Thursday, 17 May 2018

Trimming My Stash And Life Lately - April 2018 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews

Well. well, well the last few weeks have been fun in my world haven't they! Thankfully it eventually appears as though we're starting to turn the corner. On Tuesday I celebrated my 40th birthday, obviously given the events of the last few weeks, the celebrations were majorly scaled back but I had a fabulous day, and I was well and truly spoilt as per usual by my amazing family and some very special friends x I got some lovely pressies some of which I'll be sharing with you on Instagram but the biggest and best pressie of all was having my mam home. She was discharged on Tuesday afternoon and whilst she has an outpatient appointment next week, hopefully she's well on the way to a full recovery.

This year seems to have been very stop, start when it comes to blogging but hopefully with things returning back to normal at home, and a change in my own mindset and outlook I'm hopefully going to able to get some of those posts and videos up that I've been planning and promising for what feels like an eternity. First though I'm going to take a very late look back at April's beauty empties.

Primark PS Cuticle Oil - 10ml
Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Conditioner - 20ml
Lavera Fine Loose Mineral Powder - Transparent - 8g
Dawin Miller Joy White Jasmine And Cranberry Body Wash - 120ml
AVON Advance Techniques Anti Hair Fall Conditioner - 250ml

Total - 5 Items 

Well despite all of the trials and tribulations that April had to offer I still managed to finish 5 beauty products. Although I didn't manage to finish any facial skincare items this time round, I did manage to finish a make up item, so I'm classing April as a trimming my stash win!

1. Primark PS Cuticle Oil - 10ml

I've talked about this product a few times now, and to be honest I can't praise it enough. I've used a lot of cuticle oils over the years, and this is without a doubt one of the best that I've used and it's also the cheapest. Crammed full of avocado oil, this oil is easy to apply, and it absorbs super quickly, and at just £1 a bottle you can afford to slather it on. This is now one of my beauty must haves and it's something that I'm going to continue to stock up on and use regularly.

2. Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Conditioner - 20ml*

This travel sized product came in a set that I was sent to review way back in 2015 (You can read my review here). I've no idea why I didn't finish this sooner but here we are. I'm a big fan of the Philip Kingsley brand and this was another nice product. It was a nice lightweight conditioner that was ideal of fine hair, or if you wash your hair on a daily basis. If your hair is very dry this might not be enough for you, but you could team it up with Philip Kingsley's famous Elasticizer if your needs a bit of extra boost.

3. Lavera Fine Loose Mineral Powder - Transparent - 8g*

At last a make up item! and this one was another press sample, and this time one from natural beauty store My Pure. Having quite an oil prone skin I love face powder, and I'm a particular fan of loose powder and if you are as well, this one was a good one. Yes, like all loose powders it was a touch messy, and you did get a bit of fallout, but it wasn't too chalky, and it really did take down the shine especially on my t-zone. If you're looking for a cruelty free, loose powder from a natural and eco friendly brand then this could be a one to try. You can read a full review here

4.  Dawin Miller Joy White Jasmine And Cranberry Body Wash - 120ml

While sorting through my beauty stash a few months ago now I discovered a Christmas gift set from a toiletry brand that I hadn't heard of, Dawin Miller. Joy definitely isn't a festive type fragrance in the traditional sense and it's something that you could easily use all year around, it's definitely more of a floral, than a fruity scent, and the heady scent of the jasmine really did dominate with just a hint of the tart berries. I love the scent of jasmine and white flowers so I really enjoyed using this lovely foaming shower gel. I can't find any trace of this brand or any information about it so I don't honestly think that it's something that I'm going to be able to repurchase it but I do have a hand and body lotion, and some body cream to use up, so I can go on enjoying the scent for a little bit longer.

5. AVON Advance Techniques Anti Hair Fall Conditioner - 250ml

Argh ! I have no idea what happened the picture here but I can assure you that I definitely did finish this bottle of conditioner. This is without a doubt one of the nicest hair conditioners that I have used in a long, long time. With a very similar scent to the accompanying shampoo that I talked about in March's trimming my stash post (read my thoughts here), this creamy condition probably has a touch more of the peppermint scent to it, which gives a cooling and refreshing hit. Also containing bamboo, keratin and arginine, this stuff leaves my hair feeling silky, smooth and very hydrated and shiny. Like with the shampoo I'm not sure it made too much different to my hair loss but since I've started using both the shampoo and the conditioner from this range I've noticed a definite improvement in the condition and the appearance of my hair. I've already repurchased this product and it something that I'm going to keep buying

So they were my very late April empties, if you have any questions on any of the products that I've mentioned than please don't hesitate to leave me a comment below, or contact me via email or twitter, Thanks for reading and thanks again for keeping me sane over the last few weeks xx

*Press Samples

Friday, 11 May 2018

Intu Metrocentre Fashion Live Spring / Summer 2018 VIP Preview*

I guess it goes without saying that I'm not really feeling myself at the moment, with my mum still in hospital I've been feeling more than a little bit down. There is a temptation when you feel like that to pull the duvet over your head and hide away and believe me I've done that but on Wednesday night I put a frock on, did my make up and received just the boost that I needed with the help of popcorn, Prosecco, and puppers. What am I talking about? Well the Intu Metrocentre Fashion Live Spring Summer 2018 Blogger Preview Event of course!

The team at Intu Metrocentre certainly know how to put on an event and treat their local bloggers and this one was no different, In a pastel, floral garden setting we we're treat to drinks, and canapes, and popcorn courtesy of the Odeon cinema, as well as make up advice from the team at Kat Von D in Debenhams, and a deliciously fragrant and relaxing hand and arm massages from the girls from Molton Brown in House Of Fraser (I had my massage with the new ish Coastal Cypress And Sea Fennel, which is a beautiful fresh and aquatic, unisex scent, which is perfect for summer).

As nice as all of these extras were though the real purpose of the event was to give us a sneaky peek of what you can expect to see if you head down to the centre this weekend. Yes, they are back, Intu Metrocentre's famous catwalk shows are returning from the 10th - 13th May to showcase some of the key fashion looks and pieces from a myriad of the centres stores, for spring / summer 2018.

Situated in the usual place in Town Square, outside of House Of Fraser there are 4 runway shows on Saturday and 3 on Sunday, giving you ample opportunity to get plenty of spring and summer fashion inspiration. Even if you can't make it onto FROW yourself though don't worry, if you're in the centre in the next day or so, make sure you pick up one of the Fashion Live leaflets from any of the information points, to get some fabulous discounts across the centre from stores including Simply Be, Cath Kidston, Ann Summer, House Of Fraser and more.

As per usual the shows will showcase a wide range of both ladies and gentleman's clothing accessories for all sizes, shapes, and styles. We had a sneak peek of just some of the shows and the brands that you can see over the next few days.

I'm not going to lie, with all the stress and what not I didn't have the energy to lug my SLR round so I ended up shooting the show on my trusty iPhone, well it didn't prove quite so trusty this time round, and a lot of pics either didn't come out so well, or quite frankly didn't come out at all, so this post doesn't have as many pictures as I would have like and I'm not 100% happy with the ones that I have included, never mind bigger disasters at sea, I guess.

The event was hosted by the lovely Anna Foster from BBC Radio Newcastle, who was wearing the Lipsy Amelia Print Floral Wrap Dress, which retails at £58. Lipsy's presentation was all about occasion pieces, with pretty dresses in brights, block colours and floral prints as well as more casual, but still smart and feminine tops, and separates.

Another brand that is synonymous with occasion is Coast, if you're looking for an outfit for a wedding, a christening, or even for the races, that Coast should be one of your first ports of call, especially since they now do a plus size range ;) Their presentation offered a beautiful range of dresses and jumpsuits, in bright, summery colours, and even neons teamed up with some fabulous hats and fascinators. 

If accessories are your thing then there is one shop that is should definitely be on your radar and that is Accessorize. What can I say about Accessorize other than summer in a shop! Everything about their presentation made me think of holidays, tropical beaches, and items that would take you straight from beach to bar, from strappy sandals, to brights, neons and beautiful embellishments, if your heading to the sun, anytime soon Accessorize should be your first port of call when it comes to holiday shopping. As perfect as they are for the little things that finish an outfit though, you can now get the top to toe look in one store, as this outfit proves with this cute neon embroidered cropped kaftan, and these cute embellished shorts. 

As much as I'm loving the tropical vibes here, for me at least beach holidays are a distant dream at the moment, so spring, summer fashion to me means less of the beach vibe and more of the I want to look cool as hell no matter the weather vibe, and thankfully a lot of the showcased brands fitted the bill perfectly, with River Island showcasing some great on trend pieces that were perfect for the unpredictable British weather including everything from cute playsuits to the most fabulous pair of mustard / rust yellow paper bag waist trousers!

Mustard was also evident on the models walking for New Look, with a fabulous ensemble of I think trousers, a top, and a coordinating kimono style jacket in a mustard and red floral pattern. I can't find this outfit online but it's definitely worth looking out for and I'm gutted that I didn't get a good enough picture so that I could share it with you. Florals are always big for spring and summer, and they were evident in quite a few of the presentations including this one, New Look also showcased a lot of bright block colours, including a fabulous red trouser and black, graphic, slogan t-shirt combo.

If you're one of those trendy, super cool people, that most of aspire to be like, then Top Shop's collection was probably right up your street, with some really fun furry bags, and sequined bum bags, and joggers teamed with a graphic tees, and high heels. 

I'm not sure I could carry that look off but something I could definitely get on board with was this beautiful diagonal striped midi dress, which retails at £49, teamed up with an embellished denim jacket. I love stripes and since I've just picked up a new denim jacket this look was right up my street.

I do love a stripe and another Arcadia groups presentation was probably my favourite of the evening. Yes, maybe I'm biased because Evans is a plus size brand (the majority of their items do start at a size 14 though so don't discount it as just being a plus size brand though!) but their models rocked every single look. Although it's all looking slightly navy here, the theme was monochrome, not a typical spring summer look but it works, and I particularly loved this look, with these eye catching black and white striped wide leg pants, that are a steal at just £35. I'm not sure I could pull this look off personally but I'm seriously debating giving it a go.

Having so many exciting brands under one roof, House Of Fraser's shows are always worth waiting for and this one was no exception, as they showcased both smart and casual men's and ladies fashion, but for me the stand out piece was this beautiful jacquard wrap dress from BIBA

I know I'm all about female fashion but these shows really are for everyone, and as well as House Of Fraser, DW Sports and River Island, also showcased some of they key spring and summer 2018 looks for both men and women, and the boys also had a chance to go it alone, with a summery presentation from Burton Menswear featuring pastel pinks, and that summer staple the Hawaiian style shirt.

It wasn't all about that casual summer style though, men have special occasions too, and if you or your OH has a function to attend this summer then Moss Bros is the place to go, for everything from the traditional two and three piece suit to something with a bit more of a fashion vibe.

There really is nothing nicer than a guy in a suit, well apart from a man in a suit with a dog that is!

Clad in their swanky Moss Boss attire and perhaps a touch overdressed for a dog walk, 2 of the lovely male models helped 3 new, and all be it hairy models to shine, Winston and Churchill which you can see above and the lovely Sam who you can see below.

Yes, us North East blogger do love our fashion, our beauty, our bubbly and our canapes but the majority of us all so have a soft spot for furry things with 4 legs! All 3 of these lovely dogs are current residents at the Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter, who are responsible for rescuing and re homing 1000's of animals every year in the North East of England.

If you're popping into the centre to do a bit of shopping or if your coming to specifically to see the shows, then pop down to Town Square and you can come and find out a little bit more about the work that they do, or you can find out more about how you can help and of course how you can adopt your own furry friend via their website, and of course if you do come down to watch the shows then you can watch these lovely, friendly doggies perfect, their runway walk over the course of the weekend.

Thanks to these puppies at least in part, I had a fab night that really lifted my spirits no end, I want to thank all of the Intu team, and of course all of the retailers for hosting and of course for the super generous goodies bags. So if you don't have any plans for the next few days and you want a bit of summer style inspiration or if you just want to meet some lovely fur babies than head down to Intu Metrocentre this weekend for your own fur and fashion fix x

*Press / Blogger Event 

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Miss Beauty Nail Colour - 374 Tiffany - Nails Of The Day

Nail polishes come in at all different price points now, but does paying more really mean that you get a better product? In my experience, no, not always, OK I've never shelled out £38 on a Christian Louboutin polish but I am partial to salon brand nail polishes, and I have bought the occasional polish from a higher end make up brand, but I have to say though that sometimes, I've been way happier with a cheaper polish from a budget friendly brand. You pays your money you takes your choice I guess, but for me you certainly don't have to spend a fortune on a nail polish to get a good one.

Case in a point, a recent (okay, not so recent!) purchase from Poundworld's own cosmetic brand, Miss Beauty, the Miss Beauty Nail Colour in 374 Tiffany.

As the name would suggest Tiffany is one of those pale, mint green, almost turquoise shades. I'm slightly obsessed with shades like this, especially at this time of year when they look so fresh, and spring like on the nails, whatever the length.

The bottle itself has a slightly contoured cap which makes it nice and easy to hold. The brush isn't the thickest but the quality seems decent with no splaying and no loose hairs, and it was pretty easy to paint with.

The cream formulation looked pretty streaky after coat number one, but it dried really quickly and two coats was enough for full coverage on the majority of my nails. The finish was really smooth and glossy and for the price, and my polish hating nails the wear time was pretty decent. I managed 3 days plus without a chip.

The colour certainly isn't that original but if you're a fan of this type of colour, then there are definitely worse polishes on the market than Tiffany. The Miss Beauty stand in my local Poundworld is always a mess and half empty but if you can get your hands on this shade, in my opinion it's £1 well spent.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Life Lately - You Are Stronger Than You Think

2018 YOU SUCK! and that dear readers is an understatement - I went AWOL and yet again I have not but several good reasons!

Over the last 10 days are so things have got progressively shitter in LouLouLand, it all started off a week past Monday when my MacBook wouldn't start up, basically exactly the same problem that caused me to take into get repaired way back in January, even though they won't admit it officially High Sierra is very glitchy on certain MacBook Pro Models! Thankfully the staff at my local Genius bar managed to get going again with only minimal data loss. Lesson to self - back up, back up and keep backing your data ! I went and bought an external hard drive and ever since then if I've changed anything, I've a backup just in case, I paid less than £70 but it's not so much about the money as the peace of mind.

I've was just getting into the groove, downloading things from my Cloud and installing a few programmes and apps, then bang, one of the worst things that could probably happen did!

On the early hours of Thursday morning my amazing was taken ill, I called an ambulance and she was immediately blue lighted into our local accident and emergency unit. I'm not going to go into too much detail but she spent around 4 hours having all different types of scans and tests before she was finally admitted to award. She's feeling a little bit brighter now but as yet we don't really know when she'll be coming home.

The NHS gets a lot of criticism, and the majority of it in my eyes is very unfair, so I just want to put this out there - Every person who both myself and my mum have came into contact with since last Thursday from the initial emergency handlers, to the paramedics, to the doctors, specialists, nurse, porters, and health care assistants has been amazing and both kind, and compassionate. The NHS isn't perfect for a lot of reasons but it's something that we in the UK should be immensely proud of and we all should be fighting to maintain the whole concept of "free" health to anyone that needs it. I don't think that some people realise just how important it is until they or some they love needs medical help.

So things have been pretty stressful, I've had so much to do, and I haven't been sleeping that well, and then low and behold something else went wrong! My heating broke! which meant no hot water and no heating. I don't usually feel the cold but maybe with being slightly in shock I was absolutely freezing! Thankfully we have an electric radiator upstairs, and an electric shower so I managed to just about keep warm, but I knew I'd have to do something so I ended up having to call out the heating engineer via my mams home service plan and by Sunday afternoon heat was restored.

I now it probably sounds like a little, and maybe silly thing to some but sorting out the heating was a really big deal for me. Maybe it's because of my illness I don't really deal with that sort of stuff that's my mam's domain and always has been even when my dad was alive. It's made me realise though that sooner rather than later I need to stop relying on people quite so much, and I need to start adulting properly. 

I'm an emotional person, and I wear my heart on my sleeve, I lack self belief, and self confidence and I've spent a lot of time think that I'm useless in every sense of the world but in the last 7 days especially I'm starting to think that maybe that isn't quite the case. Sometimes you need things to really test you before you realise just how strong you actually are.

My mam has always said that I'm stronger than I give myself credit for and at long last maybe I think she's on to something. It seems as though I've faced challenges and obstacles from day 1 with some health issues at birth, my facial nerve paralysis, bereavement, family illness and of course with my own current health problems, but lets be honest who hasn't had to overcome some sort of obstacles in their lives. As the saying goes what doesn't kill us makes us stronger and personally I'm coming through every test and challenge, no matter how big or small, a stronger and more resilient person.

Things are shitty and we all wobble occasionally or a lot, but we all know that Weebles wobble but they don't fall down, and after a crappy 10 days or so I'm still standing and although I've cried until I was sick, and really wobbled on occasions I'm pretty proud of myself with how I've dealt with everything that's happened. I was kicked hard but I stayed sensible and level when I needed to.

One of my biggest fears is being alone, and being an only child and a single lady heading into middle age being alone at some point could be a reality for me but lets be honest the majority of us are never completely alone. Okay, I might not have the type of relationship that you'd have with a partner, or that I currently have with my mum in the future, but from what I've found there are always people out there who have your back no matter what.

The love and support I've had from some of my closest friend, some of my online friends and from some of my family members over the last week has made all the difference in the world. Fine I'll always want a cuddle close relationship, but sometimes a simple text or a phone call can make everything just that little bit better in an instant.There will always be people who don't come through for you and whilst that hurts for a little while, from now on I'm more concerned with the people that care about me.

I can't say what the next few weeks, months or years hold for me but as I head towards a big birthday in a couple of weeks, I'm going to try and deal with whatever comes my way with a different mindset. Yes, I might be hurting, I might feel pain, I might laugh and I might cry but I KNOW that I'm a strong person underneath and I'll deal with whatever happens, when it happens, in the best way that I can.

I want to thank you for all the messages that I've had on my other social media channels, I really do appreciate all of your good wishes and I'm sure that my mam will as well x I was going to take a blogging break till all of this goes away but I've decided not to, I need something to take my mind of things so I'll still be posting as and when, and hopefully I should get at least one post by the weekend x Thanks again x  

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

You Tube Hauling - Beauty, Jewellery And Accessories

I disappeared again, didn't I? I promised you some more posts and then I went AWOL again! I'm sorry that I haven't been the best blogger lately but if you follow me on Instagram or You Tube then you'll know that I haven't been completely absent from social media.

I've always tried to establish an all round social media presence, my aim is to make all of my channels work together, so if you see something on my Instagram, or on my Twitter or on my You Tube channel, then at some point it will probably pop up on my blog.

Although like many users I recently lost the ability to monetise my videos on You Tube, I still enjoy making them and having another mouthpiece for thoughts and ramblings, and dare I say it sometimes it's easier to make a video then it is to take and edit a kazillion pictures for a blog post!

It's always difficult to find content that other people will watch and hopefully enjoy, so at the moment I just seem to be sticking with the old tried and tested, hauls and unboxing videos. I definitely went to switch it up a bit though so I'd love to know what type of content you'd like to watch so please leave me your suggestions below x 

In the meantime though I've recently posted a couple of haul videos that I thought I share with you, the first one is a Dorothy Perkins haul which you can watch below or via this link. I recently took advantage of one of their 25% off everything weekends and picked up a few jewellery pieces, and a couple of pairs of cute socks, so have a watch and let me know your thoughts.

As well as a fashion based haul, I also recently uploaded a very, very late, post Christmas beauty sale haul. Yes I know we're now in April but better late then never eh? Yeah I was pretty ill over the Christmas period but I still managed to make a couple of online sale buys from Benefit, Clinique, Tarte and Marc Jacobs Beauty. You can watch my haul video below or via this link if you are on a mobile device.

Although a lot of the kits and the holiday sets that I talked about were limited editions, I still think that this video was worth sharing with you. Why? well a lot of the kits also contained a lot of permanent items and permanent shades some of which I'll be reviewing on the blog in the next month or so, and if you're a Tarte fan then make sure that you're following my blog because I might have bought a few extra sets to giveaway.

Again I hope you've found these videos useful, as I say I have quite a few reviews to come but if you have any questions on any of the items that I've mentioned in either of these videos then please leave me a comment below, and of course don't forget to subscribe to my You Tube channel if you haven't already x 

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Trimming my Stash - March 2018 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews

"March Comes In Like A Lion, And Goes Out Like A Lamb"

Well the last 7 days officially prove at least to me, that those old sayings like this are utter tosh. The month ended pretty much as it started with yet more snow, but in my case in particular it didn't got out like a lamb, more like a whirling dervish!

If you follow me on any of my other social media channels you'll know that March ended, and April started in the worst possible way, with an emergency ambulance, an A&E trip, and a short hospital stay for Mummy Lou. Certainly not the Easter that I had planned but thankfully she's home and whilst she has a few more hurdles to overcome she's feeling much better and I'm gradually coming down from a stressed and anxiety ridden high.

March sucked big style for a number of reasons, and to be honest April hasn't started off much better but as I keep saying, and I have to keep believing things can only get better, and they will get better! You have to keep believing - positivity, positivity, rah, rah, rah!

So over the last few weeks I've been sleeping, I've been eating lots of chocolate, indulging in lots of self care, and general life sorting, and even though I've been a little bit quiet online I've still been doing lots of blog and You Tube prep so as long as the creeks don't rise I should be a little bit more productive online in the weeks and months to come.

The Body Shop Vanilla Spice Shower Gel - 250ml
Beautifully Scrumptious Deep Moisturising Foot Pack - Tea Tree And Peppermint - 1 x Pair Socks
Baija Paris Gommage Festin Royal Body Scrub - Caramelised Honey - 50g
Soap & Glory Heel Genius Amazing Foot Cream - 125ml
AVON Advance Techniques Anti Hair Fall Shampoo -250ml
Scrub Love Hydrating Coconut Oil Body Scrub - Coconut Mango - 50g

Total - 6 Items 

So starting in a productive and positive vein I thought I get my first post up of the month and share with you my March beauty empties. Considering it was such a topsy turvy month I think I did pretty well to finish another 6 items. I'm there or thereabouts on a few make up items, but I didn't manage to push any over the line in March. Alas no skincare either but lots of body and hair care and I managed to finish a couple of interesting items so I'm still pretty pleased with March's total.

1. The Body Shop Vanilla Spice Shower Gel - 250ml

Now normally by the time it hits February or March I relegate my festive toiletries to the back of the cupboard and keep them safe until the festive season comes around again. this year though I've decided to do things a little bit differently. One of my worst beauty failings is filling up the cupboards, drawers and shelves with half finished bottles and jars, so instead of switching my beauty products up to suit the change of seasons, this year I'm planning on using up everything that's currently in my shower, including a ton of festive scented products before I move on to something new.

This lovely shower gel is one of The Body Shop's festive limited editions from quite a few years ago now. Although it was marketed as a festive fragrance I think this warming and comforting scent is definitely something that you could use all year round especially if sweet scents are your thing. It has a sweet but not overtly sickly, vanilla based scent intermingled with various warming spices including cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. It's not too strong and it's not too sickly it's just comforting, it you liked the smell of Starbucks Vanilla Spice / Winter White Hot Chocolate for a year or so ago then you'll like this. Alas like so many of my favourite festive scents from The Body Shop this one hasn't been seen for some time but fingers crossed they bring something similar back soon, in the meantime, I still have a few of their Vanilla Brulee products left in my stash, which is different but just as yummy x 

2. Beautifully Scrumptious Deep Moisturising Foot Pack - Tea Tree And Peppermint - 1 x Pair Socks

There seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to feet, you either think that they are the greatest thing on this planet, or they gross you out. I definitely fall into the latter category I can deal with my own but touching other peoples quite frankly makes me feel a little unwell - in fact touching other peoples skin generally makes me feel a little queasy but hey hopefully you get what I'm trying to say.

Feet are not the most pleasant of things but we really do need to take care of them - they work incredibly hard and lets be honest we don't always treat them that well. So if you have feet do yourself, and the world a favour and take care of them! Keep them clean, keep them fresh and keep them moisturised. Thanks to medication and a thyroid condition my feet get very dry and as a result I'm always looking for ways to keep the dry skin at bay, and to keep them soft and hydrated.

I have a bit of a thing about foot creams and pedicure products, and over the last few years I've developed a major love in with pedi peel type socks, you know the ones, pop them on and wait for your feet to shed like a snake. As gross and as fascinating as they are in equal measure they are amazing for getting rid of that dry skin with very little effort. Whilst these socks look similar though they actually have a completely different function

Unlike those plastic and infused paper type socks that make your feet peel, these ones from the fabulously named Beautifully Scrumptious are all about the moisture. These disposable socks are infused with a fresh smelling moisture cream containing tea tree, lavender, and peppermint. Pop them onto clean, dry feet and relax for around 15 minutes, slip them off, rub the excess lotion into your feet, and you're left with feet that feel cool, refreshed and silky soft. I was really surprised at just how much better my feet both looked and felt after just 15 minutes, my feet felt a lot smoother, and the increase in hydration was really evident in the appearance of my feel and in particular in my horrible, dry and cracked heels.

These socks are designed for just a single use but after one 15 minute treatment they still felt pretty wet, so I actually managed to get another treatment out of them the next day. I'm so, so impressed with the effectiveness of these socks especially since they were only £1 in Poundland. So if you want both better looking, and feeling feet in a matter of minutes then these socks are definitely worth picking up, and I'll definitely be adding a couple of more pairs to my basket next time I'm in store.

3. Baija Paris Gommage Festin Royal Body Scrub - Caramelised Honey - 50g

Although one of my things are pedicure type products one of my real obsessions is body scrub, something so simple, yet so often brands get it so wrong. Well not in this case, so stand up Baija Paris, and accept the praise that is heading your way.

This was a product that I received in my December Birchbox (watch my unboxing video here) and  believe me it was a winner. Packaged in a gorgeous but slightly dangerous when you've get wet hands, glass jar, this was a lovely, very gritty and grainy sugar based body scrub. It had a good oil content so as well as being very exfoliating it was also very moisturising. I'm not a fan of honey scents so I was a bit sceptical about this one at first but it actually had an incredible, if slightly sickly sweet toffee, fudge inspired scent.

This brand isn't that widely available in the UK unfortunately but I really enjoyed using this scrub on all levels and if I could get my hands on it, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again

4. Soap & Glory Heel Genius Amazing Foot Cream - 125ml

Ah more feet and as were hopefully heading towards better weather and sandal season, it's more important than ever to get those feet in tip top condition. This is without a doubt one of my favourite ever foot creams! Containing fruit acids, to tackle that dead skin, and lots of moisturising ingredients, the texture is just right, it isn't too thick and it's nice and easy to rub in. I'm also a huge fan of the scent: whilst minty, tea tree and lavender scents definitely have their place (especially if your feet or a bit whiffy!) I love the fresh, fruity, floral, okay the impossible to describe scent of this one. I usually slather it all over my feel after a shower, pop on a pair of socks and let it do it's thing. My feet are pretty dry and whilst this Soap & Glory cream isn't a miracle cure, like most foot creams it definitely makes a difference when you use it consistently.

5. AVON Advance Techniques Anti Hair Fall Shampoo -250ml

If you follow me on Instagram then you'll already have heard me raving about this shampoo and the matching conditioner. First up it's super affordable, the RRP for this particular shampoo in the 250ml size is £3, but as you know AVON have regular offers on all of their products so shop carefully and you could probably pick up both a shampoo and conditioner for less than a fiver (my last bottle was only £1.50!). Secondly and perhaps more importantly this is a decent shampoo! It contains ingredients that you would expect in higher end shampoos including wheat proteins, keratin, aginine, amino acids, and bamboo extracts. Designed to help strengthen the hair from root to tip, it has a lovely fresh, floral scent, it foams nicely (it does contain SLS though) and it feels nice on the hair, and leaves it feeling really clean and conditioned. Although it's marketed as an anti-hair fall shampoo, you have to be realistic about your expectations and yes I probably am still losing more hairs than the average person but thanks to the combination of this shampoo and the corresponding conditioner (and a few other products from other brands), my hair is in pretty good condition at the moment, so for the price I'm stick with it. I've already repurchased both the shampoo and conditioner and I can see myself buying it again and again.

6. Scrub Love Hydrating Coconut Oil Body Scrub - Coconut Mango - 50g

Now this is the second product that I've tried from Scrub Love and I have to say I liked this one way more than I liked the last one (read my thoughts here). Although that one also contained coconut it also contained coffee which really added to the mess and my somewhat negative review.

This Coconut Mango scrub which came in the June 2017 Birchbox (see my unboxing here), contained lots and lots of coconut from the shell, to the oil, and the milk, and it also contained a load of moisturising and good for you ingredients including kaolin, sugar, glycerine, grapeseed oil, and mango seed butter, and whilst it was still a tad bitty and messy thanks to all of the oils and butters it was much easier to clump together and massage into the skin.

It had a nice and scrubby texture, and the scent was amazing, subtle coconut and lots of fruity, and juicy mango - a lovely scent that transported you to the tropics even in snowy Co Durham. It was nice and scrubby and I loved the scent but I still prefer out and out sugar or salt scrubs so I probably wouldn't repurchase this one but I would happily use it up if I acquired another one in the future.

So they were my March beauty empties x As per usual I'll be trying to do better this month, and I'm really going to try and finish at least one make up item if I can x If you have any questions on any of the products that I've mentioned then please leave me a comment and let me know x

Saturday, 31 March 2018

A Little March 2018 Primark Haul - Clothes, Accessories, And Some Beauty Reviews

Suffering from several chronic illnesses as I do, I've come to rely on online shopping quite a bit, and even more so this year, when I just haven't had the energy to get out there into real shops and enjoy one of my favourite pastimes . Online shopping definitely fills the void but you really can't beat getting out there and getting into a bricks and mortar shop. I've the odd look out but a couple of weeks ago I managed my first trip into Intu Metrocentre since before Christmas and whilst it damn near killed me off, it was well worth the effort, I had my eyebrows waxed and I managed a trip to Primark!!

It's one of those things that just can't be explained, why oh why doesn't  Primark have an online store? My own personal theory is that they would probably get way too many returns thanks to the less that consistent sizing but hey I would take the risk and I'm sure lots of other people would as well, so come on Primark do it and help me save a few spoons!

I'm not going to lie despite the fact that this trip was so long coming and so long awaited I didn't actually buy that much. I stocked up on a few of my Primark essentials including some more oil balancing facial wipes, some blue jeggings and some black leggings, and I picked a few other bits including another one of their basic t-shirts.

As someone who at the moment detests her tummy, and her hips, I need something to cover it up and with a bit of length, and Primark's long length t-shirts do exactly that. As someone who is at the limit of Primarks sizing scale I find these tees pretty generous, they have a lot of stretch in them and they are so so comfy to wear. This is one of the short sleeve versions, and whilst their are various necklines available my favourite is either the crew neck or the scooped neckline like this one. Again there were a few colours to choose from but I decided to switch it up a bit a leave the blues and stripes behind and go for this nice classic khaki green shade. These t-shirts are real staples for me at the moment and for just £3.50 I can really afford to stock up.

I know I've just talked about length, and how I need long line things, but my next purchase though is just a little bit shorter than what I normally go for.

There is no way that you could describe this as a cropped jumper but compared to my usual bum and tum covering numbers this is pretty short for me. I couldn't resist it though, I love the ribbed detail, and the baguette style crystals on the neckline, and grey really is one of those classic colours, that I'm personally learning to love again. There was a huge muck up price wise with this one, this jumper and all of it's sale rail friends in this shade and in a wine colour were tagged as £13 reduced to £5 - Bargain! When I got to the till though they had been a big mistake and they shouldn't have been reduced! Since both the tag and the price on the rail said £5 though that's what they had to give me it for! - abiding by the rules = one happy LouLou.

That was it for clothes but I did pick a jewellery item from a sale rack, and this time there was no argument about the price, this super cute real semi precious stone (amethyst?)  friendship bracelet was just £1 reduced from £3.

Featuring faceted purple and lilac crystal stones, with a clear crystal, silver tone disco hanging from the middle, it fastens with a Chinese knot style fastening, with tiny silver tone hearts on the end of each strand. This bracelet is so pretty and could easily pass for something like Lola Rose, and if you weren't a fan of the circle charm they you could easily remove it with some wire cutters without ruining the rest of the bracelet.

I think I pretty much say it every time I go into Primark now but their beauty range keeps getting better and better!! The selection has improved dramatically and the quality on the majority of things that I've tried has been excellent for the price.

At the moment Primark seems to have a glut of how can I put this? high end dupes, not quite out and out copies, but you know, clearly getting there, does that bother me? no not really, as I've said before I'd rather buy a dupe than an out and out fake product from ebay or from a local buy and sell group, and if it's done well then I'm definitely not complaining. They have quite a few Too Faced inspired lines in at the moment but I thought I'd give one of their Kylie inspired products a go.

I've got to be honest and admit that all of those matte lip kits did nothing for me, I'm not the hugest matte lip fan and I'm definitely not a fan of the butt hole lip look but whilst I've had an indifferent relationship with lip gloss for a while, give me a plump glossy lip, over a dry, lined matte one any day.

I do love a nude / pink lip so I though I'd give this PS Nudes Lip Collection kit a try. This kit in the shade Hypnotise contains a 10ml Lip Gloss, and a 1.5g lip pencil, both in a pink / nude / almost mauve shade.

The gloss is a touch sticky but the pigmentation is excellent, and it wears incredibly well, it comes out a touch darker than it appears in the tube, but it applies really easily with the sponge applicator, and it actually feels quite creamy, and smooth on the lips.

The coordinating lip liner pencil is easy to sharpen and comes in a plastic feel, barrel. It's a touch paler than the gloss and again the pigmentation is excellent. It feels smooth to the touch, but it isn't so creamy that it will end up all over your face.

Apologies that I haven't managed to get a shot of either of these products on my actual face but this is what I'm wearing in the You Tube video that you can see at the end of this. For just £3 I'm so, so impressed with this kit, the pigmentation, and feel of the products and the wear time, easily beats a lot of high end brands. Both of the products work perfectly together but since this is the type of shade that I go for in lipsticks I think I'll get a lot of extra use out of the lip liner, which is pretty similar to the Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in 063 East End Snob. If this shade isn't for you, there are are several other colour combinations available so you if you're a nude lip fan you're bound to find something you like.

I debated whether or not to pick up one of the Too Faced inspired cheek kits but in the end I decided to try out this highlighting palette, which may or may not be inspired by various products including the Anastasia Sugar Glow palette ;)

The PS Pure Glow Highlighting Palette comes in very on trend, and blogger friendly rose gold, and marble print cardboard packaging. I'm not the biggest fan of cardboard packaging because after a while I think it can look a little grubby but in this case again I'll make an exception. It feels sturdy enough and it fastens with a magnet so your highlighters will be kept safe and secure.

The palette itself contains a little section, which tells you where to put your highlighters (just in case you don't know), and four good sized, round pans crammed full of beautiful metallic and shimmery loveliness.

On the top row you have Desert, a gorgeous shimmery, metallic white, and Glimmer, a beautiful, metallic gold

and underneath you have a Eden a shimmery, nude pink, and Firefly, a rich metallic copper, bronze.

As you can see the pigmentation is excellent, and all of these shade are beautifully soft and buttery. Again no face shots but I am wearing a lot of this palette in the accompanying You Tube video. There is probably no wear on earth that you'll be able to see the shades on my face but I actually did virtually a full face look with this palette, I used Glimmer, and Firefly to create a rich metallic golden bronze eye look, with just a hint of Desert under the brow, and I used Eden on my cheeks, for a pale shimmery blush look. This is beautiful and super versatile and well worth the £5 that I paid for it. Yes you could probably get some sort of highlighting palette for less but would it be as good as this and would you be getting 4 x 7g, smooth and high pigmented colours for your money? I doubt it and I'm so glad that I picked this up. I've been so, so impressed with both of these items, and I'm definitely going to be heading straight to the beauty section next time I'm in Primark which will probably be next week because my mum needs to take something back :)

I know I've already mentioned it a few times but just in case it hasn't clicked yet, I've made a video to accompany this haul which you can see below or via this link.

If you like haul videos then definitely make sure that your subscribed to my You Tube channel, because I've got a few exclusive hauls coming up ever the next few days, including one that you won't want to miss x In the meantime if you've bought anything exciting in Primark recently or if you have any Primark beauty recommendations then please leave me a comment and let me know, or link me up to your blog post, or You Tube video x Thanks for reading and I'll see you soon with my March beauty empties post x