Monday 30 December 2019

Collaborative / Partnered Post - Winter Fashion Staples*

Although by UK standards, the weather is pretty mild at the moment, we all know that it won't last, and that winter is almost certainly on its way. Whether you’re heading out to work, hitting the last of the sales, or meeting your friends, more often than not at the moment, you're probably thinking that staying indoors in your onesie is a better option than heading out into cold. Alas life doesn't stop in the winter months and nesting indoors isn't an option for most people, so think about your wardrobe, your outfits and your accessories, and with a little bit of thought you can not only still feel warm and cosy, but you can also look stylish, and put together. even when you don't feel it

So if you're one of those people who likes to hibernate when the mercury plummets, here are a few fashion staples, that will help you face whatever the winter has to throw at you.


Footwear can make or break an outfit in more ways one, and whilst letting your beautiful summer shoes spend the season in your wardrobe can be painful, pretty wedges, and sandals, just don't cut the mustard when it comes to everyday winter fashion. Whilst I own a gorgeous pair from Emilio Pucci, let's be honest, wellies are rarely a fashion statement, and whilst they are super practical for the ice and snow, chunky walking boots don't exactly scream style either but if you need them you need them - keep them for the extreme days, and for the days when you want to stay safe and warm, but you don't want to look as though you want to trek up Everest, then boots are your best friend. I love boots and there are so many different types on the market to suit any purpose and any occasion from funky snow boots, to knee highs, and the classic Chelsea boot, to Uggs, Emu's and sheepskin boots, that are perfect for cold, dry days. You can never have too many pairs of shoes, and in my opinion the same applies to boots - the more the merrier.


I think I've mentioned it before but I'm very much an Autumn / Winter girl when it comes to fashion, and one of the reasons why is that I love knitwear. Let’s be honest here, who doesn't love a woolly jumper, especially in the winter months. As much as I love my Christmas jumpers though, it's time to say goodbye for another year and it’s time to embrace something a little more conventional as January comes around. To look and feel great, check out some women’s knitwear that keeps you warm and can fight away the chill of those winter days. Again there are so many different styles to choose from from huge chunky knits, to finer, fitted pieces for layering, embellished pieces for occasion wear, and of course the must have, over sized, boyfriend knit. Jumpers don't have to be dowdy and boring, keeping warm, and looking smart, and put together, can go hand in hand.


A winter spent without a warm, fluffy scarf is a miserable (and cold) one, and there’s still time to get your hands on some fashionable neck wear if you’re struggling to get through those winter days. I love all different types of scarves, from fine, to chunky and they are something that I wear all year round, but when it comes to winter scarves, the rule is the thicker and comfier the better, so shop around to find something that you love and something that will work for you. Once you find something that is just right, you won’t want to take it off, even inside the house!


OK, so most of us are pretty divided about hats. You may put one on and think wow, this is definitely not a look for me. I have to say I'm not a hat person but like red lipstick I do believe that there is a hat out there for everyone, and that if you look hard enough you will find a winter hat that looks perfect, and keeps your ears warm as you head out for some January fun. Woolly hats come in many different shapes and sizes, and you’re sure to find something that suits your needs and the shape of your face perfectly, so don’t give up, and don't be afraid to try something new, be it a beret, a hat that looks like a pandas face, or even a giant bobble hat, your perfect winter hat is out there somewhere.


It goes without saying that you’re not going to head out into the winter air without a perfect coat to keep you warm - if you don't have a decent coat then you may as well stay indoors. As any coat fanatic will know, there are plenty of different styles out there, from puffer coats to their wool counterparts. If you live in a rainy area, aka the UK, then waterproof coats are probably the way to go. A good coat can often be an investment purchase, so think about when you're going to wear it, and the type of weather that you going to wear it in. I personally love a waterproof storm coat, you can get a waterproof outer with a hood, and usually inside you have either a zip off, shorter padded jacket or a fleece jacket that can be worn separately, they are usually a little bit more expensive but with so many ways to wear them depending on the conditions they are well worth the extra investment.

So, if you’re looking for some winter wardrobe staples, then keep these things in mind. Fashion doesn’t have to be compromised in the name of warmth, so shop around, buy wisely, and you'll have some classic pieces that you can bring out winter after winter. What are your winter fashion staples and must haves? Let me know in the comments and make sure your following me on Instagram in the next few weeks to see some of my own personal winter fashion staples x

*Collaborative / Partnered Post

Tuesday 24 December 2019

One More Sleep...

So this is it, after what seems like a never ending build up,  the presents are wrapped, I'm wearing my new Christmas Pyjamas, and drinking mulled wine in front of The Muppets - it's Christmas Eve! So I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of you who are celebrating a very Merry Christmas, and as per usual I also want to take this opportunity to remind you that you are not alone this Christmas and that there is always somebody there to talk to so please keep a note of the numbers and websites below, and pleases share them on your social media channels x

As I say I hope you all have a great day tomorrow, whether you're celebrating or not, and I will see you after Christmas with some long overdue posts x

Monday 23 December 2019

A Small Winter Primark Haul - Clothes, Jewellery, Beauty And Christmas

It's not only posts that have been thin on the ground this year, but hauls and specifically Primark hauls have been too. It's no secret that 2019 has been a bad one health wise for me but as I've already said I've also been trying to cut down on my spending, and I've also been trying to buy less and wear more, so my monthly Primark trips just haven't happened this year.

You know how it goes though, you don't go somewhere for ages and then all of sudden it seems like you live there! Well over the last 4 or so weeks I've managed 3 trips to Primark, including 2 in a week and whilst I've tried to be a little bit more selective about what I bought, I do have a few things to show you

First up the sale rails, now usually I can't do a lot with the sale rails in Primark, plus sizes are rare enough as it is without them being reduced but on two successive trips I picked up up two of the same tops, in two different colours.

Whilst they aren't t-shirts, they aren't quite jumpers either but they do have a soft, ribbed knit, almost jumper like feel. They aren't the thickest of tops for this time of year but they are ideal for layering, so you could either wear them with a vest underneath, or with a thicker cardigan on top, on even both if you're feeling cold. The first one that I picked up was in a lovely neutral beige, oatmeal marl type colour, and whilst the other one is officially described as dark orange, it more of a rusty, orange red marl. Both of these tops had originally been £6 but I got them for £3 each. They aren't that exciting but they're just a nice throw on basic.

Now when I'm at home, writing or just chilling, I'm very much a leggings girl, I love comfort, and I can't stand anything with zips or buttons, but I fancied a change, and I've so many girls looking casual yet effortlessly cool in joggers that I thought I'd give them a go. I tend to get quite overheated at times so I didn't want anything too thick even for the winter months, and whilst Primark do have a lot of chunky, and fleecy joggers in at the moment, these skinny fit ones that I picked up aren't quite as bulky, or weighty. There were a few different colours to choose from but I ended up steering away from my usual black and picking up a pair in a charcoal grey marl. They were only £5 and they definitely feel more expensive than that. I haven't worn them yet so I'll try and stick a pick on Instagram when I do.

One of the most frustrating things with any shop, but particularly with Primark is seeing something you like but they don't have your size, well that's what happened with these pyjamas. On Friday 13th in desperate need of cheering up, I dragged myself out and went Christmas shopping! I popped into Primark for a few bits, and I ended up in the nightwear section. As per usual if your looking for Christmas PJ's Primark is the place to go, they really do have something for everyone this year. I bought my mam a gorgeous floral nightshirt, and even though I'm officially PJ'd out, I couldn't resist picking up another pair.

Officially described as emerald green, in real life these pyjamas are in fact much more of a forest, bottle green. I think the colour way is really unusual, and I love the vintage floral and spot design on the pants. These particular pj's are from their sustainable cotton range, and they were only £6. On my first trip they didn't have my size but I went back on a whim and they been restocked - it was meant to be!

Now it wouldn't be Christmas with out some socks and some slippers, and this cute pair combine those two festive must haves. They are short slipper socks or footsies. With a lovely pink fluffy lining, and a grey velour outer, they are in a super cute mouse design. I love this type of slipper sock, and these were only £3.50

Next up some jewellery, and a couple of sets of earrings. This first pack is a set of 3, gold tone celestial earrings, featuring some crystal star shaped drops, some golden half moons and and some small, plain, gold tone ball studs. The drops are ideal for the party season but you could easily wear the other two pairs every day, no matter what the occasion. This particular set was £1.50.

Other this next set of earrings initially screams Christmas with the candy canes, festive bows, snowflakes and gingerbread characters, this set also contains a few pairs of plain red, faux pearl, and gold tone studs, bows and stars that you could wear all year round. This set was just £3 for 20 pairs of earrings.

Now if you are a regular reader of my blog, you'll more than likely have at least one empties post where I've sang the praises of Primark's PS... Cuticle Oil. I've lost count of how many bottles I've used up over the years, but it's safe to say it was one of my holy grail beauty products. I say was because in their wisdom Primark seem to have discontinued it.

I thought that all I had to do was go into store and pick up another four bottles or so, but it was nowhere to be seen. So instead I ended up buying the two products which I assume have replaced it.
The first one is the PS... Nourishing Cuticle Revive Nourishing Cuticle Oil Pens which £1 each. 

Now although the glass bottles are great for home use, these twist up pens are a much better, and safer idea for holidays. All you do is twist the pen and eventually the oil comes out through the brush, all ready for you to brush onto your nails and cuticles.

Containing Vitamin A, and sweet almond oil, this is nice, almost fragrance free oil, that's easy to use and it absorbs quickly into the nails, making dry skin look better in an instant. I ended up buying two and I'm pleased that I did because I don't think that these pens will last that long compared to the old style bottles. As well as being made of plastic instead of glass each pen contains just 1.5ml of oil, compared to 10ml for just a £1 in the old style glass bottle.

If pens, and plastic aren't your thing though, on my second Primark trip, I found another cuticle oil, the PS...Nail & Cuticle Oil Nourishing Treatment which was £2 for an 11ml bottle. This one comes boxed, and it comes in a square glass bottle, with a glass, plastic, and rubber dropper, instead of the old style brush.

Containing very similar ingredients to the original oil such as avocado oil, almond oil, and Vitamin E, it's has a very similar consistency, but with a slightly stronger, sweeter, almost coconut scent. Again it absorbs quickly and it makes an immediate difference to the nails and cuticles.

I can't lie I do like the replacements, but I'm still of the opinion if it isn't broke don't fix it. Whilst both of these products are amazing value when you compare them to something like OPI Avoplex, they still work out a lot more expensive than Primark's original cuticle oil so whilst I'm still happy to be able to get my hands on a budget friendly cuticle oil, I'm still mildly aggrieved that they had to change it!

My final beauty buy was this super useful set of adhesive mirrors. For just £1 you get 10 mini self adhesive mirrors that are specifically designed to be stuck onto lipstick bullets, and make up palettes. So many many palettes now don't include mirrors, and these are a real time, and space saver in your handbag. I first saw these on Hayley Hall's blog and I'm seriously debating on whether to try and get another set.

Finally some Christmas bits - would you believe we still haven't finished putting up our Christmas decorations yet? The thing is we never just decorate one room, we decorate the whole house and as you can imagine that can take a while. Christmas decorations are like an addiction for me and Mummy Lou, and every year we can't resist adding more and more pieces to our already overflowing grotto esq house.

Whilst Primark have some gorgeous Disney bits in, I'm personally obsessed with their reindeer offerings. Every year they same to so similar but slightly different things, and the first thing that I got was this gold ceramic reindeer tree decoration which was £1.50. I have a standing one from a year or so ago, and a similar designed candle holder. I've popped him on the Christmas tree in the living room, and you can just about see him, amongst all of the dwarfs, woodland creatures, baubles, and holiday buys.

Next up another regular Christmas item, in previous years, I've got both a white version, and a rose gold, copper version of this ceramic reindeer tea light holder, and this year I picked up the silver, and silver glitter version. I'll probably be using mine with battery operated tea lights, but it actually comes with a real wax tea light, all for £1.50.

Finally another reindeer, and if you're brave enough or silly enough to be popping into Primark over the next couple then you might be able to get this one and maybe, the other bits in the sale. This was already reduced last week so you might be lucky. It's a decent sized white ceramic reindeer ornament, with gold detailing on the nose, antlers and the star. It's a really nice piece and it looks a lot more expensive than what it is. It was originally £6 but it had been reduced to £3

So that was a very late Primark haul for you x If you have any questions on any of the items that I picked up then please leave me a comment below x and I will see you tomorrow aka Christmas Eve with a little festive post xx 

Monday 9 December 2019

Unboxing Glossybox UK - November 2019 Edition - Winter Warmers*

Despite many promises to get this post up nice and early, it's ended up going live on the  same day that December box has been dispatched. Basically life has got in the way again, I haven't been well, my mam's been poorly, things have gone wrong in the house, and unfortunately on Saturday we suffered a family bereavement. So what am I going to do? Well I'm not going to make any promises about when I'm going to post anything in the run up to Christmas, I've got some posts I'd like to get up but it's going to be a case of if not when x I always find blogging a distraction from real life though, so fingers crossed I should be able to get a few posts up and you won't notice too much of a difference x

If there is one thing that's guaranteed to put me on a downer it's the weather, after what seems like months and months of rain, the weather has at last taken a more wintry turn, with overnights frosts, and with snow potentially making an appearance in my little part of County Durham this week. The arrival of the November edition of Glossybox almost seemed to coincide with the change in the weather, and with its Winter Warmers theme it was perfect timing.

After the the specially designed Angel box, that I received in October (read my post here), November's box saw a return to the traditional black and pink colourway, and it contained a variety of enriching, nourishing and warming treats.

Mudmasky Leave-Me-On Winter Mask - 40ml - Full Size - RRP £41.75

I've received quite a few skin and haircare products from Dutch company, Mudmasky in various subscription boxes but this is a completely new product and it's quite unlike any other skin care product that I've ever tried.

Like all Mudmasky products this mask is both cruelty free and PETA certified. It contains a whole host of moisturising ingredients including soybean, safflower, macadamia seed oil, squalene, Moroccan cold pressed argan. as well as jojoba, and Moroccan lava clay.

Basically what it is, is a leave on, no rinse face mask, that is designed to protect the skin from the harsh winter weather, whilst at the same time, moisturising, nourishing, and repairing dry and flaky skin, all without clogging the pores, and causing oiliness or breakouts.

Texture wise, this thick cream, has more of a rich moisturiser feel, than some of the cream masks that I've used in the past, and I couldn't detect any real scent.

To use you it you just apply a thin layer to cleansed skin. Having more of an oily / combination skin I was a little bit worried that it would too thick, and too heavy, and that it wouldn't absorb, but it actually started to absorb pretty much on application. The first picture was taken just after application, and the second picture was taken about 3 minutes later.

Just After Application

Around 3 Minutes After Application

It took about 5 minutes to completely absorb, and surprisingly it dried down to an almost matte finish. My skin felt very smooth, and it's hard to explain but protected, like there was something on my skin, but it was invisible, and I certainly couldn't feel anything heavy or sticky. As the day went on my t-zone did start to look a little bit shiny, but that is quite normal for me no matter what moisturiser I use.

I have to say this product really surprised me, I loved the concept, but I really thought that I was going to hate, but I actually really liked it. My biggest worry was that it would make my skin feel greasy, and sticky but it didn't, my skin just felt smooth, hydrated, and protected. This mask is simply perfect for this time of year, I sometimes experience cold weather related redness and sensitivity but I haven't experienced anything yet whilst using this product. If you have a face, and you need to go outdoors in the winter months, then I can't recommend this product enough. The one thing that would probably prevent a repurchase would be the price, all though this tube is a full size, it is quite small, and it has a recommended retail price of around £41.25,  direct from Mudmasky, although it is currently on special for £29.47.

Rituals The Ritual Of Ayurveda Indian Rose & Sweet Almond Oil Soothing Hand Balm - 70ml - Full Size - RRP £9.90

Thanks to several subscription boxes and several press, and blogger events I've been lucky enough to try quite a few products from Rituals. If you aren't familiar with them, they are a UK based brand that are inspired by the ancient traditions of Asian cultures, producing a range of affordable spa like body products using only the finest fragrances and ingredients.

From their Ritual Of Ayurveda range, this hand cream contains sweet almond oil, Indian rose, and shea butter. This softening, relaxing, and non greasy formulation is also mineral oil, paraben and cruelty free.

It has a lovely rich, thick and creamy texture, but just like the Mudmasky product it actually seemed to absorb quite quickly, leaving the skin feel silky, smooth and protected but not greasy or sticky.

I would describe the scent as a warm, sensual floral, it might be a bit too strong for some people, as I does tend to linger on the skin but personally I really liked it, and the spa like memories that it evoked.

This is a really nice everyday hand cream, that again is perfect for these colder months. This is a full size tube that retails at around £9.90 from various retailers including direct from Rituals, Look Fantastic, Debenhams and John Lewis.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser - 29ml - Deluxe Mini

Now, many moons ago along with Noxema, and Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask, Cetaphil was one of the must have drugstore beauty products if you were lucky enough to be heading stateside. Once hard to find in the UK, there is a reason why this product still developed such a cult following.

Although it now comes in several different variants, this is the original which is formulated especially for dry, sensitive or compromised skin including conditions such eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

Designed for use both on the face and the body, it's gentle, soap free, fragrance free, and non comedogenic. It cleanses, and moisturises whilst maintaining the skins natural pH.

Although you can use it to remove make up, and as a body wash, I've been using this as my morning cleanser. To use it, all you do is mix a little bit of this pearlised white, gel like, cleanser with some warm water then you massage it onto the skin. You can just remove it with dry cotton wool or tissues, but since I love the feeling of water on my face I've been removing it with warm water and a muslin cloth. 

If you don't like the idea of heavy cream cleanser, but at the same time you find face washes, and foams to drying and stripping then this is a perfect compromise. My skin didn't feel dry or tight, and there was no increase in oiliness or breakouts, my skin just felt smooth and clean, and it's really quick and easy to use, when you are time poor. Glossybox value this deluxe mini size at £1.10, but you can buy the full 236ml for between £8.99 and £9.50 from chemists and from Boots and Superdrug.

Kandi Cosmetics Pre Glow Up Mist - 120ml - Full Size - RRP £20

Next up the product that Glossybox teased in the October box. I can't find out too much about Kandi Cosmetics other than that they are a UK based cosmetics company who have a large range of products including, brushes, eye palettes, pigments, beauty tools, and make up bags.

Containing cucumber, Camellia, and Vitamin E, this is basically a cruelty free, 2 in one, primer and setting spray, that's designed to hydrate your skin, and to give it it's glow back.

Boxed, and packaged in a pump action dispenser, you need to give it a good shake, as the lovely golden particles that it contains have a tendency to settle. Then you just spray the fine mist directly onto your skin, or on top of make up.

The spray is very fine but it's quite substantial so you only need a couple of squirts for your whole face. It doesn't have any real scent, and it dries down pretty quickly. Personally I couldn't see too much difference on my face, but you can see an ever so slight sheen on my hand.

I do like setting sprays and whilst the increase in radiance was pretty subtle, I think that makes this spray a little bit more versatile - Because it isn't full of glitter and shimmer it means that you could use it as an everyday product, especially in the winter months when your skin has a tendency to look a little bit dull. This is the full 120ml size which retails at £20 and is available directly from Kandi Cosmetics.

Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Shine Hair Oil - 18ml - Full Size - RRP £2.49

In November's box, every Glossybox subscriber received one of 3 oils from subscription box favourite, US hair brand, Hask. I've tried quite a few Hask problems and a few of their hair oil, so I was really pleased to get one in my box that I hadn't tried before, Monoi Coconut.

Containing monoi flower extract. coconut oil, linseed, soybean and vitamin E, this particular oil is designed to be moisturising and revitalising. It comes in slightly awkward vial like dispenser, and the first thing you notice when you take off the top is the warm coconut scent, I can take or leave coconut as a scent but this was actually quite nice and not too strong.

Despite the thickness of the oil, again it absorbed quite quickly into the hair without making it look oily, or feel greasy or weighed down. You can use it on damp hair as a leave in treatment and as a styling product or on dry hair as a finisher, an anti frizz treatment, and as a shine treatment.

Out of all of the Hask hair oils that I've tried I think this one has to be my favourite so far.
I've been using this for a couple of weeks now and I've barely put a dent into the bottle, you really don't need a lot, so this tiny but full sized bottle should last quite a while. You can buy Hask products from various retailers including Superdrug, Boots, Tesco, Waitrose, and Cloud 10 Beauty.

Finally November's Glossybox featured another extra, 2 tea bags from trendy tea company Offblak. I've already talked about a few of Offblak's teas (read my posts here and here) but these were two new ones, that were perfect for a cold and frosty day.

Offblak Generation T You're Golden - Spicy Orange & Ginger Black Tea - 1 x 2.5g Whole Leaf Pyramid Bag

From Offblak's Face The Day range, this tea has a high caffeine content and combines warm and spicy orange, and ginger. It contains black tea, ginger, cinnamon, clove buds, orange peel, orange flowers and lemon grass.

Mummy Lou is very partial to ginger in her tea, so I let her try this amber coloured brew. After brewing with boiling water for around three minutes, even I could smell the contents of her mug, it really was Christmas in a mug, according to Mummy Lou the cloves, ginger and cinnamon dominated with a tiny hint of citrus, but you still taste the black tea base. She sad it would be perfect for a cold winters morning, or even after a day out Christmas shopping.

Offblak Generation T Brighten Up - Forest Fruits & Ginger Fruit Tea - 1 x 2.5g Whole Leaf Pyramid Bag

Now I'm not the biggest fan of black tea, so I went I decided to try this fruit tea which contains zero caffeine and is designed to detox and refresh. Containing hibiscus, apple, ginger pieces, rose hip, blackberry leaves, blackcurrant leaves, and raspberry pieces, my infusion was a fabulous berry purple in colour, and has a gorgeous fruity scent. The taste definitely reminded me of forest fruits, or even blackberry pie, it was very fruity, and unusually in my experience for a fruit tea, it was sweet enough to not need any added sugar or sweetener. I really enjoyed this and I'm seriously debating whether or not buy myself a box in the new year.

Various subscription options, and regular delivery options are available at Offblak but you can get a box of 12 tea bags for around £4.99.

Okay, I've got to be honest and say that at first glance this wasn't the most exciting of boxes, but it did contain some really good work horse like, products, and things that I will definitely use. There was no real stand out product it was just a generally good and useful box. As I say my December box has now been dispatched, and with it being the Christmas box it's usually a good one, and it will certainly be a sparkly one if this sneak peek is anything to go by. It looks as though we are getting another product from beauty box favourite brand Steve Laurant and it is a multi purpose, radiance boost loose pigment. Hopefully I'll manage to get my post before Decembers out but in the meantime I do have a Glossybox Advent Calendar post coming up that should be live either at the end of this week or at the beginning of next week so make sure you don't miss it x If you fancy trying Glossybox for yourself, you still have time to get your hands on December's Merry Metallics box, so have a click through using my link to find out more xx

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links