body wash and butter in one, perfect for those times you don't have time to moisturise. It contains 25% moisture oils including sweet almond oil, macadamia nut oil plus shea and cocoa butters. It smells so good and if you love Smoothie Star body butter then you'll love this. The body wash is super rich and creamy, leaving skin soft and seriously well moisturised. It's also the perfect shaving companion because it's so creamy. It lathers up really well with a bit of water which allows a razor to glide. Plus the added oils leave legs really smooth. Soap & Glory is usually on offer in Boots so more often than not you can pick up some of your favourite products 3 for 2. Nice little bargain if you ask me.

What products from Soap & Glory have you been using recently? What's your all time favourite? 

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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Blogging Events & The Free Stuff



As some of you will know, I organise blogging events in Southampton as part of Sotonbloggers. I love doing these events because it brings together so many of us, we have fabulous brands that get involved and support us, plus it gives all of you guys the opportunity to network and meet new blogging friends. That's why we do it and we're so proud of how much bigger it's become.
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Saturday, 17 October 2015

Sugar Waxing // Sugarflick





(All photos by Sugarflick*)

When looking to remove unwanted body hair, waxing is most people's go to method. I'm personally not a fan of waxing; it's painful, it sticks and more often than not the results don't last as long as you want them too. Thankfully this is where sugaring comes in, an ancient method of hair removal that has been used since the first millennium. Sugaring works by sticking to and removing the hair sticking less to the skin than waxing making it less painful with better results. Skin is left smooth and hair free for much longer because the product catches even the smallest of hairs. 


Sugarflick in Bedford Place, Southampton specialise in sugaring and have ten years of experience tucked under their belts. They are also the only salon for miles who pride themselves on offering Brazilian and Hollywood intimate hair removal for men and women. Set in the backdrop of a beautiful Victorian house, you will not find anywhere quite like Sugarflick. It's incredibly welcoming and you feel more like you're going to a friends house than your standard salon environment which is what I think makes the experience even better. 

I went in recently to watch a sugaring session be performed by Emma and it was so fascinating to watch as Sugarflick use sugar strips and old fashioned sugar balling methods. I wasn't sure what I was expecting but I sat in awe watching Emma as it was quite intricate work. As stated on the website, their products are unique to them, made especially for them to suit their environment, clients and the time of year. Sugar paste is also completely natural so this type of hair removal is excellent for people with sensitive skin.

Each member of the Sugarflick team are fully trained and insured to keep all your fuzzy bits in check. There are plenty of fabulous reviews on their own website and on Google reviews which are just testament of the client base they've built up over the years. 

If you're in Hampshire and want a hair removal experience that will change your life, Sugarflick is for you. Once you go sugar you don't go wax!
*Sponsored post.
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