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?

BOOK REVIEW: Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

Last week I finished listening to Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton on Audible. If you are unaware of who Dolly Alderton is, she is a writer, director and journalist, she also previously had a dating column in The Sunday Times . I first came across Dolly after listening to the podcast ‘The High Low’ hosted by Dolly and Pandora Syke. It’s a weekly pop-culture and news podcast, sharing anything from political news, cultural happenings and water-cooler gossip – if you love a podcast, I would recommend checking it out as it’s a great mix of light-hearted conversation and factual news. When I heard via the podcast that Dolly was releasing a book, I was really interested in checking it out so when my latest Audible credit was available I downloaded it. I prefer to listening to biographies, memoirs and non-fiction via Audible as they are often narrated by the author and I can listen to them more easily on my commute whereas I tend to prefer reading fiction during my evenings at home. Being a fan of the ‘The High Low’ podcast, I thought this audio book would be like listening to one giant episode of the podcast focusing on Dolly’s life experiences, but it was sooo much more.

I have to admit, initially when I first heard the title of the book – Everything I Know About Love I did wonder if I would connect with this book, imagining it would be about living the single life but I couldn’t of been more wrong. It mainly focuses on relationships between females friends via Dolly’s life experiences. She has nicely built the book as a series of stories and anecdotes from her life, along with relatable lists, her love lessons at different ages, recipes for varying moments of life as well as some really funny letters addressing the truthful traits of a hen party, wedding or a baby shower.

A testament to how much I loved this book is that I’ve gone on to purchase a copy of the book – it’s definitely a book I would add to my bookshelf to go back to in the future. First of all, being a similar age to Dolly, I also found it very relatable and often nostalgic when she talks about things such as her days talking to boys via MSN messenger and life at university. I imagine reading this book back when I’m older as a chance to have a trip down my own memory lane or one day if I have a daughter, letting her read this in her late teens/early twenties as Dolly shares some really lovely life lessons. The one thing that kept me hooked throughout the whole book was Dolly’s honesty as she talks frankly through her past experiences, mistakes and events in her life – the highs and sometimes the very low lows. Her openness to her mental health as she was growing up was also so beautifully told, often explaining feelings which I have experienced myself in such a perfect way. Overall it was just really loving hearing how Dolly has grown into the woman she is today and taking her life lessons and applying them to my own. The whole book is very thought-provoking and it’s a one I will be recommending to all of my friends.

Have you read Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton yet?

Glossier Haul #2

By making my 2nd order with Glossier already, you can tell how much I’m loving this brand (let’s skip over acid gate though!). Check out my first order here (LINK). I was recently coming down to the last quarter of my Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, and after loving this so much I didn’t want to be without a back-up in my bathroom cabinet – hence why I decided to make another order. After adding the Milky Jelly Cleanser to my basket, it only made sense to take the opportunity to try out a few more products from Glossier. From hearing so many reviews from my favourite bloggers, I picked up; Invisible Shield – Sunscreen (SPF 30), Stretch Concealer and another Balm Dotcom, this time in Coconut.

I’ve been in the market for a good face sunscreen ever since watching Cherry Healey’s BBC1 documentary The Truth About Looking Good – did anyone else catch this a couple of weeks ago? If not, trying catching this on the BBC iPlayer. During the first part of the documentary Cherry investigates the real contributor to aging skin – the sun! Cherry goes to a dermatologist who takes some very close-up photos of a lady who is a bus-driver, and the difference between her left side and right side of her face is quite astonishing – showing the right side of her face with more wrinkles due to this side always being in view of the sun coming through her driver’s window. I’ve always known the importance of sun protection, but seeing this really highlighted just how important it is come rain or shine! I then saw a beauty favourites video from Lily Pebbles and she was talking about how much she liked the Glossier Invisible Shield – Sun Screen, so I decided to try it out for myself. My initial impression is that it does the job very nicely! There is no offensive smell which often sun-protection tends to give off and I really like the texture too. It’s a gel consistency which smooths nicely over moisturized skin acting almost like a primer for your makeup. It’s currently the best facial sunscreen I’ve tried yet.

Throughout December and January I watched a lot of yearly favourites videos and a common favourite was the Stretch Concealer and also the Balm Dotcom in Coconut. I’ve already tried the Balm Dotcom in Birthday and loved the texture, so knew this would be a win. The coconut scent however is gorgeous – can’t get enough! I saw it previously described by Suzie from Hello October as smelling of shortbread biscuits and it really does!! The Stretch Concealer is also really great. I’ve used it a couple of times now without any complaints. I would say it is best for under the eye rather than covering any tough blemishes though.

Have you tried any of these Glossier products? What is your favourite Glossier product?

REVIEW: Benefit BADgal BANG mascara

Unless you have been under a rock for the past few weeks, you will know Benefit has recently launched their new mascara – BADgal BANG mascara. It was very highly anticipated with Benefit spending millions on their marketing in the lead up and launch – taking bloggers to Maldives, hosting a massive launch party complete with Lisa Potter Dixon (head make-up artist for Benefit) in a space suit and countless amount of adverts and promotion all over social media. It claims to have massive volume without weighing down lashes, using a space technology which is ‘gravity-defying’. It is also said to lengthen lashes, give dramatic volume and instantly lift lashes, whilst also being smudge-proof and water-resistant.

All sounds amazing right?! And with the huge amount of marketing behind this launch, it was hard to ignore. I struggle a lot with my lashes as they are very straight and stubborn, so this mascara seem to be the answer to all my prays! So the next time I was in Boots, I headed straight over to the Benefit counter and picked it up. Feeling very smug as I used my Boots points to pay the £20.50 price tag, I couldn’t wait to try this out the follow morning…


I have to say I was very disappointed! As I normally do every morning, I curled my eyelashes before applying Benefit’s BADgal BANG mascara. As I then applied it through my lashes the first thing that struck me was how wet the formula was. Applying as thin a layer as I could, I quickly saw my lashes fall from a beautiful curl to almost straight. Using my finger, I did try and push my lashes back into a lift as it dried but the formula was just too wet and heavy.

Once fully dry, although my lashes were not lifted they were thick and very black. They also didn’t feel heavy once dry which was frustrating. I think if you already have lovely lashes which do not need any help from eyelash curlers, this mascara could be perfect for you. If you have lashes like mine however, I would recommend to stay clear! I’m definitely going to stick to good old faithful L’Oreal False Lash Architect waterproof mascara, which you can see from the image above (excuse my goggly eyes!) it gives a much better lift to my lashes.

Have you tried Benefit’s BADgal BANG mascara yet? What were your thoughts?

REVIEW: Pixi Double Cleanse by Caroline Hirons

When it comes to the world of beauty products, skincare is my absolute favourite – if there is hype around a new cleanser or serum, I’m buying it! And when this hype item is by my favourite skincare blogger; the skincare queen, Caroline Hirons – I’m 100% sold! In partnership with Pixi, Caroline released – Double Cleanse Solid Cleansing Oil + Cleansing Cream back in January 2017.  If you’re a fan of Caroline Hirons, you will be all too familiar with the double cleanse process, but if you aren’t here’s what it’s all about. It is suggested to use two different cleansers – the first to remove make-up, often recommended to be oil based and the second to actually clean your skin and any traces left from your first cleanse. This cleanser brings both steps in one easy to use product – Step 1: Solid Cleansing Oil and Step 2: Cleansing Cream.

I’ve been a ‘double cleanser’ for a while now, often using two different brand of cleanser in my evening skincare routine, so the process of using this product wasn’t an issue for me at all. The first thing that really struck me was how much I loved the packaging with the ease of having everything you need in one sturdy plastic tub. It makes overnight stays and travelling a breeze as previously I’ve either had to carry two bottles of cleansers with me, or I’ve been lazy and not bothered doing a double cleanse. One thing I would mention however, is that you need to keep an eye on how much of each product you use each time to avoid using one side up quicker than the other. That being said though, the formula and quality of both cleansers means a small amount does go a long way.

The cleansers themselves are both really lovely to use. They are what I would describe as fuss free, without any frills e.g without any special acids, which makes sense as Caroline tends to add these ingredients into her routine via serums. It leaves my skin feeling really clean and calm. Sometimes with new cleansers, they will tend to leave my skin slightly irritated or red but I would say this products is great, even for the most sensitive skin types.

Overall, if you are looking for a new cleanser I would really recommend Pixi Double Cleanser. The price is pretty reasonable too, costing £24 especially as you are theoretically getting two products for this price tag. Each cleanser however is only 50ml, so it may not last as long as buying two separate cleansers. For me it has lasted just under 2 month with using it evenings only – so not bad at all.

Have you used Caroline Hiron’s Pixi Double Cleanser yet?