31 May 2017


Beauty products I've been loving in the month of May...

Lips: There's nothing more cheering when it comes to make-up than a pop of bold colour on your lips. Whether you're a classic red kinda gal or more of a punchy pink person I, myself will take any shade, as long as it's bright, comfortable on the lips and long wearing. That is exactly what the Lord + Berry '20100 Collection' offers. They are super creamy in formula and are ridiculously pigmented - My favourite shade is 'La Fiesta' a seriously cool lilac that brightens up any outfit.

Skincare: I've waxed lyrical about SPF this month, probably something to do with the sunnier weather? My favourite moisturising SPF is the Olay Complete Lightweight Day Fluid which does not break me out in the way that most other SPF formulas do. Seriously hydrating and very reasonably priced at £5.99 I am a big fan.

Bodycare: What would a body care section be included in a monthly favourites blog without an ode to Kiehl's Creme De Corps? I'll admit that I was way late on the bandwagon but once I joined, I was converted. It all started with a tester I got from Kiehl's. The nourishing, seriously smoothing body butter is rich and very, very treaty. It contains shea butter, avocado oil and squalene and smells fresh and lovely. Y'know that 'just-got-out-of-the-shower scent. I use it after a lush bath, or after a day in the sunshine.

The Wild Argan Oil - Solid Oil from The Body Shop has also fallen back into favour with me and I have been spreading it on dry elbows and knees, as well as on the ends of my hair when it feels a little parched from a lunchtime spent in the sun. A really handy and versatile product that nobody quite knows what to do with, but well worth stashing in your beauty bag for helping out with just about everything from dry skin, to giving a healthy moisturised glow to the face.

Haircare: I've been seriously boring when it comes to my hair at the moment, using 'whatever's in the shower' or whatever I find in my haircare box. Gone are the days of my pure delight at a new hair colour, or a new hair care product. Crazy huh? One product that has stood out this month is the Mark Hill Styling Heat Protection. I like it because it is non-sticky, it doesn't weigh my hair down or, better still dry up crispy. When blow-drying my hair (I never straighten it these days) I don't get that waft of dare I say, burning hair and generally my hair feels conditioned and soft following heat usage.

Life. TV. Music + More...

TV: I was absolutely blown away by the BBC's dramatised account of the events that surrounded the conviction of the Rochdale Child Sex Abuse Ring. Entitled 'Three girls,' it was such a brilliant piece of television that I watched every episode of the three-part miniseries, twice. I thought the horrific and almost at times, unbelievable events that went on, were fantastically portrayed. Each character was entirely believable too - everything from accents to authenticity. It kind of felt, at times like watching a real documentary, especially the character of 'Ruby.'  Not only did the programme highlight what happened in the years between 2008 and 2011 from the victim's point of view, but it also depicted how grossly neglected those girls, as young as 13 were by authorities with the statutory power to convict their evil perpetrator's. It really, really horrified me how a 15-year-old girl (Girl A in the case, 'Holly' in the programme) had to recount time and time again, the painful details of rape and sexual abuse before she was deemed 'a reliable witness' - what a world we live in ey? If you can catch it on iPlayer it is a difficult and harrowing watch, but highly recommended. You will mostly feel serious anger and empathy through the events that are depicted.

A really random documentary that I watched this month was on Hannah Hauxwell. Who? I hear you ask. Well to that, I say exactly! Hannah (at the time of 'discovery') was a middle-aged woman who lived on a farm in a desperately remote part of what was then known as the 'North Riding Of Yorkshire' (Now, Country Durham) She had no electricity, no running water and made £58 a year. It's hard to believe anybody still lived in such poverty in the 20th century! You can find 'A winter too many' and 'Too longer winter' which feature Hannah's incredibly desolate and difficult life on Youtube. Definitely worth a watch, she's a fantastically, spirited woman who you wouldn't believe lived such a hard, hard life.

Reading: Did anybody catch the piece published for The Atlantic named 'My family's slave?' I found it through a twitter thread that was criticising the author of the piece and its place as a piece of journalism. It is written by the journalist, Alex Tizon who was born into a family that had a Pilipino woman nicknamed Lola serving them since she was 12 years of age. It's a really emotional read that I think is an atonement for Alex Tizon's failings. It contains a quote that I think is especially moving; "I knew there were years when she’d (Lola) dreamed of being with a man. I saw it in the way she wrapped herself around one large pillow at night."

I also enjoyed this piece on being an adult with Asperger Syndrome from GurlsTalk. It discusses that people with the condition are so much more than a label. Sali Hughes (Yeah, sorry about that also wrote an excellent article on women's clothing. I for one cannot wear 'bodycon' which is all there seems to be for women my age at the moment and Sali highlights this brilliantly.

Listening: Jo Elvin, Editor of British Glamour shared some interesting insight into her life on Lily Pebbles & Anna (Formerly Vivianna Does Makeup) podcast 'At home with.' I find the concept a bit samey and it's a little awkward to listen to at times, but Jo comes across really well. She said: "There is no such thing as a job that doesn't have shitty bits." and I raise my glass to her!

What have you been loving in the month of May?

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26 May 2017


We've all got that 'etc' skincare drawer whereby all the products that aren't on everyday rotation but are still useful live. Or where back-ups or 'special occasion' products are housed. My 'etc' drawer lives in my bathroom and is one of my favourites places to dip into when I want my beauty fix. I have an affinity with packaging and love popping the lid off a bottle of moisturiser to have a sniff or a swatch. Weird right?

Here we have some of the contents in my 'etc' skincare drawer...

My favourite face wipes of all time are the Superdrug Micellar Oil Cleansing Facial Wipes for dry and sensitive skin. These are amazing and I've mentioned them in my monthly favourites a few times before. They're wet, non drying and hugely moisturising - they also shift the most stubborn make-up.

I use the Aloe Pura Organic Aloe Vera Gel for when my skin is playing up, especially around my forehead. This stuff is seriously soothing and calms any angry, red skin right down - including when I've had myself a little too much sun.

When it comes to serums, if you're on a budget but still want exceptional performance, you have to try the Superdrug 'Simply Pure' hydrating serum which has been coveted by many beauty editors for it's skin enriching, hydrating and plumping nature. Find out more about it in my January monthly favourites.

For targeted blemish control I have long since been a fan of the Clean and Clear Advantage Spot Treatment Gel* which is a gel formula that helps reduce the redness and swelling when an ugly spot appears. It typically shifts a blemish in around 2 days when used nightly.

Ah, what a satisfying shot eh? I have talked about the Glam Glow 'Youth Mud - Tingle Exfoliant'* in a full review so I won't babble on about it too much here. All I will say is ah-bloody-amazing for clearing up your skin and giving your face a bath-time treat.

Yep, I am 83 and I cleanse my face with Pond's Cold Cream. No, I'm not trying to be super casual about my routine - I genuinely love it and it works for me when massaged into my skin and removed with a warm flannel. I love the simplicity of it, not overly complicated and especially effective.

I love natural oil products and my favourite is the multifunctional Wild Argan Oil from The Body Shop I use this on my lips, on the lengths of my hair and on any dry patches on my elbows and knees. Gorgeous stuff!

Also worth mentioning, the Transformulas Hydration Gold* which is a fantastic anti-ageing product containing 23 carat gold powder and hyaluronic acid to moisturise the skin and give you an insanely fresh glowy radiance in an instant. It also works to blur out fine lines and wrinkles which I can't comment on...yet. I use this when my skin looks grey or sallow and needs an intense pick me up. The golden shimmer makes it look like you've had a week away in the sun, not sure how the gold makes it any better but it's fantastic product for days when you look like shit.

What's in your 'etc' skincare drawer?

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23 May 2017


I had been struggling to find a drugstore SPF moisturiser that didn't break me out. I wear SPF under my foundation if I'm wearing make-up, or just on its own if I'm having a more casual day, for example on a Sunday. Having tried multiple SPF moisturisers from brands such as Superdrug's own line, to classic Nivea as well as everything in-between - I still hadn't found; the one.

That was until I started fixating on Olay Beauty Fluid having heard Caitlin Moran talking about never being without it and of course seeing it featured in Pretty Iconic. The original Beauty Fluid does not contain an SPF but I was still interested in Olay as a drugstore skincare brand. Does anybody remember when it was called Oil of Ulay? I remember seeing little bottles of sweetly scented pink cream on my Nan's dresser and being seriously interested...The bottle is so darn satisfying too!

The Olay 'Complete Moisturiser Fluid' for normal/oily skin is priced at £5.99 and can be found in the usual haunts Boots and Superdrug. I have to say, I bloody love this stuff. It does not break me out, it sinks into the skin beautifully before make-up application, it is non-greasy and is seriously hydrating. Sounds a dream right?

The complete moisturiser fluid includes UVA/UVB protection SPF15 and for day to day in the office or on typical grey and overcast British days, this is more than fine. Though I must point out when I'm in the direct sunlight, I will use a higher SPF moisturiser of 30 or even 50 due to the nature of my skin being sun sensitive and pale.

The moisturising fluid also contains vitamins B3, 3 and Pro-V B5 for extra nourishment and hydration. This is a big selling point to me as it is just so hydrating which Olay claims to be the case for up to 24 hours. I have found that this product does not break out my spot-prone skin and does not cause makeup to slip, or bobble when layered over the top. I think i've found a winner for now.

Have you ever tried Olay skincare? 

19 May 2017


I don't know about you, but I am quite fickle when it comes to my jewellery. I have so many pieces of costume jewellery that it's hard to decide which pieces to wear, and I often have to store everything categorised by colour, to ensure each piece gets a chance to be worn.

I do however also have a few pieces that I wear more regularly at the moment and it has become apparent that I am also having a bit of a 'gold' moment.

N E C K L A C E S...

The chain necklace with multiple coin pendants is new season from Zara for around £15 if I remember rightly. Wearing it makes me feel a little Egyptian, especially when I wear it high up on my neck, almost like a choker. It's pretty heavy, and pretty statement but I love how detailed it is up close and is super unique in style.

My pendant locket is from an antiques market within Elsecar Heritage Centre, if anyone is in or around the Barnsley area, I highly recommend taking a look, especially if you love antiques, vintage goods and crafty things. The antiques hall is absolutely insane and features cabinet, after cabinet of treasures. I found the pendant for £4 and to my surprise, when I opened it, it contained two photographs of somebody's nearest and dearest. I wonder who they are? I don't have the heart to throw them away, so i'll be placing my own pictures over the top, keeping the original keep-sakes right where they belong.

B R A C E L E T S...
As the years have passed, I have become more and more in love with wearing bracelets, opting to wear as many bracelets as physically possible on both arms, most days. I'm currently wearing a selection of coloured beaded bracelets that I blogged about years and years ago back in 2013 from Rose Mae Jewellery - they're still amongst my favourites now and I like to mix and match the colours. The other bangles are either vintage, handed down from my Nana, or bought from the Hippy Market in Ibiza.

What are your favourite pieces of jewellery?
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16 May 2017


As my obsession with anything made up of a cream formula, housed in a portable stick continues, when the new Lord and Berry lip crayon in the shade 'La Fiesta'* landed on my desk as well as a few shades from he wider '20100 Shiny' collection...I was over the moon. 

Born in Milan, the boutique make-up studio, which I might add also do not on animals have been on my radar for quite some time. Everytime I walk into the Harvey Nicholl's Beauty Bazaar, I am immediately attracted to their sleek packaing, understated and chic using a simple black and white palette. I also like my lip products to be packed full of pigment, comfortable to wear and glossy in formula. I have to say that is exactly what the Lord and Berry lip crayons offer.

The 20100 Shiny crayons offer intense, long-lasting colour which Lord and Berry market towards the four essential ranges of your emotional library (whatever that means!) Fantsy, drama, romance and poetry. They apply like a balm and are ridiculously long lasting, even staying put after that fourth brew of the morning. 

Priced at £12 they are on the higher end of the price scale when it comes to make-up and if you want to track them down it's pretty difficult in the usual haunts unless you head online to places such as Look Fantastic and Cult Beauty.

From top left to right I am wearing; 'Red Hot Chilli Pepper' (my favourite) 'La Fiesta' the new shade, recentl launhced by Lord and Berry which is inspired by the modern senorita, it's a little difficult to wear against my super pale skin as my skin holds similar blue undertones, but I reckon with dark skin it would look insane. It reminds me a lot of MAC 'Heroine' which I love!

From the bottom left to right I am wearing an understated nude, 'Confess' which brings that whole 90s lip / Kylie Jenner Soar vibe together. And finally, 'Flush' a gorgeous salmony, pink with a red undertone. Very easy to wear!

Have you every tried anything from Lord and Berry?

12 May 2017


Sometimes, whether it's a lazy Sunday morning heading out for brunch, or when i've snoozed my alarm one too many times, I like to keep my make-up routine super minimal, rocking the very basics to look a little more human.

Here are the essentials I like to use to look sassy in a scurry...

Base: A little dab of the Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation goes a long way as the build-able to full coverage foundation covers a multitude of sins without the need for concealer work! The brightening foundation makes tired, sallow skin look fresh, plump and hydrated which is ideal for when you need to be up and out! 

I am a huge advocate of 'cream/stick formula's I am really coveting them over powder at the moment and the MUA 'Luxe Bronzed Shimmer Stick' is perfect for adding a healthy glow to your face in a jiffy. The blend-able formula doesn't go cakey and sinks into the skin nicely, adding a subtle highlighted warmth. The pay-off reminds me of when you have that gorgeous holiday glow!

Eyes: When I simply don't have the time to perfect a precise winged liner or blend out three different colours through my socket-line, I turn to the Laura Mercier Kajal D' Orient Eyeliner which is an efficient and effective liner for creating both a smokey, or subtle liner look.

For me, one of the clear give-aways that you ain't feeling so fresh is when your eyes look 'bald' - mascara really helps to open up your peepers, giving the illusion of a more fresh face. My current mascara of choice is the Rimmel 'Volume Shake Mascara' of which the formulation has dried out a little and is seriously good to apply on the go.

Lips: I can't end, or start the day without applying a little dab of Carmex lip balm, not only does this hydrate the lips, but also gets rid of any dryness or flaking you may have acquired in the night. As i've mentioned loads of times before a bit of lippy always makes me feel pulled together. My favourites include 'Velvet Teddy' as a nude option and 'Russian Red' - both by MAC as a bold, bright option.

What are your go-to beauty products for when you are in a hurry?

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9 May 2017


I'm often a little here, there and everywhere and for the last few years of my life, that's just how it has been! A definite pro of that is that I am pretty sassy when it comes to packing, especially my beauty bag which I currently haul to and from my boyfriends house, to my parent's and back again on a regular basis. 

Today i'm sharing with you the bare essentials that I take with me when I am on the go, which I throw into a cactus print, perspex make-up bag from primark. I couldn't be without this thing, it keeps everything super neat and and safely stowed away when I am away from home.

The essentials...

Nitty gritty beauty: Ah, the totally unglamorous side of keeping ourselves looking lush, I am currently coveting the Radox Pure Clear 48 Anti-Perspirant, though I am not brand loyal or fussy and tend to throw whatever is on offer into my basket. I also shove in a razor for obvious reasons, gotta keep on top of all those unruly patches of hair, especially when you're dark haired like I am! I tend to use the disposable variety, and the pink Wilkinson Sword one's do the job just fine!

Skincare: As I tend to pack light, hauling everything for a few days in just one hold-all, I keep my skincare pared back to the essentials. I use the Superdrug Micellar Oil Cleansing Wipes which I talked about in more detail in my April monthly favourites. I also pack a clean flannel, my tub of trusty cold cream, the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate and my Boots Evening Primrose Oil Moisturiser. All tried and tested and very much loved. For any pesky break-outs I take some Aloe Vera Gel (a couple of quid from Superdrug) which helps me out if my skin is playing up, or i've got some sensitivity from sun damage etc.

The best of the rest: The Denman Bristle Brush is wonderful for travelling as it is light-weight and very effective at de-tangling your hair, even tackling the worst knots. Bristle brushes are also pretty cool because they leave your hair mega shiny. I also pack a few bobbles, a mini claw clip and a pack of bobby pins for fixing my hair super quick. Not pictured here, there is also quite often a bottle of hair oil to keep my hair looking sleek and shiny, if it has gotten a little over dry.

Everything else... I just pinch from wherever I am staying...

What are your travel essentials for when you're on the move?


5 May 2017


I'm often told that my sense of smell is pretty acute, Adam says it's resemblant of a blood hound and I have to say, that's not always a good thing - Don't get me started on telling you about that time my good friend Wout and I were passing through an area of Hackney and walked straight through the worst smell i've ever, ever, ever encountered. If a normal nose smelt it at 100/100 on the odour scale, I smelt it at 10000/100. 

Anyway, things that smell pretty have the ability to transport me back to a different time and place and it's probably the reason why I covet perfume so much. I wrote about my recent collection here if you're interested. I particularly love talc scents, they remind me of my Nan. 

Today i'm talking cheap smells...

Max Factor Creme Puff Pressed Powder: Kicking off with a proper legend, as Sali Hughes says: "it smells unapologetically of make-up" and I agree, it smells of baby powder and it has a presence.  I was in need of a new powder as that thing happened whereby the flimsily packaged powder I was using, tumbled to the ground and hit some ceramic tiles ultimately smashing into a hundred pieces.

I bought the translucent variant of Creme Puff for £6.99 in Superdrug and it is honestly one of the best face powders i've ever tried. Of-course, it has been around since 1953 and the creamy powder doesn't leave a chalky residue, in-fact it leaves the skin looking radiant all thanks to those lovely light reflecting particles. I store mine in my 1970s/1980s Stratton compact where it clicks in perfectly. I often lift the lid to inhale the sweet scent, especially if I need a little pick me up and the scent of comfort.

Boots Oil Of Evening Primrose Moisturiser: This is my current go-to moisturiser as it's non greasy, light and smells absolutely gorgeous. I talk about it often here on my blog and I wax lyrical about it in real life too. It has such an 'old lady' scent which I LOVE and when I apply it I feel like an old Hollywood star in their old age sat amongst a dressing table of tortoiseshell combs and crystal glass perfume bottles.

Pears Translucent Soap: Ah, another absolute icon! This one has been around since 1878 so I was seriously surprised to see Instagram and blogging icon, Sarah Ashcroft using this humble bar of lanolin infused soap in a recent video she made on 'soap brows' - I so hope this raises the profile of Pears soap because I want it to stick around forever. See, it's my soap of choice for the shower, I am intoxicated by it's herbally scent and the way it doesn't dry my skin out and the amber shade just looks so darn pleasing upon my sink top. What's more, its like, 79p for two bars!

Garnier Ultimate Blends - The Sleek Perfecter Oil: Coconut oil reminds me of holidays and of sun cream / tanning oils I love the smell of it because it reminds me of Pina Colada's. The sleek perfecter oil is the last thing I apply before I go to bed and it infuses my hair and my pillow with that scent. I spoke about it in greater depth in my December favourites last year, if you fancy hearing more about how it works and what I think of it.

What are your favourite smells?


2 May 2017


I had a little spring-clean last weekend and I found myself broadly overwhelmed by just how many pairs of shoes I have hidden in the backs of wardrobes. Never before have I considered myself the kind of shoe-gal that Carrie would be proud of, I was always die hard handbags....so what changed?

Having started a charity collection going, I had a clear out which naturally made way for yet more pairs of shoes to join the parddy, because hey, the seasons have crossed over a little and it's time to put aside the usual suspects, ankle boots et al and slip into a pair of sandals or pumps.

This blog post contains pictures of feet (sorry) and i'm so cack-handed with nail polish, so that ain't great either...

I said I wouldn't jump on the loafer hype...but I did. Having found myself in Primark back in Wakefield, I made my way over to the discount section and found these lurid, hot pink loafers for a fiver. Sold.

I remember when this style of shoe, with the gold bar detailing was considered 110% not cool, so I am laughing a little inside that I now so openly walk around in such a style that all thanks to Gucci is now a thing.I had to break these faux leather heel killers in, but now that I have, they are comfy and well, yeah super...slipper-esc.

I've chucked out / donated to charity a good 70% of my 'high heels' collection over the last year. I don't find myself 'up town' anymore and if I do on the odd occasion find myself out on the tiles, i'd rather be wearing something comfy. I really wish my Vivienne Westwood X Melissa Heels were comfortable, but they certainly are not, so I wanted to find a new 'middle of the ground' pair of heels for going dancing, date night or a trip to somewhere sassy.

I found these granny-esc slingback wedges in New Look and they reminded me of some COS shoes i'd seen on Lily Pebbles ages ago. They boost me up from a petite 5 ft3 to walkin' tall at five ft 4 and they're comfy as well as extremely well suited to pretty much every outfit I put together.

These sandals are just the sex. Floral embroidery is everywhere and of-course it has found itself in my wardrobe, er, shoedrobe through this pair of strappy sandals.

I had seen a similar pair to these in Topshop but I couldn't justify the price-tag which tipped around £40. When I spotted a very similar pair in Primark for a mere £8 they were in my basket faster than you can say outlandish shoes. They took some getting to used to walking in them, with the way they slopped off my feet and I got regular toe cramp from trying to hold them on. I'll be wearing these with midi-skirts, dresses, leggings, jeans...basically everything because they look gorgeous and are uber comfy.

What are you keeping your feet sweet in this SS17?


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