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?

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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…

MY VERDICT:

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?

Beauty Pie Haul – My final orders

(Top shade – Fantasticolour Sculpting Lipstick in Rebel Ruby / 2nd shade – Powderstick Matte Lip Crayon in Guilty Girl)

If you have read my post back in December you will know that I signed up for a 3-month membership to Beauty Pie. And if you aren’t sure what Beauty Pie is, have a look back at my previous post here. Since then I have made my final two Beauty Pie orders and wanted to give you an update on my thoughts of the brand.

I made my second order in Dec and picked up; Super Retinol (+ Vitamin C) Night Renewal (rrp £75 / member cost £8.37), Powderstick Matte Lip Crayon in Guilty Girl (rrp £18 / member cost £3.47) and Fantasticolour Sculpting Lipstick in Rebel Ruby (rrp £18 / member cost £2.66). With the membership, Beauty Pie give you a monthly allowance of £112 (rrp) but you’ll basket will only charge you the member-cost (at factory prices). What I however quickly realised is that if you want to buy their skincare range, that £112 limit does not stretch very far. With my final order, I bought; Super Pore-Detox Black Clay Mask (rrp £50 /member cost £6.15), Unbeatable Concealer in Shade 75 Neutral (rrp £20 / member cost £4.10) and Wondercolour Nail Polish in Le Milk (rrp £14 / member cost £4.10).

My Verdict:
Starting with skincare, since the buzz surrounding acids lately in the beauty industry, I was most excited to try out their Retinol Night Renewal from their Retinol range they released in November. I was just a little disappointed I couldn’t order more from the range though due to the membership budget limit. After looking through the range I opted for the Super Retinol Night Renewal cream. I’ve used it for a couple of weeks now but I’ve not seen a huge difference if I’m honest, but I will keep you posted on my progress. I do however have to say the pump on this bottle is a little naff, and in order to get a decent amount of product you have to pump the lid a fair few times. The Super Pore-Detox Black Mask however is really great! I’ve used it once a week since ordering it and I do think its made a difference to keeping any spots away, leaving my skin feeling super clean and un-clogged.

The make-up items overall are great for the price tag too! The nail polish in Le Milk is my second polish from Beauty Pie, and I’m super impressed by the quality (you usually only need one coat of polish) and lasting power – I would definitely recommend trying their polishes if you are interested in signing up to Beauty Pie, and only £4.10 – bargain! I’ve also really enjoyed using both lip products – Powderstick Matte Lip Crayon in Guilty Girland Fantasticolour Sculpting Lipstick in Rebel Ruby. Both are really lovely shades and the texture of both styles apply really nicely. The best of the bunch though is the Unbeatable Concealer! Used under the eyes, it has full coverage and the texture means it stays in place throughout the day.

So will I join Beauty Pie permanently? If I wasn’t such a beauty addict, wanting to try everything out there, I actually might spend £10 a month to be able to buy all my makeup from Beauty Pie. The quality is really good, but I would feel I needed to buy something every month. I would definitely however sign-up for a three month membership again in order to test out more of their skincare. From what I can see from their range, they are really trying to challenge the market, bringing quality products and ingredients at affordable prices. I would really recommend checking out Beauty Pie!

Have you tried anything from Beauty Pie yet? Or will you be signing up to check out their products for yourself?

Skincare for your January bank-balance: Aldi Beauty?!

January is one hell of a long month isn’t it? You haven’t been paid since Christmas and trying to stretch out the last of your money on being able to eat, so buying any kind of beauty product goes way out of the window. Even if you are down to your last drop of cleanser, can you really afford £10 – £30 to replace your beloved bottle of skincare before February pay-day? Well I might of just found the answer to save your skin till the end of the month…

A couple of months ago I was doing a food shop in Aldi and I stumbled across their toiletries section. I then quickly noticed Aldi’s selection of skincare and vaguely remembered that their night-cream had some good reviews. Considering each product was relatively cheap, ranging from £1 to £7, I thought why not give it a go. At the time I picked up Lacura Renew Multi Intensive Serum (£3.49) and Lacura Caviar Illumination Night Cream (£6.99), and recently my friend also brought me the Lacura Hot Cloth Cleanser (£3.99).

Starting first with the Lacura Hot Cloth Cleanser, as I have only had this for a short time. My verdict currently, is that its ok. I couldn’t yet tell you for certain if this was a dupe for the famous Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser as I need to ideally keep using it for a while longer to see how my skin reacts – but as it stands it does the job when the pennies are a little short. I will do a full review soon when I have had a proper run of using it.

The Lacura Renew Multi Intensive Serum and Lacura Caviar Illumination Night Cream however, I’ve been testing over the past two months. These are both marketed as ‘anti-aging’ solutions, detailed on the box at a recommended age of 30 to 50 years old. Although I’m not quite 30 just yet (two more years to go!), I am interested in getting in early to reduce signs of aging – not that I really buy that any product will stop wrinkles altogether, nor do I really have a huge issue with getting wrinkles – it’s a fact of life! Anyway… The main reason I was keen to try them was to gain more moisture in my skincare routine (reason why in my prev. blog post here). And that’s exactly what they do!

When using the Lacura Caviar Illumination Night Cream, the texture is quite thick, none scented and applies nicely on the skin. In the morning, you can still almost feel it on your face and my complexion was noticeably brighter and more plump looking. Just what you need from a night cream in my books! The Lacura Renew Multi Intensive Serum also gives a similar effect. I use this only in the mornings as an extra boost of moisture underneath my normal moisturizer and it gives my face a really nice glow which I can notice even after I apply my foundation.

I am also really impressed by the packaging! The night cream comes in a gorgeous blue jar similar to those creams which have a £200+ price tag attached, and it also looks very nice on my nightstand. The Lacura Renew Multi Intensive Serum comes in a sturdy glass bottle with a pump dispenser and is 50ml which is really good compared to most other serums on the market which usually come in 30ml sizes.

Overall, its a big thumbs up from me on Aldi Beauty products! So if you are looking to save a little money on your skincare routine, I would definitely recommend giving the Aldi Lacura products a go.

Reflecting back on 2017

Just some of my favourite photos from 2017


As we still remain in the first week of January and also inspired by my lovely friend Emily (check out her blog here) I thought I would do a little reflecting on 2017. I’m that person who likes to make new year’s resolution each year and like most, often feel a failure at not keeping them. Although I didn’t keep my resolutions, I think it is important to look back on all the great things I have achieved. Using a Pinterest link Emily shared in her blog post (here), I have answered a few reflected questions below to document my 2017….

What is something I did last year that I think I will remember for the rest of my life? – I got married and became Mrs Tremlin! It was honestly the best day ever and even more lovely to celebrate with all of our family and friends. When it comes to weddings, I was never that girl who had the whole day planned from the age of 5. Getting married was never very high in my life goals, but finding the man of my dreams and wanting to spend the rest of my life with him, it felt amazing to get married and now finally call him my husband!

What was the most challenging part of last year for me? This year I made the decision to leave my role in Brighton and go back to working in London. If anyone that has read my blog previously, you know that I worked in London before but wasn’t keen on the long commute so therefore made the move to work closer to home in Brighton. Turns out for me that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side. Although it was great living that bit closer to home and getting back of an evening at 6ish, I really wasn’t enjoying the role as much as my job in London. I therefore made the challenging decision to find a job back in London and do you know what – it was also the best decision I made in 2017! If I could give anyone some advice for 2018 it is to listen to your heart. If something doesn’t feel right or is making you unhappy, there is a reason for it…it means it might be time a change.

Of the books I read last year, which was my favourite and why? Hands down it was Ice-cream for Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams. I ended up listening to this on audiobook but I loved it that much that I went out and also brought a copy of the book as I know it will be a book I will want to read again and again throughout life! It is a non-fiction book based on Laura’s experience of taking step back from her successful career to become a nanny. Through her time with looking after children, she discovers the surprising art of reconnecting with your inner child to make adult life that bit simpler. It offers a new way of thinking about things, for example – would you expect your child to go to school and pass their exams if they hadn’t had enough sleep and stayed up all night…? No! Then why do we think of sleep as a luxury, prioritising work deadlines in favour of getting a restful night sleep? If we don’t have enough sleep and look after ourselves, how do we expect to be great at our job. I would definitely recommend giving this book a read this year if your new year’s resolution is to start looking after yourself more!

What could I have done to make last year better? Look after myself more! Making a few big decisions (changing jobs) and reading inspirational books (like Ice-Cream for Breakfast), I definitely began to looking out more for myself towards the end of the year, rather than quite honestly having others walk all over me. Going forward however, I know there could have been more I could have done to look after myself . For instance, I definitely could of looked after my health that bit more. My diet was wasn’t great towards the last half the year and in return I have put on weight, my skin has been bad and all the other things which comes from not looking after what you are putting in your body – which is something I want to change this year!

What are my most important goals for this year? As you can predict from my last answer, improving my health is first on my goals list. My other goals including; writing more – keeping up with blog more and also writing a journal. Often my head is spinning by the time I go to bed with thoughts rolling around in my head but I’m hoping in writing my thoughts down it will give me a clear mind. I also want to read more – with my new commute back and forth to London I have more time to read and I love it. So much so, I’ve treated myself to kindle so aiming to read at least one book a month. And my final goal is to be more organised – the same one I make every year! This year however I’ve started a bullet journal so hoping it will help organise everything from my diary to my expenses. Fingers crossed!

Have you taken the chance to reflect on 2017? What are your 2018 goals?