How much is your make-up bag?


Inspired by an article I read on – Amount women spend on beauty productsit got me thinking how much I actually spend on beauty – and I can already tell you its a lot! Reading the article, it was Fragrance Direct who commissioned a survey of 1,000 UK women to find out how much they were spending on their beauty regime -turns out on average we spend £482.51 a year. This includes everything from skincare prep to make-up products and they have created a online calculator tool for you to work out how much you spend. My total came to – £1,072.80 annually but to be honest it could be more than this as I tend to like trying out a lot of products. For example I will have maybe 2x mascaras on the go at once, or I will have a different type of foundation depending on what I am doing – one for everyday, one for evenings which has more coverage, maybe also a lighter coverage foundation for the weekend…. And let’s not even begin to add in costs of beauty tools and other beauty products such as body care, hair care, nails, etc.

face value final

So wanting to dive in a little deeper into this, I wanted to conduct a small exercise of pricing up my day-to-day make-up. These are the everyday products I use without adding in special products I use for special occasions, evenings, etc. So here is it:

*Side note – if you are my husband reading this, close this page down right now! Ekk!

Make-up bag breakdown- 

TOTAL: £173.98

There is of course a few side notes to make here, for example I could choose a cheaper lipstick one day, or decided not to wear any eyeshadow on the odd day. All and all though these are my desert island products if you will, and I will tend to use these products at least 5-7 times a week. It’s a little shocking however to think if I lost my make-up bag, it would be nearly £200 to replace – wow! 

If I were to price up my whole make-up collection and skincare, I think I would have a heart attack but hey – everyone has to have a hobby right?  In the grand scheme of things however, most of these products do last a long time so when you break it down to cost per use it’s not that bad….right?!

I thought it might be interesting to turn this into a bit of a ‘How much is your makeup bag’ TAG as it was quite interesting and also gives you a glimpse of what’s in my day-to-day make up bag. So if you’re up for it, give it a go yourself and tag me in the post – I would love to see your ‘what’s in my bag make-up bag!’

I TAG: Emily from The Auras of Life / Alice from Alice Anne / Holly from Golly Miss Holly / Rosie from Everything’s Rosie 

How much is your everyday make-up bag?


Trying out some Fenty Beauty…


Towards the end of last year, Fenty Beauty was brought to the UK – and you know how much I love a new beauty release! If you haven’t heard of Fenty Beauty yet, it’s the make-up range by Rihanna and is described as “with promise of inclusion for all women. With an unmatched offering of shades and colors for ALL skin tones, you’ll never look elsewhere for your beauty staples”. And from the reviews I’ve heard already, her foundation offer – Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear foundation comes in the most amazing range of colours (40 shades!) and has received a lot of thumbs up for many in the beauty blogosphere. In the UK, her range is exclusive to Harvey Nichols, so I had to take a look for myself…

On a recent trip to London with my best friend, I begged her to let us have a quick look around Harvey Nichols before going to lunch. Knowing me all too well and still confused at my beauty obsession, we popped in for a quick look around the beauty counters with my focus of finding the Fenty Beauty stand! When we got there it was sooo busy that there was a 20 minute queue just to browse the counter…! I couldn’t bear to let my friend suffer the wait with me so I admitted defeat and decided I would make an order online instead. Then when we were having a quick browse of the women’s wear up-stairs, I saw another smaller Fenty Beauty stand which was less crowded – seems they needed two counters to manage the popularity of this range. Still unable to properly browse the foundation selection, I decided to simply pick up the Fenty Beauty Bomb Baby Mini Lip and Face Set for £19, just to allow myself a small purchase to check what Fenty Beauty had to offer.


My Verdict:
This set is great value at £19 and let’s you sample one of Fenty Beauty’s famous highlighters in the shade Hu$tla Baby and their most talked about lipgloss – Glass Bomb in Fenty Glow. The highlighter first of all is very pigmented so a little goes a very long way – be sure to dab any excess product from your brush onto your hands before applying as you will end up with gold glitter streaks on your face. Would be great for festival season though!! I am more of a fan of cream highlighters during the day, but this is one I would bring out for a night out. It can also double up as eyeshadow too if you don’t mind a shimmery lid.

The gloss – Glass Bomb in Fenty Glow is definitely been my favourite of the two products. I’m not a huge fan of a gloss and tend to stick with lipsticks or liquid lipstick as I don’t like that sticky feeling of a lip gloss. This one however, doesn’t feel sticky at all and I’ve found myself reaching for this every weekend when I wear more minimal make-up. It almost reminds me of the Clarins Lip Perfectors which are one of my favourite lip products!  It’s a gorgeous, almost Rose Gold shade but still looks natural on the lips.

Seeing the quality of these products and hearing the great reviews, I still really want to get my hands on the Fenty Beauty foundation. I might however just have to take potluck and choose my shade online, however I must say they do have a great shade finder on their website actually showing faces with the foundation on which makes things a little easier.

Have you tried anything from Fenty Beauty yet – what did you think?

I got from my mama <3


First of all Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mums out there! I am totally bias but my mum is the best mum ever! She is not only my mum but my dad too – let’s get a huge applause for all those single parents. I’ve learned so much from my mum and she is a large part of who I am today, so I thought I would do a fun post today on things I got from my mama! Cue Mr… (link)

My love of a beauty routine:
One of my earliest memories is sitting on my mum’s bed and watching her whole morning beauty routine. Religiously my mum will cleanse, tone and moisturize followed by her make-up. Her morning 3 step routine has always been using Simple products and her usual/day-to-day make-up look has always come from Rimmel – even to this day she uses the same products. From this, I always thought this was a part of a normal routine but I would then see my friends watch my mum with complete fascination when my mum was applying her make-up simply because their mum’s didn’t really wear any. From when I was small, I always wanted to have a peek inside her make-up bag and play around with all of the products. When she came to the end of her lipstick which was always Rimmel in Coffee Shimmer, she would give me the last remaining bit (basically a tiny stub of a lipstick bullet) so I could have my very own lipstick. Even to this day the classic smell of the Rimmel lipsticks reminds me of being a kid. I think from this, I’ve always been used to a morning routine which also contains a skincare routine and my make-up. It’s always been my ‘me-time’ of the day and I don’t feel quite ready if I’ve not gone through my whole getting ready routine.

When it comes to actual genetics, I also got a lot from my mum too. My height – we are both short – but the best things come in small packages right?! My hair is also exactly the same as my mum’s. We are both brunettes with thick hair which will never be 100% straight or 100% wavy – we always seem to get strange kinks in our hair which is so annoying. Thank goodness for hair straighteners though!

My parenting skills:
As some of you may know, I have a 9 year old stepson. He’s been in my life for nearly 6 years now and he’s awesome! Through my time learning to be a step-parent though I’ve noticed I’m saying all of those  annoying thing my mum use to say to me… “Because I said so….” and “I’ve found it in your room, so now you go and find it ”. I used to find these sayings sooo frustrating as a kid, but now having to use these phrases myself, I realise how much of a tough job it can be being a mum. Sorry mum! 🙂

The Lesson – Everything happens for a reason:
My mum’s favourite saying is “Everything happens for a reason” and I love it so much, I got it tattooed on my side. If ever I have a problem or a dilemma, my mum is the first person I call. She will always listen and then say “what does your instincts say?” “remember everything happens for a reason” and “what will be, will be”. And of course – mum’s are always right! This is one of the best lessons my mum has taught me. It reminds me that nothing is ever as bad as it seems and everything will be ok in the end.

My strength:
On top of anything else though, I owe my strength to my mum. Without going into any details, we went through some pretty tough times when I was growing up but my mum was my rock through it all. She handled everything herself, kept a roof over our heads, always made sure there was food on the table and was always there for me when I was sad, happy or even when I needed to shout and scream, she was always there to listen. I honestly don’t know what I would do without her – she is my bestest friend in the whole world!

Happy Mother’s Day mum! I love you lots ❤

Let me know what you got from your mama – do you look the same? What traits have you picked up? What lessons has your mum taught you?

REVIEW: Kiehl’s Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque


Pollution is a big topic in the skincare industry with a lot of brands bringing out their own products to combat the harmful effects such as; clogged pores, dark spots, ageing and leaving your complexion looking dull. A couple of months ago, I popped into Kiehl’s and ended up having a mini skin consultation as I thought I was suffering from oily skin (read the outcome here). During our skincare chat I also mentioned that I had concerns about pollution affecting my skin now I am working back in London. The lovely lady who was helping me in the Brighton Kiehl’s store suggested I tried the Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque and kindly gave me a few samples to try the mask out for myself.

So what does it do?
Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque is an overnight mask claiming to minimize the effects of pollution on your skin. The Kiehl’s website describes the mask as a ‘Nourishing formula (which) replenishes vital nutrients. Defends and replenishes skin leaving it renewed, radiant and more prepared to protect itself from daily environmental aggressors.’ The one thing to instantly flag here though is that Kiehl’s also do not supply a list of full ingredients in this product, so you do have to question how effective this product is when you are unsure what is exactly in it….! The ingredients on the website simply says:

  • Cilantro Extract – A natural origin oil extract rich in fatty acid that comes directly from coriander seeds.
  • Orange Extract – This is the dried young fruit of the Citrus Aurantium. Our extract is cultivated and sourced from the Mediterranean area and is typically harvested from June to December.

From a lot of online reviews I’ve read, there seems to be no real scientific evidence that these ingredients are proven to fight against the effects of pollution, so it might be a case of having to trust Kiehl’s word on this – no, I’m not  sure how I feel about this either…

How to use:  This mask is an overnight treatment, instructed to apply onto cleansed skin. They then say to leave on your skin for 5 to 10 minutes, followed by wiping off any excess of the mask with a cotton pad or tissue. This will then leave a thin layer on the skin which you can pat in to the skin allowing to work overnight.

My Verdict:
I do really like this mask which is why I went on to buy a full sized jar with some vouchers I received for my birthday. I tend to apply this after my evening skincare routine which I try and do as soon as I get in from work if I’m staying at home for the night. Once I leave this on my skin for 10 minutes and tissue off the excess, a thin layer is then left on my skin for a good couple of hours before I go to bed. This allows the mask to really soak into my skin before I hit the pillow. When I wake up the following morning my skin does feel very soft and plump. As for doing it’s job for fighting against pollution – I can only trust what Origins claims this mask does and hope it’s protecting my skin. What I can say however, is that I do like how this mask leaves my skin in the morning.

Have you tried the Kiehl’s Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque yet? Or is there any other pollution defense beauty products you would recommend?

Empties 2018 #1


This year as well as blogging and keeping a record of my monthly favourites, I also want to keep a record of my empties to look back on what I’ve managed to use up throughout the year. As a total beauty addict I am very guilty of buying lots of products but sometimes not using them up. These posts are also a nice way to see if I would rebuy any of these products again too! So here is what I’ve used up recently:

B110A090-B7A6-49A2-9A9E-1EB4D000F449Starting in my bathroom:

Alberto Balsam Shampoo and Conditioner in Juicy Green Apple – I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I find I need to change up my shampoo quite often as my hair almost gets used to the same shampoo all the time. If it’s a volumising shampoo and I keep using it, it will tend not to take effect after a while. So sometimes I will buy a cheap shampoo and conditioner to mix things up and give my hair a bit of a refresh. These were both good enough and smelled nice, so did the job. The only thing I would say is that the conditioner was quite runny, so I ended up using this up way before finishing the shampoo  – but what’s new for a shampoo and conditioner! Repurchase likelihood – 3/5

Imperial Leather Calming Night Blooming Jasmine & Vanilla Shower Cream – I am so fickle when it comes to shower gel. I tend to choose my shower gel based on what is on offer and what smells good. I love anything with Vanilla in but this scent wasn’t very strong – did the job though. Repurchase likelihood – 2.5/5

Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser – I tried in-shower body moisturisers a couple of times now and I still haven’t made my mind up on these yet. During these cold, winter months though I have found this doesn’t really cut it for my skin and I need something I bit more moisturising. I might however try this again in the summer months when my skin isn’t in need of so much TLC. Repurchase likelihood – 3/5

Oral-B 3D White Luxe Kit – Inc. Perfection Toothpaste and Whitening Accelerator Paste – I picked up this kit in Superdrug a while back as it was on offer for £5 (rrp £9.99). I’m always on the hunt for products to make my teeth whiter, so I was excited to try this. I had used the 3D White Luxe Toothpaste before and it’s ok, but had never tried the Whitening Accelerator Paste. Well let’s just say I didn’t end up finishing the Accelerator Paste…! My teeth felt really clean after using it but I didn’t notice any different in colour on my teeth. What I did however find though, it was almost eroding my lips! Everytime I used the second step paste, the inside of my lips felt stringy (gross, I know) and it made the outside of my lips very dry. I would buy the toothpaste again, however the Whitening Accelerator Paste – no! Repurchase likelihood – 1/5

6AE1FF9B-D070-4A0D-A620-394396E117CCOther beauty products I’ve used up:

Garnier Ultimate Blends Body Restoring Lotion – I’m not the biggest fan of body moisturisers as I hate it when my skin is left feeling greasy. This one however soaks in really quick and smells amazing. It’s also a moisturiser which my husband likes too as he suffers with dry skin. We’ve been through a couple of bottles of this moisturiser already. Repurchase likelihood – 4.5/5

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser – You will know if you read my last Glossier haul (HERE) that I love this stuff and the reason for my second order was to reorder another bottle of this cleanser. It is a really nice and gentle cleanser which I use every morning. Repurchase likelihood – 5/5  

Garnier Skin Active Moisture Bomb Day Cream – Another product I wrote about before (HERE) when I thought I had oily skin when in fact it was dehydrated. Ever since I’ve used this as my day moisturiser I’ve found it’s really made a difference to my complexion as my skin always now looks plump and hydrated. Repurchase likelihood – 5/5

Women Mitchum Unscented Deodorant – This was the first time I’ve tried a Mitchum deodorant. Usually I would use Sure or Nivea, however I did really like this one as it was unscented. So many deodorants have some sort of smell, whether its fresh, floral or aqua (what even is that?!). Repurchase likelihood – 4/5

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Cherry – When it comes to dry shampoo I’m not very loyal to one brand. I tend to switch between Batiste and CoLab dry shampoo depending on either what is available or what is on offer. If I had to choose though, I would say I preferred CoLab as it never leaves any white cast in my hair. Repurchase likelihood – 3/5

What have you used up recently? Have you tried any of these products before?


Monthly Favourites: February 2018


Today is the last day in February and it’s snowing – can you believe it! I hope everyone is staying warm. I thought I would share my favourites of of month with all – I have some beauty picks and a couple of non-beauty picks too!


Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipstick in Cathedral
During the cold winter months, the lipstick I’ve been reaching for the most has been Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipstick in Cathedral. For me it’s the perfect winter berry colour as I find it’s not very bold shade compared to most berry lip colours and suits my skin tone really nicely. The formulation is really nice too as it’s a satin-matte finish and I find it quite long lasting on the lips too. If you are looking for an everyday berry shade, I would recommend checking this out – plus the packaging is beautiful!

Glossier Invisible Shield – Sunscreen (SPF 30)
I’ve mentioned this before in my previous blog (linked here) when I shared my 2nd Glossier haul. And with using more acids in my beauty routine lately (find out more here), finding a good SPF was a must! I’ve used this every day since I brought it and not only do I love that it is protecting my skin, I also really like the texture of this gel formulation under my makeup as it almost works as a primer too.

Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution
When I was younger I suffered with severe acne leading me to do a course of Roaccutane when I was 17 years old. After 6 months my skin was clear from acne but ever since I’ve really struggled with scarring. When I get a dreaded spot on my face I can usually tackle it within a couple of days however the mark will tend to hang around for quite some time afterwards. Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution is the only thing I have found that will reduce these marks overtime. I’m currently on my second bottle and found it really speeds up reducing any marks or discolouration.  This month, my skin has been particularly bad with breakouts and as my skin starts to calm down, I’ve used this religiously AM and PM. Finally my skin is looking clearer again!

Revlon Color Stay Foundation Norm/Dry Nude 200
As a beauty addict, I’ve tested a lot of foundations in my time but when my skin is being problematic and I need my makeup to stay in place all day, I always rely on Revlon Color Stay Foundation for Norm/Dry skin types. It’s an oldie but a goodie and with my skin playing up this month, this has been the only foundation I’ve been reaching for in February.

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Body Cream
As my love for skincare acids grows, I wanted to see if there was any body-care products I could test. It however seems that the high-street beauty market hasn’t yet jumped on this bandwagon apart from Nip+Fab. I decided to try out their Glycolic Fix Body Cream – it contains, glycolic acid, salicylic and lactic acids to naturally exfoliate and make the skin look brighter and smoother. Throughout February I’ve used this every other day mainly focusing on my arms and legs (which tend to get most dry) and I have noticed my skin feeling soft and brighter. What I also love is that it soaks in really quickly too so I can quickly get dressed after my shower, unlike many other body moisturiser I’ve used previously which tends to leave my skin feeling a little greasy. Downside is it’s £9.99 for a 200ml bottle, and I’ve already nearly finished this bottle.


One of my goals in 2018 was to read more books and so far I have read/listened to via Audible 5x books. And I have to say I’ve been loving taking some time for myself over the past couple of months to have some escapism with getting into a good book. My favourite for this month was definitely Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton which I reviewed recently HERE. I’m now reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman which I have been reading on my Kindle, and I cannot put it down. I’ve also really been loving my Kindle too – I know the feel of reading an actual book is way better than reading from a screen but it’s really handy to have when I’m commuting back and forth to London for work. I can honestly say my train journey home (it takes me over an hour every night!) feels like it takes 15mins as I’m so drawn into reading the story.

My Stojo cup
In a bid to try and be more environmentally friendly, I wanted to purchase a reusable coffee cup but I was concerned about how bulky a cup will be in my handbag all the time. It was when I was listening to Emma Gunns podcast and her #26habits (her challenge of trying to break and start a new habit every two weeks) and her first was trying to break the habit of not buying shop-bought coffees, she then mentioned about Stojo Cups. This coffee cup is designed to collapse into a more compact size which you can throw in your bag. It’s also made from recycled materials – so it’s a win, win! I will however warn you that coffee shop baristas haven’t seen many of these cups yet, and on a couple of occasions they have gone to push the lid onto the cup (rather than gently twisting the top on) and the coffee has gone everywhere due to the cup being squishy. My tip if you want to get one of these cups, only hand over the cup and keep the lid back to put on yourself.

What have been your favourites from the month of Feb? Also do you have any good book recommendations for me?

First Impressions: The Ordinary

I’ve heard so many good things about The Ordinary! This brand is range by Deciem who currently have multiple brands under their umbrella including; Noid (their high end skincare offering), Hylamide (mid-range skincare) and The Ordinary (their budget skincare offering). The release of The Ordinary has really mixed up things in the beauty industry as it has lifted the lid on how much skincare ingredients really costs, offering very affordable products to its consumers. There has however been some quite bad press about the founder of Deciem – Brandon Truaxe recently which I will skim over and let you do your own research about, but in my defense I brought these products before this happened.  I had tried so many times to make an order online but often most products were out of stock, so when I stumbled across their counter in Harvey Nichols recently I headed straight over to make a few purchases.

Now, I am really not going to pretend that I am an expert on skincare acids. Everything I have learnt about acids has come from following beauty experts such as Caroline Hirons, Nadine Baggot and other beauty industry people. So before we get into my thoughts about these products, I want to take this opportunity to say  – any questions you may have or if you want to find out more, please head over to Caroline Hirons blog or youtube channel. I am simply just giving my initial impressions of The Ordinary products I’ve recently started trying.

Here’s what I picked up from The Ordinary:

Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane – £7.80
If you’ve heard about using acids in your skincare routine, you are bound to of heard of Retinol. Rentinol is a form of Vitamin A which helps skin renewal and enhances collagen production, helping with signs of ageing and blemishes (dark spots/sun damage). First thing I would say is if you are interested in trying a Rentoid product from The Ordinary – do your research! They offer a whole range of Retinol products all at different strengths and they tend to suggest starting off with a smaller percentage and working your way up. My advice is, if you can make it into their store or counters, do! The staff are very knowledgeable and give you personal advise on which product is right for you.

As I was still fairly new to using Retinol they suggested try the Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane. The Granactive Retinoid is a new formula to reduce any irritation when using this acid. I’ve used this now for two weeks and I noticed the effect of this treatment right from my first night of using it. To use this, you simply apply during your evening skincare routine on cleansed skin as a normal serum (but avoid using any other acids in conjunction with this), and due to the power of a Retinol acid, I only use this 2 or 3 times per week.  The first morning after using this, I noticed my complexion looked brighter and after continued use I am slowly seeing my acne scarring fade. I have experience small peeling when using this, but nothing major or cause of irritation, it simply makes my skin feel a tiny bit itchy the following day. I actually strangely like this though as it’s proof it’s working, but a dose of Hyaluronic acid the following day I’m right as rain again!

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – £5.90
Hyaluronic acid is the one acid I’m already quite familiar with from previously using the Hydraluron Moisture Serum from Indeed Labs. The main function of this ingredient is that it will hold water 1,000 times its weight meaning it gives your skin a boost hydration. The added B5 within the formulation ensure surface hydration.  I tend to use this up to 3x per week (in between my retinoid nights) in the evenings and when I wake up in the morning, my skin feels soft, glowy and plump. I have also used this during my morning routine as well, on those days when I can be travelling a lot (hopping on and off the tubes/trains) to give my skin some added protection in environments which will tend to dry my skin out, and it’s a real saviour. This will be one product I will definitely repurchasing and keeping on my bath shelf as my skin loves it. And with a great price tag of £5.90, I will happily buy a bottle of this every couple of months.

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution – £6.30
My first impression of this was – scary! I had done a lot of research into this product so I knew exactly what to expect, but the red tone of this peel once applied over my face was still a little startling. Even when my husband read the word ‘peeling solution’ he thought I was crazy to apply it on my skin. I can promise you though, it’s not scary and I found it really works! This product is essentially a 5-10 min face mask which you can use once or twice a week to exfoliate. Rather than me causing any confusion into what this is or does, here is a clear explanation from the Cult Beauty website – Alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) exfoliate the skin’s topmost layer for a brighter, more even appearance, while beta hydroxyl acids (BHAs) exfoliate the skin more deeply to clear pore congestion. Combined in one unique solution, these advanced acids offer extraordinary exfoliation to help battle blemishes and boost radiance.

I’ve only used this twice so far, generally using only once a week to let my skin get used to it. Once I’ve double cleansed my skin in the evening, I apply this serum which is a slightly sticky consistency all over my skin (avoiding the eye area). I then leave this for 5-7 mins and during this time my skin does start to tingle but nothing painful. Rinsed from my face with lukewarm water, I follow up with a night moisturiser as it does leave my skin feeling very tight. Similar to the Retinoid, the following morning, my skin looks radiant and it tends to really speed up the process of getting rid of any blemishes.  

Coverage Foundation – £5.90
In the interest of trying a full selection of The Ordinary, I decided to also try out one of their foundations. I believe foundation is the only make-up item they offer, and currently they have two types – coverage foundation and serum foundation. There selection at Harvey Nichols was however limited as they were expecting a delivery but I ended up being matched with the Coverage Foundation in 1.2N. I’ve used this a couple of times now and there is nothing yet that wowed me. It feels fairly light-weight on the skin and I would say this is more of medium coverage which is buildable. When I’ve played with it a bit more, I will report back!

The one thing I do want to add here is with every acid product  you use, it’s extremely important to use a SPF the following day – I’m currently still loving the Glossier Invisible Shield. When using these products, your skin goes through a lot and can become sensitive and you therefore become more susceptible to sunburn. So if you are thinking of trying anything from The Ordinary, make sure you’re using sun protection – although you should be using one anyway!

Hope you found my thoughts useful. I’ve read so many reviews on The Ordinary products, so hopefully my two cents helped if you are thinking of trying anything. Have you tried anything from the Ordinary yet? Do you have any more recommendations for me?