BEAUTY | Birch Box #4 - July 2018

Friday, July 20, 2018

When I re-subscribed to Birch Box I intended on blogging them each month but my blog mojo just hasn't been there. I have been making videos about them so if you want to know what my thoughts about the other boxes head over to my unboxing playlist on my YouTube channel. 

Birch Box - July 2018

 The first thing I noticed was this was the traditional cardboard beauty box, the first two boxes where the same size but had a drawer rather than a lid, my third box was a tin box. Which was done for the 5th anniversary. I expected them to go back to the drawer system and I am a little disappointed. I was starting to use the drawer boxes to keep things in. Once I have things in boxes with lids they never get opened again so I doubt I will use this box. I do like the pink foil logo on the lid but as a firdt impression I was disappointed.

Birch Box - July 2018

Each box contains 5 items which will be a mix of beauty and makeup and hopefully should fit in with your beauty profile. I don't really feel like mine does and it does seem very generic but as i'm assuming they have a pretty big customer base this would be hard to do.

Mannkadar  3 in one

Each month we get a sneak preview of on of the items which will be in the next box and the option to pick between two shades or the option for them to surprise me (subject to availability etc. etc.)

As much as I don't like surprises I'm not keen on this part of the service, just put stuff in the box. Don't make me do extra thinking mid month and TBH everything I've had as this product I've not liked.

This particular product is billed as eyes, face and lips (?) there was a choice between this shade and a deep red colour. None really spoke to me and I have already got rid of this product. It has an RRP of £12 but the packaging feels very cheap and flimsy to me and it  had a strange texture which didn't swatch very well in my opinion. Its rare I reach for singles like this and decided I wouldn't use it.
Birch Box - July 2018

Balance Me - Congested Skin Serum 

I'm familiar with Balance Me from other beauty boxes and from what I can remember it's always been good and I can't think of any issues. As soon as I opened this my eyes started stinging even though I only put it on my arm. It went straight in the bin, there must me something in it that doesn't agree with me.

Birch Box - July 2018

Luseta - Keratin Conditioner

This smells amazing but why only a conditioner? I know in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter but I do like to use matching products. I guess this will come in handy if I run out of conditioner (errr i'm not that sort of person) or for a weekend away with a ransom shampoo (ekkk)

Birch Box - July 2018

Beauty Pro - Eye Therapy Under Eye Mask

At last a product I will use. I've recently got into these kinds of products and I'm looking forward to using these. I find them nice and relaxing and I loved using them on the plane going on holiday. 

Birch Box - July 2018

What's In It For Me..? - Shower Scrub

Another product I will use, this only seems like a fine grit but it is a natural scrub which is a bonus. I also think this is a good size. I like to take a scrub  on holiday with me to make sure all the sun cream has come off and this will last the full holiday (hopefully)

Birch Box - July 2018

Over all, this box has helped me make my mind up and I won't be renewing my subscription at the end of my 6 months. I do have 2 more boxes to come but over all I'm not wowwed by this subscription.

I wouldn't want to put people off trying it and I do think it's a good idea to buy as a gift for someone but for me this past 4 boxes haven't been for me.


Disney | Disney Planning, Facebook Groups and #CLROhana Pin Badge

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Despite still not having a Disney holiday booked one is still on the cards before the year is over. I just wish I could grab my passport and jump on a plane and go tomorrow. Sadly I have to go to work tomorrow and hopefully we will get a trip booked for the Christmas season once my friend gets her next set of holidays at work (Roll on October) 

To get myself in the mood I've been watching a lot of Disney vlogs and I've joined a number of facebook groups. I've learned a lot from these groups:

Take a push chair for your kids even if they haven't used one in years

Take your own water bottles and fill them up in the water fountains. France doesn't allow free refills of drinks like other countries do.

Disney can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it.

Questions tend to get repetitive

Use the search bar at the top of the page to get your answers

Trip reports make me cry

Ask questions, be polite and there is a real sense of community, the groups I like the most are Plus Size at DLP which is very friendly and supportive and made me far more confident about trying rides when we go. 

The other group I like being a part of is #clrohana - Disney parks advice & tips. This is for all Disney parks and was started by Charlotte who is a Disney Vlogger (as well as other videos) I really like her content and while I don't think I've ever posted in this group. I haven't felt the need just yet as I'm not quite at the booking stage just yet. I like the energy, I like that it's for all Disney and when the idea of group pins came up I was in like a shot. I missed out on the first wave but when more where released I set an alarm on my phone and managed to get one. 

There are also a couple of DLP for Brits groups, one is for planning and one is for deals, I think. There is a lot of cross posting and I haven't worked out which one to stay in yet so I'm staying in both. 

When I do get round to booking I think I want to stay in one of the Disney Hotels, I've been costing it out and if you get the half board deal it will potentially work out a similar price to booking a partner hotel and buying food.

The price for a solo trip is almost the same price as two people going and I have looked at two solo trips but each time I think I'm leaving it too late. I'm torn with the need for a reconnaissance mission to get the lay of the land and having that magic moment with a friend. 

Despite not having kids, I think the magic will be amazing and I'm so excited to get myself to France. I'm excited for all the winter decor and I'm hoping my Bea Marie will be out in the park, from what I can make out she's only around in the Christmas season. 


BEAUTY | My Journey to Long Nails - Part 1

Thursday, July 12, 2018

As we all know I love setting myself a challenge and whilst I fail more than I flourish I can't help trying. My mum will tell you I am very trying so it must be true. 

I've always struggled to grow my nails, that's not strictly true. I can grow them but I'm also fond of biting them. I do it when I get frustrated, bored, stressed. 

The stop biting solutions have never really put me off and I can put up with the taste. Another issue I have is that I can't seem to keep polish on my nails, I don't know if my nails are really acidic or what but polish usually seems to melt off my nails if it doesn't chip first. That's with using base and top coats. 

Photo week 1 - Growing my Nails 2018 20180710

In the past year, I've gone down the route of home gel nails but I'm not very neat and I tend to pick them off but I have discovered Kiko's nail polish works on my nails and I have been using this but as my nails are so short I don't really like the look of coloured nails. 

Which brings me back to the point of this post. I want to grow my nails and keep them in good condition. I've recently re-discovered Simply Nailology on YouTube and I've been binge watching Cristine's videos. 

He nails are lovely and long (too long for me, but I still have nail envy) she has a few videos on growing nails and I love how down to earth and realistic she is. There are a lot of hacks and quick fixes to try and say you can grow long nails in a week but really unless you have super speedy genes then it's not gonna happen. 

I always feel like my nails are weak and need a strengthener but from watching Cristine I probably don't the strengths can make nails tough and easier to break if you know the nail. What I need to do is stop picking polish off my nails and biting them. 

Photo week 1 - Growing my Nails 2018 20180710

These are my nails on what I'm calling day 1 and I'm hoping to take pictures weekly but probably won't do weekly updates, nails grow slowly. Next weeks pictures probably won't look any different.

The tips in the videos are not rocket science and make a lot of sense to me. The main ones I'm taking away from them is to use a nail oil and she found Jojoba works best. I have bought some oil which contains this but isn't 100% so I've got some in my amazon basket to buy on payday and I'm also using a scholl nail oil I got when I bought one of the pedi machine files for my feet. Her tip was to apply as often as possible. I've been applying oil 2- 4 times a day. I'll do another post on products once I've taken some photos.

Photo week 1 - Growing my Nails 2018 20180710

The second thing I've taken away is not to have naked nails, to have something on them at all times. Since the picture was taken I've applied at home gel base coat and top coat. I've not gone for a colour as I wasn't to keep it simple for now. As well as always have something on the nails is to apply it neatly. I've always been someone who gets more polish on my hands than nails so I've been taking my time to clean around the nails while the polish is wet and I've ordered some nail art brushes for a couple of pounds from Amazon to help with cleaning around the nails. I used an old makeup brush this time and it wasn't great.

It's only been 2 days but on my left hand, I can see some growth on my ring finger nail and my pinky fingernail.

On my right hand I can see growth on all but the ring finger nail (do you have a ring finger on the right - you know which one I mean)

I'm not doing anything else really other than trying to push back my cuticles gently filing every other day to start to shape the nails slightly.

My plan is to leave the current gel polish on until all the nails have a slight white tip and then when I re-apply the polish I can wrap the tip of the nail. (hopefully)


BEAUTY | Sephora Haul - What I bought In Mexico 2018

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Sephora seems to be the beauty bloggers holy grail, I see so many people talk about shopping in the stores on their YouTube channels but in the UK we are Sephora'ly challenged.

BEAUTY | Sephora Haul - What I bought In Mexico 2018

Luckily my recent holiday provided a chance to visit a store and it was lovely, it was a little bit magical. Not, the first visit to Disney Land Magical but you know that fluttery, butterfly feeling when something nice or good is about to happen. 

As we descended the escalator I was a bit overwhelmed and I didn't really look at anything really. To be honest, I didn't need anything but I did want to try some of the sheet masks I've spotted so many people buy. 
BEAUTY | Sephora Haul - What I bought In Mexico 2018

There was a wide variety of masks and they covered pretty much every skin need out there (This might not be true but there was a lot of choices)

I went for the pale pink Pearl mask which is for perfecting and brightening, At the time I felt it was what my skin needed but I still haven't used it! The story of my life, I might collect masks as a new hobby, I seem ti have quite a stash of them!

BEAUTY | Sephora Haul - What I bought In Mexico 2018

I also picked up the corresponding eye mask, I've used a few masks like this recently and I've really liked them. I planned to use this on the plane coming home but as the flight was shorter (8.5hours - so not exactly short) I didn't get round to using them. 

BEAUTY | Sephora Haul - What I bought In Mexico 2018

As much as I seem to collect sheet masks, clay masks will always be a firm favourite of mine. I hadn't spotted these pouch masks before and decided to pick a couple up. I went more for the colours than the claims of the mask.

I've used both of these and I'm regretting not buying more. They smell amazing and make my skin feel great.

The blue mask has some slight exfoliating properties, these are really gentle and for me I'd like a little bit more grit.
BEAUTY | Sephora Haul - What I bought In Mexico 2018
The masks can be used all over the face or you can use them "zonally" (is that a word? Spell check didn't query it) 

I've been using the blue on my T-Zone and chin (so I Zone?) and the pink on my cheeks. It states each pack is 4 uses but after using them twice, I feel like I will get at least another 4-6 uses out of them. 

BEAUTY | Sephora Haul - What I bought In Mexico 2018

Overall I'm really happy with what I bought, I spent around £20 which is a lot for 4 face masks but from what I've used so far, I'm happy with spending that amount and if I ever get back to Sephora I will be buying more of the pouch masks. 


BEAUTY | Birchbox April 2018 - I've Re-subscribed

Monday, May 07, 2018

It's been a while since I've had a subscription beauty box and while I know I don't need any more products I have missed having a monthly box arrive through the post each month.

I decided to go with Birtchbox. The reason for this was I like the idea if of the drawer box. I'm not sure what I will actually use it for anything but the idea is great. 

BEAUTY | Birchbox April 2018

The first thing I noticed is the since difference. I haven't had a Birtchbox since about 2015 and I do still have one of the boxes and this new one is about half the size. I don't really have a problem with this but it did feel a little disappointing at first.

BEAUTY | Birchbox April 2018

My box looks quite jam-packed but I think because it's my first box I've got an extra welcome gift which makes it look a lot more inviting. 

Afterspa Face Cloth

BEAUTY | Birchbox April 2018

This is one of those magic cloths for removing makeup without products. I never used one of these before but I have seen them in blogs and vlogs and this one is tiny. It looks a little like a panty liner.

It's very soft and it does say it has to be machined wash before use. Mine is currently in the washing basket so I can't say if it works or not but I can say it's very soft and I hope it works as I'm planning on taking it on holiday. I will also take some face wash but it will good to have at the end of the day.

Cath Kidston Hand Cream

BEAUTY | Birchbox April 2018

This smells amazing, it's a lovely thick and rich cream and will be a nice addition to my hand cream collection (I own so many hand creams)

Cargo Blush

BEAUTY | Birchbox April 2018

This was one of my bonus items for signing up to Birchbox. I love the colours. It makes me excited for summer.

Models Co Highlighter 

BEAUTY | Birchbox April 2018

Each month you get to pick from a couple of products. This month we could pick between two shades of Models co Highlighter. I went for Frosé and it's such a beautiful colour. When I swatched this it came off very pink. The booklet does say it's very delicate and my packaging is slightly damaged on the hinge but I think they were more meaning the powder itself.

Fill & Tame

BEAUTY | Birchbox April 2018

I haven't had a brow product for quite a while and I think I've only used the Maybeline version with any success.

BEAUTY | Birchbox April 2018

I like how small the brush is and I hope this will be a good colour for me. The shade on the tube is Brunette so I have high hopes.

Percy and Reed Wonder Balm

BEAUTY | Birchbox April 2018

I love the promises this product makes. You put it in towel dried hair and it's meant to help protect it. It sounds like it will be ideal for holidays and I'm hoping there is enough in this to cover a full two weeks away.

Spectrum Brush

BEAUTY | Birchbox April 2018

Again this was part of the initial box offer. I've heard a lot about spectrum brushes but I don't own any.

The bristles are very soft and I'm excited to start using this brush.

BEAUTY | Birchbox April 2018

Overall I'm really happy with this box. I feel like I've made a good choice subscribing to this box.

I paid just under £80 for a 6 months subscription including P&P which isn't bad, I like that you know one of the products beforehand and get a choice of shades. What I forgot to mention is as well as the shade option you can select "Suprise Me".

Next month there is a choice between two matt liquid lipsticks. A pink and a red. from the images I've looked at I can't say I loved either so I went with suprise me. I think I would get more wear from the pink but at the same time I probably won't wear either very often.


LIFESTYLE | Lilly England Rose Gold Headphones

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Welcome to the tale of how I became the proud owner of a pair of Lily England Headphones. Spoiler Alert, Amazon was involved! 

By the time this blog post goes live, I should be in Mexico. I know I've mentioned this one time too many but it's my life and my blog so Hello Mexico! 

In my prep, I realised my headphones are broken and I struggle with in-ear earphones. They are ok for a couple of hours but I couldn't wear them for a ten-hour flight. 

LIFESTYLE | Lilly England Rose Gold Headphones

I was chatting with my friend who I'm going away with and she was looking for headphones as well. She's spotted these Lily England headphones on Amazon and we both liked the look of them. There was also an offer for 5% off if you bought two pairs.

We'll more than likely only be wearing them on the plane and we're not sitting together on the outbound flight (we're sitting one in front of the other). 

LIFESTYLE | Lilly England Rose Gold Headphones

I have to say I'm a sucker for nice packaging and these have excellent packaging and you could easily reuse the box for some extra storage.

The think wire headband looks good and for the short time, I've worn them felt very comfortable.  The headphone part is quite small but fully cover my ears and seems to be quite good at cancelling out noise when I didn't have music playing.

LIFESTYLE | Lilly England Rose Gold Headphones

My initial thoughts on the cable were that it seemed a little flimsy but after using the headphones it seems fine and more robust than my first thoughts. It's also a decent length which means It was easy to keep my iPod in my jeans pocket (yes I still use an iPod).

LIFESTYLE | Lilly England Rose Gold Headphones

The volume control is done by sliding the switch in the below picture. I'd prefer buttons but you can't have it all. There is also a pause button and what looks like a microphone but I haven't tested these as I've only spotted that from looking at these pictures.

LIFESTYLE | Lilly England Rose Gold Headphones

I'm looking forward to using these on the flight and I will try and update this post with my thoughts once I've used them for a longer period of time.

The biggest downside was the price which was £25 plus P&P but they do look good, they are comfortable and I'm very happy with them so far.


BEAUTY | Essence at Wilkos - Eyeshadow Boxes

Monday, April 30, 2018

I've been a huge Essence fan, even before it was in the UK I'd always ask my mum to pick me up a few items from her holidays and whenever I went away I'd always come back with at least one item. 

My main Essence vice was always their nail polish but since essence is readily available in the UK I don't seem to buy that much from them anymore.

Realistically I have far too much makeup which I rarely wear but I also can't resist a bargain and these palettes were too cute to resist. 

Each palette costs £4 each and the two I bought has 10 colours in, there are two others which I didn't pick up.

Essence Mermaid Eyeshadow Box 03 which is blues and pinks. They are not really colours I would wear. The last palette is the  Essence To The Moon And Back Eyehshadow Box 04 which is dark colours and purples.

Essence Million Nude Faces Eyeshadow Box 01 £4.00

BEAUTY | Essence at Wilkos - Eyeshadow Boxes

The packaging is very cute and would make a cute gift for a teen/tween but also those of us who are young at heart. I adore the little cat on the top row.

BEAUTY | Essence at Wilkos - Eyeshadow Boxes

Essence In Love With Rose Eyeshow Box 02 £4.00

When I picked this one up, I'd forgotten I'd bought the Tanya Burr rose gold palette a couple of weeks before but at £4 I can justify buying this. It has more colours than the Tanya Burr Palette and I think I will also take this on holiday as for the price I won't matter if it gets damaged while travelling.

BEAUTY | Essence at Wilkos - Eyeshadow Boxes

There is a nice mix of golds and greys as well as the pink shades. I've always been a little afraid of pink eyeshadow. I've said ina video before that someone once said it looked like I had myxomatosis when I'd worn pink shadow before.  I'm hoping since then my makeup skills have advanced and I won't meet the same fate.

BEAUTY | Essence at Wilkos - Eyeshadow Boxes

Have you ever tried any of the essence makeup? What are your favourites? 


BOOK TUBE | March Wrap Up - Recent Read and Mini Book Reviews

Thursday, April 26, 2018

This year has been a slow start when it comes to reading for me. I don't feel like I have any motivation to read apart from the books in my book club (Bookish Mama's). I was off work ill for the first few weeks of the year and couldn't get comfy and since I've been back in I seem to fall asleep whenever I pick up a book. My main place to read is on the tram to and from work. But the motion of the tram rocks me to sleep (apologies fellow passengers) 

BOOK TUBE | March Wrap Up - Recent Read and Mini Book Reiviews

As part of the book club, I've read The Power by Naiomi Alderman and The Secrets of Nightingale Wood. I've done full reviews on both of these, by answering the book club questions in a blog post.

I still haven't made my mind up on The Power, it's one that needs to be read again but I'm not sure when that will be. It's about women who gain The Power and it has similar themes to The Handmaids Tale and Hunger Games. I'm glad I read it but I still don't know how I feel about it.

The Secret of Nightingale Wood I hated. It is a kids book which might explain it but it was too contrived and I didn't feel any empathy towards any of the characters. There are far better books out there.

Michael Connoly is always a fall back read for me, it's a nice easy read and I find them quick to read. This book followed the classic Connoly formula but was a Micky Haller rather than a Bosch novel. The only downside for me is there drinking and driving mentioned and this isn't an old book so there is no need for it. 

It does have a few twists and turns and while it was predictable the journey to get there was enjoyable. 

BOOK TUBE | March Wrap Up - Recent Read and Mini Book Reiviews

Finally, I've saved the best for last. Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland. I adored this book, it is classic chick lit but it's beautifully written. I loved the way it was set out, it covers three time period and each chapter cuts between the three building the story and revealing more about the main character. For once names, people didn't annoy me and I want more.

It would also make a pretty decent ITV TV adaptation, a nice bit of Sunday night TV.


BEAUTY | Essence Mosaic Blush from Wilko's

Monday, April 23, 2018

Recently I've been trying to shake up my makeup routine and I seem to be wearing it less and less, but I still can't resist the lure of new products and pretty packaging. With all that in mind I don't want to spend a lot on new products I buy. 

I only own a few blushes, probably more than the average person but less than many bloggers who talk about beauty. 

Essence Mosaic Blush Natural Beauty 35

On the Wilko's website, it shows three colour options for this product. Their website doesn't really do these products justice and I think if I hadn't spotted them in a store I wouldn't have looked twice.

I love the different shades in this blush and there are some small shimmer particles in the blush which give off a nice but subtle highlight effect.

I've always struggled to choose a shade of blush, but with this it gives a nice natural effect without being too over the top.

Essence Mosaic Blush All You Need Is Pink 20

I struggled to pick between these two shade and decided for the price £3 I decided to pick up both.

This colourway is very similar to others I have and is one I'm always drawn to. The main difference between this and my other blushes is this blush has multiple colours and like the natural blush it also has a slight shimmer to it.

I'm really pleased I picked them up and feel like I will use them. I always save things for best (yes even £3 blushers) and I'm hoping to get out of this habit and use products and enjoy them. 

The 3rd colour is called Essence Mosaic Blush The Berry Connection 40. I haven't looked at this in person but going by the Wilkos website vs how nice the ones I've bought I think it will be lovely and not as intense as it looks online.


BEAUTY | Tanya Burr Bargains at Superdrug

Thursday, April 19, 2018

I've been a fan of the small Tanya Burr quads since they were released and I have three of them. I love the range of colours and I've hit pan on one of the shades. I also don't think they are bad prices. 

When I was in Superdrug a couple of weeks ago and spotted the My Paradice Palette had been reduced to £2.99 I decided it was too good to leave behind. 

BEAUTY | Tanya Burr Bargains at Superdrug

One noticeable difference with this palette and it might not be a huge thing for some people but when you open the palette the mirror is the right way up. It's been a massive bugbear with the other palettes and it's such a small thing.

BEAUTY | Tanya Burr Bargains at Superdrug

The colours are based on a rose gold theme which I'm really into at the moment. I also really love the pineapple print on each of the shadows. All of the palettes from this range have cute prints and it's almost a shame to use them.

BEAUTY | Tanya Burr Bargains at Superdrug

I'm going to use this for the first time this weekend, I will try and update this with a picture.