Colourpop Chasing Rainbows Palette – Swatches and Thoughts

What’s that? Another Colourpop palette added to my collection? I’m not even gonna pretend this was an accident..

I asked my mum for Chasing Rainbows for Christmas, perfectly timed with a 48 hour free international shipping offer, and although that meant I had to wait until New Years to get it, I’ve never found Colourpop products to not be worth the wait.

So this is the fourth Colourpop palette that I have reviewed on here, and if you look back over all the previous ones, you would quite easily come to the conclusion that I have a thing for bright eyeshadows, and that is 100% true, which is why this particular palette jumped out at me – well, that and the super cute packaging..

As the name of the palette also suggests, the range of colours covers a good amount of the colour spectrum, with some staple browns and golds to round it out, and as the swatches below show, the pigmentation is of a classic amazing Colourpop standard.

Left to right: Realness, Feeling It, So Meta, Blurred Lines, Wiggles

Left to right: Not Playing, Keep Cool, Manifest It, Wish List, Woke

Top to bottom: Lucid, Bring It, On One, Eclipse, Prism

I really like the versatility of Colourpop palettes; it makes life so much easier when I’m travelling if I can take just one palette but am able to produce a whole bunch of different looks from it, and this is no exception. Special mention goes to the shade Lucid, which on first look didn’t look like my cup of tea, but when I swatched it I discovered its blue-ish duo-tone effect which is really beautiful.

I feel like I’m often spouting the same spiel when it comes to Colourpop, but the fact is in my eyes there’s not a whole lot they can do wrong.

PS I’m super interested in trying out their No Filter Foundation, so if anyone has ever tried it or reviewed it, please let me know in the comments below!

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The cariPRO Ultrasonic Toothbrush from Smile Brilliant | AD

The following post contains some affiliate links and features a gifted product. All views are my own.

Let’s face it, we all feel better when we look good, right? Well, the truth is I can be a little lax in that area, and it does affect my mental health, so one of my personal New Years resolutions for 2019 was that I wanted to spend a bit more time taking care of myself and my appearance.

At first, I thought that this would be taking a bit more time to do my makeup, or being stricter with my skincare routine, and it never even really dawned on me that I could also benefit from focusing more on my oral hygiene, until I was contacted by Smile Brilliant to try out their new electric toothbrush, the cariPRO Ultrasonic.

I don’t think I’ve ever really used an electric toothbrush before, except maybe a kiddy one as a child, so I was excited to see if brushing with a little bit of power would actually make the difference that you always see dental adverts claiming. I’ve never really had any concerns about my teeth; I’ve never had a filling, braces or really needed any sort of treatment, so I’ve always thought I was doing just fine with a manual toothbrush, but how do I feel now?

My first impressions of the cariPRO toothbrush were surprising. I expected it to be quite heavy in the hand and bulky compared to the manual toothbrushes that I’m used to, but it was surprisingly lightweight and a lot slimmer than other electric toothbrushes I’ve seen before, and its soft touch grip means it holds really nicely. The brush head is quite a bit smaller than on a manual toothbrush but this makes it easier to focus on each tooth individually to get a great clean all over.

The cariPRO has five different brushing modes – Clean, Whiten, Massage, Gum Care and Sensitive – with each one having a different vibrating effect, and it also has a built-in 2 minute timer, and every 30 seconds there’s a small pause to indicate when you should be moving on to the next section of your mouth, which is super handy if, like me, you never really stop to think about how long you’ve been brushing for. The toothbrush also comes with extra brush heads, a wireless charging dock and a 2 year warranty – oh, and did I mention its totally waterproof?!

But are my teeth cleaner?

Well, they definitely feel it, but not only does using the toothbrush make my mouth feel better, it also actually makes me want to clean my teeth. I now like taking the time to brush thoroughly, alternate between the different brush modes and ensure that I am getting a full 2 minute brush in, whereas before I used to see cleaning my teeth as a bit of a chore.

Are you interested?

Well it might just be your lucky day because I’ve teamed up with Smile Brilliant to give you the chance to win your very own cariPRO Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush by simply clicking hereAnd if you don’t win or you can’t wait to try it out for yourself, you can save 20% off your purchase using discount code ‘lottiedoes20‘ at the checkout, so everyone’s a winner really!

Be sure to head over to the Smile Brilliant website to see all the other excellent products they have on offer, and check out the FAQ page if you want to know anything else!

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electric toothbrush
//www.smilebrilliant.com/widget-caripro-article/lottiedoes/773/228

The Happiest Wrapping on Earth*

Honestly, November has FLOWN by. Its now officially less than a month until Christmas, and I’m feeling super unprepared, but one thing I have got under my belt now, courtesy of the wonderful CoconuTacha, is some incredible Disney inspired wrapping paper, so at least when I do get my Christmas shopping done, the paper is all wrapped up, if you pardon the pun..

Tacha is an incredibly talented UK based graphic designer, and I love the unique style of each of the park icons featured on this wrapping paper. In each set you get 3 A2 size sheets of wrapping paper, plus 4 gift tags, so you’re completely covered for all your wrapping needs.

The paper is a really high quality – way nicer than your regular supermarket roll! – with a glossy finish, and its so beautiful that this is the kind of paper that you’ll want to unwrap carefully so you can keep it again! Also a great secondary use would be as a photo backdrop for blog photos – I may just keep a sheet for myself for this very reason!

And if you’re on the hunt for a cute little stocking filler, Secret Santa gift or just something to treat yourself with, Tacha also has this limited edition ‘Magic Castle’ enamel pin available on her store. Its so pretty and so different from any other castle pins I’ve seen and the colours are stunning together, and for £5 its a steal!

Cute wrapping idea: attach a pin to the gift tag of your present!

There’s currently 10% off both the wrapping paper and pin until the end of today so if you like what you see, head on over to Etsy now, and even if you’ve got your wrapping paper sorted, you should definitely check out Tacha’s designs on both her Etsy store where you’ll find an amazing selection of stationery, planner stickers, art prints and more, and also on Redbubble where you can get her designs on everything from t-shirts to phone cases.

Are you Christmas ready yet?

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*The items featured in this blog post were sent to me, but all views are my own.

Smells Like Magic* – Maple and Whisky Candle Review

I can’t believe that exactly one year ago Matthew and I were having the most magical time in Walt Disney World! I mean, I know we’ve had the craziest and most incredible year since then, but it still sucks.

In the crazy last year we’ve had though, we did buy our first house, and we’ve spent a lot of time turning it into the home that we love, with a big part of that being adding magical touches throughout to remind ourselves of our favourite places.

Maple and Whisky produce the most incredible scented candles inspired by your favourite Disney memories, including park foods like Mickey Waffles, rides like Soarin’ and resorts like The Grand. Quite frankly, if there’s a smell in a Disney park that you love, chances are, they’ve got it!

I’ve been a lover of Maple and Whisky for a few years now – I’ve got a constant stock of their wax melts on hand! – and they were super kind recently to send me three candles of my choosing to review, which meant I could fill the new house with some magical smells, although the hardest part was choosing just three! I took the opportunity to try two scents I’ve never had before, and to also get a new jar of my favourite M+W scent, Campfire Singalong.

Campfire Singalong smells truly of just that. Imagine toasting marshmallows and melting chocolate on an open fire at a Disney resort, and that’s what this is in a jar – its heavenly! For me, this is the ultimate autumn/winter candle as it fills the room with a wonderful warm scent and glow, but be warned, may cause chocolate cravings!

The second scent I chose was Beach Club, inspired by its eponymous Walt Disney World resort, and I chose it because our of all the resorts in WDW, this is my dream resort which I would absolutely LOVE to stay in one day! The smell is fresh and clean and it really does make me feel like I’ve just stepped into the air-conditioned lobby while taking a walk around the Boardwalk resort loop.

Finally, I picked Spirit of Aloha, which is inspired by the smell of the lobby at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. This time last year when we were in WDW was when Matthew and I joined Disney Vacation Club, and Polynesian is our home resort, so I wanted a candle to remind us of our second ‘home’! Not being the biggest fan of pineapple (and not having a super clear memory in my head of what the resort smelt like), I was slightly worried that I wouldn’t like this one, but actually its lovely! The pineapple is there, but its not at all in your face and is nicely balanced with hints of coconut.

Maple and Whisky offer candles in two sizes, 8oz and 12oz, as well as wax melts, room sprays and reed diffusers. The candles I received were the 8oz size, and they last a good long while! They’ve recently changed the design of their labels, so these aren’t exactly what they look like now but the new labels are even better!

What I absolutely love about these over other scented candles is that not only do they smell amazing up close, but they actually fill the whole room with their glorious scents, and that happens almost instantly, whereas even some big brand candles only smell when you stick your nose into the jar! I would absolutely recommend these candles, and as well as these scents some of my favourites are Adventure is Out There (grape soda scented), Butterbeer (for the Potterheads), Rice Krispie Treats and Sugar Rush! Head on over to their Etsy store to see more!

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*I was sent these candles for the purpose of review, but all words and views are my own.

The Perfect Cabin Suitcase

For someone who travels quite a lot, I’m almost ashamed to say that I have never used a cabin-sized suitcase until now. Whenever I’ve travelled hand luggage only I’ve kept myself to backpacks and holdalls, and while that has always been fine for me as I don’t do it often, I figured that as I now have the advantage of using Matthew’s staff travel to get super cheap flights, I’ll be going hand luggage only quite a bit more from here on out!

Another thing that swayed me was how adorable this suitcase is, so I decided to treat myself to the Minnie Mouse suitcase by American Tourister from the Disney Store website, and isn’t it a beaut?! I already have a large American Tourister case which I got for Christmas last year and I LOVE, so I knew that it would be a great investment.

Its a hard shell case with four wheels, and a built in 3-digit combination lock that the zip pulls click into, so you can secure it without having to worry about having a lock that needs a key.

The inside of the case it just as pretty as the outside, with its pretty pink and blue lining and details, and what I love about the AT cases compared to other brands I’ve seen is that it was a proper zipped divider that fully separates the top section of the case, and also has a big pocket built into it, which is the perfect size for 3-4 pairs of Mickey ears. The main compartment also has a little side pocket, which is perfect for charging cables and other little bits, and the strap keeps everything nicely packed in place!

The first outing of my case was my Disneyland Paris trip last month, and I easily managed to fit all my clothes and other bits for 4 days and still have a good amount of space, which given that I was packing summery clothes means I don’t think I’d have any problems packing 3-4 days of thicker wintery clothes.

The size of the case of course meets the size requirements of a cabin bag with most, if not all airlines, and I had absolutely no problem fitting it into an overhead locker on my EasyJet flight. The case wheels like a dream so walking through airports is no problem at all and it is just the cutest case ever, so if you do ever check it into the hold then you’ll have no problem spotting it on a luggage belt!

American Tourister do quite a big range of Disney designs, as well as normal styles, which you can usually get cheapest on Amazon. As I mentioned earlier, I also have a large Donald Duck suitcase which is the perfect size for a 2 week trip and just as amazing as this one, so I definitely sing the praises of all of their cases!

If I don’t make another little trip before then, the next trip this case will make will be to Walt Disney World in January!

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W7 Blazin’ Palette Review

So a few weeks ago I mentioned that I’d bought a couple of W7 palettes from TKMaxx, and shared the first one which I thought to be a potential dupe for a Too Faced palette. Today I’m reviewing the second palette, which I think could also be a possible dupe, but this time for Urban Decay’s Naked Heat eyeshadow palette, but as I don’t own that I can’t really do a side by side comparison!

So this is the W7 Blazin’ palette. The RRP is £9.95, but I picked it up from TKMaxx for £4.99, and looking around you can get it from a lot of places for under £5.

As with most of the W7 palettes, it comes in a tin form, and its quite a sizeable one, but I think it looks the part and the outside definitely gives a good indication of what’s to come on the inside. There’s also a double-ended brush included, but one end is a foamy applicator which I personally don’t like so won’t use, but the other end is fine!

The inside, however, is when it really starts to look like its Urban Decay counterpart, and looking at photos of Naked Heat the shades do seem to match up pretty well, but as I said I can’t do an exact comparison! I started off by swatching the shades, and the below swatches are one layer using just my finger.

First off, I really liked the feel of the formula – it was soft and buttery to touch, but when using a brush later on it did have a little bit of crumble to it but I personally like my shadows to be a bit powdery as it means they get picked up well by all brushes. I thought the pigmentation was really good for something that cost less than £5, with the middle shades coming off best I thought – my forearms are super super pale so I always struggle to get whiter shades to show up when I swatch them, but as you can see in the second swatch photo they did hold out ok, and when using them on my eyes I’ve had no problems. I felt like the darker colours could have been a little darker, but it really doesn’t bother me as those are the ones that I know I won’t use so much.

I have had a lot of fun playing around with this palette! There are a lot of looks that you can create, which surprised me considering there’s not much range in terms of colour, and I was also uncertain as I’ve not been much of a reddish shadow kinda girl before, but going into autumn I think this is definitely a palette I will use a lot. The colours build and blend like a dream and there’s a good mix of matte and shimmery shades so you’ve got all bases covered! W7 is also a cruelty free brand, so for £5 I have absolutely no complaints about this palette, and now I don’t need to fork out £30 for the Urban Decay Naked Heat one!

If you do have Naked Heat, let me know how you think these photos/swatches compare, I’d love to know!

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Mahabis Slippers – The Best Thing Ever?

From the first time I saw the advert on the tv, I knew I needed these slippers, and when I got my annual bonus back in March, I treated myself to a pair of Mahabis.

To the untrained eye, these might just seem like a regular pair of slippers, but the beauty of Mahabis is that each pair comes with a pair of rubber soles that clip onto the bottom of your slippers in a few quick seconds, meaning you can wear them outside without ruining the base of your slippers. The soles fit on with the help of a little popper at the back of each slipper, which you just attach through the little hole in the back of the sole, simple!

Now given that I love a good pair of slippers, and would happily wear them as my only footwear, the ability to wear slippers outside was super exciting to me. Now strictly speaking they’re only designed for light outdoor use, such as running out to get something from the car, taking the bins out etc, but the bases are pretty tough and I reckon they’d stand up to good wear – I actually wore mine on the drive home from Manchester last weekend and walked around Keele services in them no problem!

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the comfort, lets just say I could happily wear these all day! As you can see in the photos, they’re a bit more than a pump style, I’d describe them as being the slipper equivalent of a pair of Toms, with a lambswool lining that’s backed onto a synthetic base rather than sheepskin, and they’ve got a nice stretchy heel piece which is a little bit grippy also so there’s no risk of your feet coming out.

They’re a premium pair of slippers, but I honestly love them and am so glad that I treated myself to them. They also have some variations including a lighter design of ‘summer slipper’ and also a hardier pair of ‘outdoor slippers’, not to mention the fact that you can make your slippers fit your style with a range of colours of additional soles, including gold and pearl pink!

Are you a slipper person?

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Fitbit Flex 2 Review

So a couple of months ago I decided to expand my little Fitbit family by purchasing the Flex 2, in addition to the Charge 2 I’ve had for almost 18 months now. Yep, I’m that crazy, but I had my reasons.

I love my Charge 2, it does everything that I need it to, but the only occasional both is that its a little on the large side, and as it can only be worn on the wrist, its not always the most stylish option, even though I have multiple different coloured straps to colour co-ordinate it! This is where the Flex 2 comes in.

The Flex 2 is the smallest of all Fitbit’s trackers – its even smaller than the Zip, which is the cheapest tracker option, and the first device I owned. It comes with a wrist strap that you can just pop the device into, or alternatively you can get a clip for it (not official Fitbit merch but super cheap on Amazon), and if these options aren’t pretty enough for you, Fitbit also offer a bracelet and pendant that the device slots into, and no-one would be the wiser that you were wearing a fitness tracker! I bought the bracelet, although I bought an unofficial version from Amazon because the official ones will set you back £79..

But how does it stack up as a device?

Being one of Fitbit’s cheaper devices, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles; I think had I not owned a Charge 2, I’d have been more impressed by it. Of course it counts your steps, and it does auto-track some activities quite well, and unlike any other charger (minus the new Iconic) the Flex 2 is swim-proof, so if you want to be able to track your swimming, this is the only device you can get, and this was another one of the reasons I chose it as recently I have been swimming a lot more. Other features of the device are sleep tracking, and you can set it up for reminders to move and also call and text notifications.

The main difference, however, between the Flex 2 and its family of devices is the display – its the only tracker that doesn’t have a proper digital display, instead just having a little row of LED lights that light up according the your goals; if you have your main goal as being steps, for every 2,500 steps you do, an LED lights up, so when you hit your 10,000 steps for the day, all the lights will be lit. This means that you can only keep track of one particular focus, and you can’t use your Flex to check the time, like I keep trying to do.. Now of course if you’re wearing it in a pendant or bracelet, or even clipped away somewhere, this isn’t going to bother you all that much, but for me I find this a little annoying.

The other features that the Flex 2 doesn’t include which my Charge 2 does is heart rate monitoring, stairs climbed and it doesn’t have any sort of GPS, so when it comes to running, my Flex stays in the gym bag.

Personally, I think its a good little device if you’re just wanting to keep an eye on your steps and activity, and it works great in the water if you’re a swimmer, but as I’ve mentioned previously, I think if I didn’t have a Charge 2, I would have been much more impressed by the Flex 2. I do use it, of course, but I tend to wear it on days where I want to make sure my steps are counted, but I’m not doing any other sort of workout, apart from swimming, obviously! I also sometimes interchange my trackers during the day, so I’ll get up and go to the gym in the morning with my Charge 2, and then switch it for the Flex to wear to work – and if you’re wondering, this all works fine in terms of syncing with the Fitbit app as it combines the data from the two trackers!

The RRP of the Flex 2 is £69.99, but you can find it as low as £40-50 if you shop around!

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Kayla’s Bikini Body Motivation & Habits Guide

Now I’ve never believed in the term ‘bikini body’ or ‘bikini body ready’ – for me, a bikini body is any body in a bikini, simples. I’ve also never really trusted these fitness influencers or Instagrammers as I’m very wary of some of the products and diets that they endorse, so when it comes to Kayla Itsines I’ve generally not paid much attention.

However, I saw this book in the supermarket the other week; Matthew pointed it out as we’re trying to keep healthy and active in preparation for our trip to Hawaii in April, and at first I kinda scoffed, but then I had a little flick through and noticed that despite the title suggesting otherwise, at least half of the book is recipes, and I’m a sucker for a good recipe book, so it ended up in our basket.

Spoiler alert, I’m now treating this book like my bible.

The book is actually so insightful. The first part talks about habits and motivation, and some of the psychology that goes behind it, and how you can combat the set-backs and hurdles that many of us face day in day out. I must admit that I haven’t read all of this as I’ve got a lot of other books and journals that I use for habit tracking, so I didn’t feel this was particularly relevant to me, but after this bit, the book gets really good.

The next section of the book is all about nutrition and meal-planning. I went into this with a pinch of salt ready to read things suggesting certain foods are really bad for you, or you should cut down on this or that, but there wasn’t any of that and I did a little happy dance. Everything written is informative, well researched and completely balanced, and the nutrition part covers everything from your basic food groups to micronutrients to non-dairy, vegetarianism and veganism, so it covers a pretty good range of dietary needs, but what I love the most about this book is the meal planning.

Now the book itself has a 4 week food plan, including 3 meals and 2 snacks every day over the 28 day period, so if you like to follow something by the letter, this is absolutely great – it even includes your weekly shopping list! However, if like me you struggle to stick to an exact plan day in day out, Kayla also includes an example meal plan, that is a guide of how many portions of what food groups you should be eating each day, and how you can mix and match these to suit. Did I mention how much I love this?

Also included is a big glossary of example foods for every food groups, and portion sizes, so if for example your meal is going to be 2 grains, 2 veg, 1/2 dairy/alternative and 1 meat/alternative, you can simply flick to the back of the book, have a look at what these could includes and make up a meal from there. This makes everything so flexible and easy, and there’s absolutely no calorie counting, or cutting out certain foods – its all about getting the portions and proportions right. Its a meal plan, not a diet.

The recipes offer so many options, and not only have you got every recipe for the 28 day meal plan, there’s also extra recipes that you can substitute in if whatever’s on the menu doesn’t take your fancy! All the recipes are quick, easy, and based on a single portion, which is great because I hate having a recipe designed for 2 or 4 people and having to go through and scale all the ingredients down. Oh, and there’s also a section at the back for desserts!

I have been following the meal plan, in my own way, for two weeks now and I’m already noticing a difference (along side my regular gym workouts and running). Some meals I haven’t changed at all from what I was eating before, but I’ve just got a better balance in what I should be eating and the size portions I should be having. Its so easy to break down every meal into groups, so all I count is the number of portions of each group I’ve had – absolutely no stressing over calories or not eating this or that. Most importantly, I feel so good within myself because I’m eating well.

The final section of the book is workouts, and you get a little 28 day workout guide poster that you can follow along with your meal plan – again, given that I go to the gym 4-5 times a week as it is and know my stuff quite well, I wasn’t so bothered by this, but it is a good little plan.

So while the title of the book didn’t endear me to it in any way, I guess its just proof that you can’t judge a book by its cover!

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Fitbit Flyer Earphones Review

I have been a Fitbit girl for about 5 years now, give or take some time off in between killing my little Zip in a washing machine and replacing it with my current Charge 2. I have always loved their fitness trackers, so much so that I have never been tempted to try any other brand, and so when they announced last year that they were releasing their first pair of wireless headphones, I was pretty convinced that I was going to want them. Lo and behold, they came in a copper/rose gold kinda colour, and I knew that I wanted them.

I got the earphones for Christmas, and have been using them for running/working out at the gym ever since, although I tend to alternate a little bit with my Urbanista headphones when at the gym, but I guess its been about 6 weeks of using them at least once or twice a week.

The only real concern I had with these, or any wireless earphones for that matter, is whether or not they would stay in my ears. Typically in the past I’ve never bothered running with earphones because of the endless struggle of having to push them back into my ears every 30 seconds, and I really didn’t want to be doing the same with these. However, the great thing about the Flyer is that they have an interchangeable design, so each pair comes with a few different sizes of the ear buds, and then also two sizes of both ‘fins’ and ‘wings’, which are both different fittings to help the earphones stay in your ears. I’d watched some YouTube reviews before deciding whether or not to take the plunge with these, and more than one review said that the fins were not great, but that the wings were awesome, so I’ve always used the smaller of the two wing sizes.

The wings tuck underneath the little inner loop of your ear – when I googled it, I saw a lot of websites referring to it as the rook, but that was mainly in terms of piercings, but maybe you know what that means! Because they’re rubbery and flexible, this means that they bend to fit the space and then keep a pretty firm grip there, and as soon as I tried this type of fitting I knew this would be the best type for me. What I really like about this is that there’s nothing going around your ear, like many wireless earphones have, so you don’t feel any real weight or pressure on your ears.

There’s a little on button on one of the ear pieces, and whenever you turn them on a little voice tells you how much charge the headphones have, which is really handy, and if the battery is running low during your workout, it will also pop up to tell you, and also tells you roughly how much time you’ve got left, which is pretty neat. There’s a little control panel on the adjustable cable for volume, and you can also press and hold each of the volume + or – to skip tracks, so you can keep your phone tucked safe away.

I’ve not had a single problem with the Bluetooth connectivity, and can easily walk from one side of my gym to the other before experiencing any sort of skipping. Before getting these, I have on occasion used my boyfriend’s Beats wireless earphones, and found that they skipped a lot more than the Fitbit, even when in close range with my phone, so that’s something! Once set up to your phone, they instantly connect every time you turn them on, and I’ve never had to faff around with having to reconnect them if I’ve not used them in a few days.

Sound wise, I have absolutely zero complaints. The music is clear, there’s no distortion from the rubber buds and they even do a little bit of noise cancelling too. Apparently there are actually two different sound settings, but I’ve always been pretty happy with how mine have sounded so I’ve never looked into how you change settings or what the other setting gives you!

Overall, I’ve been pretty happy with these earphones, and I certainly haven’t experienced the annoyance of constant readjustment and pushing them back in every time I go for a run. The one thing I would say is that it does take a little bit of time getting used to how you want the fit in terms of the attachments and the strap, so there’s a bit of trial and error in the first week or so, but honestly I do think these are a great pair of fitness earphone, which is ultimately what Fitbit designed them to be. My colour is officially called Lunar Grey, but there’s nothing grey about them, and I think they’re a really good looking pair of earphones, and they do also come in Nightfall Blue if the copper thing isn’t really your style.

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Urbanista Seattle Wireless Headphones Review

I’ve always thought of myself as being a strictly earphones kinda gal, but d’you know I think these headphones might have changed that for good.

I can’t remember exactly how I came across Urbanista as a brand originally, but I discovered their website and had been eyeing up these headphones for a while now, but put off buying as I wasn’t sure whether to get the wired or wireless model. My lovely friend Hannah had bought the rose gold corded ones and said they were great, but as one of the main reasons I was starting to look for headphones rather than earphones was that I wanted something that wasn’t going to bug me while running, as cables tend to do. That said, the wireless pair does also come with a cable, should you prefer to be plugged in every now and then, or if the battery for the Bluetooth is dead, so I guess I got the best of both worlds!

So I decided on the wireless, and despite thinking that it would be the rose gold pair that I would get, I actually bought the white ‘Fluffy Cloud’ pair from a Dixons Travel at Manchester Airport because they were a crazy good price – only £65, rather than the RRP of £99, and given that the corded ones are £59, I thought this was a steal!

Now being totally honest, the first pair I got were unfortunately faulty, in that the Bluetooth would only connect while plugged into power, which isn’t ideal, so I exchanged them for a new pair, which work absolutely fine thankfully! This experience did teach me, however, to never buy this sort of tech from an airport, because the returns process was an total nightmare that has me all kinds of annoyed with Dixons and Currys/PC World, so I would recommend you buy them either direct from Urbanista, or they are also stocked on Amazon, ASOS and plenty of other online retailers.

But, as I said, the new pair are perfect. I love the style of them, and I’m actually really glad that I bought them in the white as I think they have a classic look to them. They’re adjustable and also foldable, and the headband has some cushioning in it too, making them super comfortable across the top of the head, as well as the ears being nicely cushioned by the pads. The inside of the ear pads are marked with left and right, if like me you struggle, and its the ears that have all the controls – not that you could tell from just looking at them!

So underneath the left ear you’ve got the hole for the headphone cable which I mentioned earlier. The included cable is a nice heavy cable, so it doesn’t tangle and it doesn’t flap around too much while you’re walking/running. Underneath the right ear is the switch that turns the Bluetooth on, as well as a little blue LED light that reflects whether its on or off, and also comes on as red when the headphones are charging, and you’ve also got the charging port on this ear too, which is a standard micro-USB.

What you don’t see, however, are the controls for the headphones themselves, and that’s because physically there aren’t any, but the right ear cup has built-in touch controls so you never have to get your phone out to change or control the music. Simply swipe your finger in an upwards or downwards direction over the cup to control the volume, forwards or backwards to change tracks, and tap the centre of the cup to pause and play, and what’s great is that this works even if you’re wearing gloves! The only thing I would say is that these controls have about a seconds delay, so at first I would find myself hitting pause, and then hitting it again straight away when it hadn’t stopped, only to start it right back up again, or skipping tracks by swiping twice thinking it hadn’t worked, but you get used to this pretty quickly.

Now onto the important stuff, do they work well? Put simply, yes. The sound quality is great – I’ve read a few other reviews that complain the bass isn’t great, but as I don’t like a heavy bass anyway that doesn’t bother me, not that I really noticed any problem with it – and the wireless connectivity is flawless – I’ve been able to leave my phone upstairs and walk downstairs with the headphones on, and only get an occasional skip, but I’ve never had a problem when my phone has been well within range, plus I love the fact that I can zip my phone into my bag and not need to get it out to change tracks or fiddle with the volume. The official play time of these is 12 hours, but I’ve been using this particular pair for over a month now and haven’t needed to charge them yet, and what’s handy is that the battery level is displayed on my phone when they’re connected anyway. Also, while they’re not sold as being ‘noise-cancelling’, I think they do a pretty good job of it anyway!

If I had to say something negative, it would just be that the little LED light flashes about every 5 seconds when connected, which seems a little unnecessary, but that said, when you’re wearing them you can’t actually tell unless its dark out, so I’m really not too bothered by it! They can also be quite warm on the ears after a while if being used during exercise, so I would probably only wear these while running in colder months, and switch to earphones in the summer.

What can I say? These have totally converted me to the wireless headphone world, and I would reach for these over earphones any day!

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New Liquid Highlighers on the Block – Worth the Hype?

You all know by now that I’m a sucker when it comes to a good highlighter, and despite having a collection of them that I love, I’ll never be able to stop buying the next one that catches my eye.

Two of the newest products to have hit the high-street are the Barry M Liquid Chrome highlighter drops, and the Makeup Revolution Liquid Highlighter range, and because I couldn’t decide between the two, I decided to put both to the test! In the interest of fairness, I bought the most similar shades – Moon Potion from Barry M, and Unicorn Elixir from MUR, and here’s how they got on..

From the swatches, you can kinda see that the Barry M formula is a touch smoother, and has a brighter, more pearly finish than its Makeup Revolution rival, which has a more glittery finish. Both shades are a bright white with cooler blue and purple undertones, although Barry M has a total of 5 shades in the collection and Makeup Revolution have 7, so if these don’t take your fancy then there’s bound to be one that does! I personally wouldn’t use these shades on a regular basis as they’re actually a bit too cool for me, but they would be perfect for festivals or a night out,

Despite both being a lot more pigmented than other liquid highlighters that I use, I was a little disappointed when it actually came to using both of these products. While they look great in swatches, for which I used my finger to spread the product, I actually found both quite difficult to blend using brushes, although I think again the Barry M formula came out slightly on top. I wish that the bottles had built in brushes, like others on the market, but instead they had a sort of dropper system which didn’t make application any easier!

The products are actually only 99p apart in price, with BM Liquid Chrome selling at £6.99 and MUR Liquid Highlighter priced at £6, but as you might be able to tell, I personally would lean towards the Barry M ones in future, just because I thought the formula was nicer, and I preferred the packaging too. Shockingly, however, I don’t think I’d be in any rush to buy either of these again, just because they didn’t overly wow me, and I have plenty of highlighters that do already in my stash.

Have you tried either of these before? I’d love to hear what you thought, especially if you’ve tried different shades!

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The Ordinary Haul and Review

The Ordinary, a brand by Deciem, has been taking the beauty world by storm, and having seen some big bloggers talking about these products, I decided it was time to see what the hype was about.

Being the most talked about products, I picked up both the Coverage and Serum foundations, as well as the fluid primer. I would normally never order foundation online without having tested the shades for myself first, but thanks to the very clear shade guide on the website, I pinned it down to two potential shades – 1.1 and 1.2 – and decided to order each foundation in both shades, given that its only £5.90 a bottle. Yes, you heard me.

As well as having the shades based on a number scale, I also loved the fact that each shade was then split into three tones: neutral, yellow and pink. My skin tends to be on the pinkier side, so I got the Serum formula in pink and the Coverage in neutral, and both actually work very well for me.

Coverage Foundation

Right from the offset, Coverage became my favourite of the two foundations. The formula is much thicker, which I personally prefer, and as the name suggests, the coverage is higher than the Serum formula but despite both of these facts the product feels really light on the skin.

Serum Foundation

Like Coverage, Serum has a very lightweight formula and feels like you’re not wearing anything. As I tend to always stick to thicker formulas, I was a little out of my comfort zone with this one, and because of how quickly it blends into the skin, I was finding myself going over it a few times because I wasn’t always sure if I’d fully covered that area, plus the coverage is fairly light. I was also a little out of my comfort zone as Serum leaves more of a dewy finish, and I like to keep things matte.

Fluid Primer

As someone who isn’t really a fan of primers, this was a game changer. I’m not sure I can sing this product’s praises high enough. If I’m being honest, I added it to my basket so that I had something other than foundation, and so I could tip the basket total to get free delivery, but I am so thankful that I did. The formula is bizarre; its feels kinda gel-like at first but it spreads like a dream and dries within seconds, and once dry its practically weightless.

Part of the reason I’m not much of a primer person, and I’m nervous trying new foundation is that I rarely find anything that can contend with my skin, which can switch from dry as a desert to oily as a 2am kebab within a matter of seconds, and I normally end up regretting wearing foundation by lunchtime, but I did not have a single complaint with this. I tested both foundations both with and without, and both applied so much nicer and lasted the day without any issues when I used the primer.

But seriously guys, I bought 4 foundations and a primer for less than £30, which is what I would normally spend on my regular NARS foundation, plus they’re cruelty free!

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KIKO Perfect Gel Duo Review

I’m gonna say something that will probably shock a good percentage of girls and beauty bloggers right now: I have never had my nails done professionally. This is partly down to being awkward and the fact that I find making conversation with a hairdresser difficult enough when I’m not face to face with them, but also partly due to the fact that I have good natural nails and am skilled with a nail varnish, so the idea of having to pay for someone else to do what I can do a pretty good job of myself isn’t one I’m too keen on.

So instead I spend my money on nail varnish in every shade under the sun.

The problem I do find though is that I’m clumsy, and have a tendency to smudge or chip at least one nail within the first two days of a fresh paint, so when I recently discovered my love of KIKO nail products, and then they ran a buy 3, get 3 free offer, I decided to try my luck with an ‘at home’ gel manicure.

First impressions

I chose the shade Milk Mint, and its exactly what I expected it to be based on the online image. I’d describe it as one shade lighter than a Tiffany’s box, and I love it. The packaging is cute, but I worried that the lid was going to be a little bulky to hold while painting, but lo and behold, the silver cap actually pops off to reveal a less pretty but more practical sized lid – yay!

Application

This is genuinely no different to any other nail paint. Slap on two coats of colour, give it 2 mins then one layer of top coat and you’re good to go after a few minutes of air-drying. Simples.

Wear and tear

Like I mentioned earlier, the first few days are always the riskiest ones for me, but I didn’t have a problem at all; not a smudge, not a chip. I then road-tested it to the max as I then spent my weekend doing DIY.. I’m gonna be honest, they’re not intact, but they held up very well considering I was moving bulky furniture, painting, filling, sanding and all sorts. The clear difference I would note is that with the gel topcoat, rather than chipping like most nail polish, it tends to peel off in larger portions – an incident with some masking tape took of half a nail in one go, oops!

Had it not been for the DIY, however, I am really impressed with the results! Some nails did remain intact, and in comparison to my regular KIKO smart nail lacquers, they definitely lasted longer and kept cleaner and neater.

What I loved most was the fact I didn’t have to do anything special – no UV lights, no special remover, just straight foward nail care that just lasts longer! Oh, and they’re on sale at £5 at the moment, who wouldn’t love that?

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August Samples and Testers

Who doesn’t love trying new things? Sure, I hate social occasions with people I don’t know or doing things that are so far out my comfort zone that I can’t see it anymore, but new beauty and skincare products are definitely my jam.

And because its expensive to buy new products, I try to get my fix by collecting as many sample and tester products as I can so that I can give them a bash before I fork out my cash on them. I’ve talked before about ways you can get samples to try products on the cheap, and because I use these methods religiously, I’ve collected a fair stash of products which I’ve yet to try, hence a new series! I’m gonna be diving into my stores each month (and probably adding to them at the same time) and reporting back on what’s been fab and what’s been not so fab..

So here are my August picks!

IsaDora Nude Fluid Foundation

I will never buy a full-sized foundation without trying it out properly first, mainly because I can never get the shade quite right but also because I really struggle to find formulas that I actually like. This was very middle ground for me – while I didn’t hate it, which happens a lot when I try new foundation, it also didn’t blow me away, although I actually got the shade pretty close! It applies quite well (I used a flat foundation brush to apply and then a softer brush to blend), but while it claims medium coverage I found it was fairly light. I like the lightweight feel, and I will continue to use my little sample bottle, but I don’t know if I’ll be splashing out for the real thing.

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps

Despite all the hype from so many bloggers, I’ve never actually used Kiehl’s products before, but samples are often available on Feel Unique Pick’n’Mix so I’ve got a few in my stash. I actually had two Creme de Corps samples in my collection, so I figured it was time to crack one open! First impressions, it really does meet the description of a ‘whipped’ body butter – the consistency was practically that of buttercream, and it smelt amazing too. It was nice, but for the price tag that the full sized product comes at, I think I’ll be sticking to my regular moisturiser.

Benefit Gimme Brow

Every time I see a Benefit product on Feel Unique Pick’n’Mix I snap them up because you get a proper little mini product rather than just a sample and its such good value for money! Most of my brow products are Benefit, so I was excited to try something new, but while it is a good product, its not revolutionised my approach to how I do my eyebrows, so I don’t think I’ll be buying the full-sized version. Every now and then I’ll reach for it, but other products have my vote more.

Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil

While Gimme Brow was a no from me, I did like Goof Proof. I’m a bit annoyed that I didn’t check the shade and accidentally got one that was a tiny bit too dark, but I did give it a go before donating it to my sister, and I was pretty happy with the results. I’ve had pencils like this before where you have to apply so much pressure for the product to actually show, but that definitely wasn’t the case with this, and had I not got the wrong shade, this would definitely be one I’d use a fair bit so I’ll be keeping an eye out for any offers!

L’Oreal Pure Clay Masks

I’ve seen a lot of hype for these masks over the last few months, so when I saw this little sample pack in Superdrug and it was down from £7.49 to £3.50 instore the other week, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try the three masks for a bargain price. First up, I was impressed about how a little product goes a long way – I’ve used the products 3-4 times now, and I still have some left! Secondly, I’m super impressed with how my skin has been looking since I started using these! The red ‘glow’ mask has been my favourite and has really helped clear up the awkward dry patch of skin that I get on my forehead, and I’ve tried a lot of things for that before now! I’m not normally one for face masks but I think this will be a repeat purchase.

Have you tried anything new this month?

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The £5 Clinique Highlighter Dupe

I never have and never will claim to be a real beauty blogger. When I do write about makeup, I write as a girl who just likes wearing it (and buying way too much of it), so while I might not have the expertise of most, I still like to give it a good go every now and then. The discovery of today’s dupe was purely accidental, and I actually owned and used the dupe before I came across the high-end equivalent.

I’m the first to admit that I have a problem when it comes to highlighters. I’d say they’re my weakness when it comes to makeup but I have many other weaknesses too so I’m not sure if it counts, but it was due to this weakness that I made this discovery. You see, when I wracked up enough points on my Sephora card back in February to claim some free gifts, when I was offered a free Clinique chubby stick highlighter, I snapped that badboy up without a second thought, but with so many highlighters in my collection, it was only recently that I actually thought I’d give it a go.

So there I am, sat in front of my mirror with that new product buzz going on, when I was struck with deja vu – have I used this before? I was questioning my sanity when I realised where I’d seen the same results before: from my Barry M Strobe Cream, shade Frosty Pink, which I’d bought months before for a mere £4.49. Now I know my chubby stick was a free gift, but it retails for £19.50 so that’s quite a difference..

Wanna see?

Left: Barry M, Right: Clinique

Top: Clinique, Bottom: Barry M

As you can see from the swatches, there’s hardly any difference in shade between the two. The Clinique does have a creamier formula, and possibly gives a little more shine than Barry’s, but I actually prefer the lightweight feel of the BM strobe cream, and its just as long-lasting.

If a £15 difference in price isn’t enough of a selling point, let’s not forget that Barry M is cruelty free and vegan friendly, and if Frosty Pink isn’t your jam, this is just one of four shades that its available in!

I know which one I use more often..

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Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Palette

I’m gonna say something controversial: the Sweet Peach eye palette did not excite me. Aside from the peach scent, I couldn’t find any reason to justify the money for shades that I probably wouldn’t wear very often.

Now when they released the Glow palette on the other hand, it hit all the spots for me, and when I finally got to see it in person I knew that I’d be taking it home with me. Not a drop of regret.

The palette consists of a highligher, a blusher and a bronzer, and that peach smell every time I open the lid is just too perfect. The packaging is, of course, adorable, from the tin to the peachy pattern on the product itself. And speaking of the product..

Top – highlighter, Middle – blush, Bottom – bronzer

Oh. So. Creamy. All three are so buttery and soft, and blend so nicely – honestly I feel like its a pleasure to apply them, not to mention how nice my face smells with them on. The shades are subtle but buildable, and all compliment each other so well! Considering its a ‘highlight’ palette, my favourite product is actually the blusher; peachy shades are my faves so this ticked every box for me, and I prefer this one to the stand-alone blush from the collection. I also love the fact that the bronzer isn’t too dark, because nothing annoys me more as a pale girl than bronzers that look like war paint, but it does come out a little orange if over-applied. As for the highligher, its pretty, subtle and perfect for a more natural look, but also the golden undertones make it versatile for an evening look too.

I’m not a big eyeshadow person, so I’m really glad that Too Faced released more face products to the Sweet Peach range, and considering the individual blushers are £25, and this retails at £34 and includes two more products, so its more cost effective, right?

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Anastasia Beverly Hills x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit

If you caught my Sephora haul post a few weeks back, you’ll have seen that my favourite purchase was this beauty of a glow kit from Anastasia Beverly Hills. I knew I wanted one before I set off for my trip, having lusted over all of the glow kits for a long time, but holding off for a slightly better exchange rate!This is actually my first ABH purchase ever, so I was praying that they would live up to the hype, but after swatching the hell out of the sample palette, I knew I was gonna be happy as a clam.

So this is the Nicole Guerriero collab glow kit – a palette of six beautiful highlighters in gorgeous pinks, peaches, and copper/golden tones. It was, in fact, the only glow kit that Sephora had in stock, but it didn’t bother me because it seemed absolutely perfect. I fell in love with the packaging, the shades and the product instantly.

What sets these highlighters above any other powder highlighter I’ve ever tried before is how gloriously smooth and buttery they feel; it’s almost creamy to touch. The pigmentation is, as I’d expected, amazing, with all of these swatches done with a single stroke.

The shades are super diverse, with Forever Lit being the brightest and whitest highlight I’ve ever seen and 143 being ideal for a summer bronzed look. My absolute favourite is Daydream as I’m a real sucker for peach tones! Generally, I use my fan brush for application, but if I want a more strobed feel then I actually use my fingers to draw down my cheekbones and blend it out!

Needless to say, I 100% recommend this for anyone who’s thinking about it – I really can’t find fault, and as a self-confessed highlighter addict, I know I’m going to reaching for this so often that it justifies the price tag for me.

If you’ve got the palette I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, drop me a comment!

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Sony A5000 Review

Sony A5000 review

I’ve had my new little Sony A5000 for a little while now, and I thought it was about time I shared my thoughts on how its working for me! I’ve always been a Sony person, so when I decided that I wanted a smaller camera for the days I don’t want to lug around my big SLR, I didn’t really want to change brands, and after comparing all the options, this little one came out top so I was pretty happy!

Its 20.1 megapixels, and the standard lens is 16-50mm, which for me is ideal for everyday use – blog photos, holiday snaps etc, and the flippable LCD screen is nice and big so you can see exactly what you’re doing, although I do prefer to have a proper viewfinder, so this bugs me a little sometimes! What I do like, however, is the pop up flash, because I very rarely use a flash and I like the fact its hidden away so it doesn’t ruin the aethestic of the camera, and you almost forget you have one, plus it doesn’t do the annoying ‘auto-flash’ thing that my SLR sometimes does!

But how is it as a camera?

I definitely think it takes its best photos when you know how to use it properly, and by that I guess I mean I’m not blown away by the Auto+ setting. Yes its ok for taking a quick shot without having to worry too much, but it definitely doesn’t give you the best shot you could get if you used a manual setting. I do LOVE some of the special features it has though, like the ability to pick out a single colour, apply a filter, or adjust brightness and vividness while in Auto mode.

Sony A5000 features

It does come into its own when I use manual settings. When I’m taking blog photos, I like to be able to fiddle with manual exposure and aperture, and while my SLR can take FOREVER to process those shots, this little beastie snaps them in seconds with no issue. The settings are also really easy to adjust using the dial on the back, and just generally, its really user friendly.

Blog Birthday

Other features that I love are that the screen flips up into ‘selfie mode’, and that as well as manually zooming using the lens, you can also use the toggle on the shoot button, and there’s also an extra zoom control on the lens. It’s also got built in wifi, which is brilliant although I often forget about it! I’ve also bought a second lens recently, the 55-210mm telescopic lens, which is AMAZING and can’t wait to get more of a chance to play with!

I’m still getting used to having a small camera, but this little guy is growing on me massively, and while I’ll never completely disregard my SLR, the more I use this, the more I love it and its taken some amazing photos for me.

boomf cake

Mainly of food. Not gonna lie.

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Lush Sparkle Toothy Tabs

Lush Sparkle Toothy Tabs

When I did my huge Lush order a little while back, I finally bought a product that’s intrigued me for a while now, and that’s Toothy Tabs.

I mean, we’re all brought up being taught how important it is to brush our teeth, and even as adults, tv adverts are full of toothpaste and electric toothbrushes, and dentists telling us what’s best for our teeth, so the thought of ditching the Colgate and Oral B, but still cleaning my teeth was a little weird.

I figured if I was gonna try something different, I might as well go all out, so I chose Sparkle, which is lemon, grapefruit and black pepper – no more mint!

So how do they work?

Basically, you take a little tab, and crunch it up between your teeth. It starts to froth, and you start to brush! First impressions: TOTALLY STRANGE. For starters, not having that instant minty taste was really odd, and the pepper flavour took some getting used to, but once I got past that, I really started enjoying the tabs!

Being a dry tablet, you don’t get as much froth as your regular toothpaste, but personally that didn’t bother me as I always find with toothpaste, I’ve spat most of it out within the first minute. The flavour is strange, especially with the pepper, and I like to rinse my mouth with water after I’m done brushing, but it is a fresh taste, and there’s no real aftertaste, so you don’t have to worry about your breakfast tasting weirdly minty.

Despite being a total change from my regular toothpaste, I actually really like the tabs, and I actually think my teeth look cleaner directly after using them, which I don’t get with toothpaste. Other benefits, of course, are that they’re natural and cruelty free, but while I’d love to use them as a complete replacement to my regular toothpaste, my mum pointed out that they do lack in fluoride, which is important to prevent tooth decay, so while I probably use them 2-3 days a week, I’m not giving up normal tooth brushing.

Would you give your toothpaste a break for these natural nibs?

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Elete Holistic Hydrate Review*

Elete Holistic Hydrate

One huge aspect of healthy living that is overlooked by so many people is hydration. It takes little to no effort, but the benefits range from better skin to reducing bloat and helping with weight loss.

Keeping hydrated is something I feel strongly about, so when the guys at elete Holistic Hydrate got in touch and asked me to try their Electrolyte Hydration drops, I was really interested in how I could potentially up my hydration game.

In recent months, I’ve almost entirely cut out fizzy drinks and made a concise effort to reduce my squash intake, so I primarily just drink water or fruit tea, so it was really important for me that the eHH add-in drops were as tasteless as they claimed to be. At first, I was super careful in measuring out the correct amount needed to add to each drink I made, but it soon became clear to me that I really couldn’t taste any difference, so I became a little more relaxed with my measurements – a short squeeze into my water bottle before workouts did the trick just nicely!

So what are the advantages of eHH over branded sports drinks?

Well, your average bottle of Lucozade Sport contains around 30g sugar, which yes, is great for energy, but they also tend to be loaded with artificial sweeteners (especially the low-cal versions), which quite frankly go straight through you, so yes you’ll be running faster, but only really in the direction of the toilet.. Hydrated? I think not. eHH is 100% sugar and calorie free; its completely natural. It also helps you hydrate faster, reducing the amount of fluid needed to get rid of that thirsty feeling, which your body often confuses as hunger.

Considering I’m a person who doesn’t believe in ‘artificial’ fitness supplements, eHH has got me pretty excited to be adding a natural product to my regime!

PS: You can get 10% off online using BLOGGER DISCOUNT!

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TheBalm Nude Dude Palette Review

When it comes to makeup, I’ve gone from being very much a rookie to slightly less rookie-like fairly quickly in recent months. I’ve always liked makeup, but my old job didn’t really give me any reason to wear it (in fact, I’d probably be taken less seriously if I did wear it), but even when I did go to the effort of sprucing up my face a little, it would generally just be a bit of mascara, brows and face as, as a glasses wearer, eyeshadow has always felt a little pointless.

This palette can only really be described as a gamechanger for me.

It all came about when I chose a sample in my Feel Unique Pick’n’Mix; I received an adorable tiny version of the palette containing just the shade Flirty, and I fell in love. It was creamy and easy to apply, and even now I have the whole palette its still my favourite shade of the bunch, bright enough to stand out as a colour, rather than just a neutral shade, but also subtle enough to be used for an everyday look.

So I bought the whole palette..

TheBalm Nude Dude review

TheBalm Nude Dude review

The packaging is, of course, part of the fun of this palette. Its the sequel to Nude ‘Tude, which I’ve not tried but from looking at the shades I definitely prefer this one – its a fab combination of nudes with a few pops of colour, matte and shimmery shades, and I find myself reaching for this on an almost daily basis.

Depending on the brush you use, the shadows can go a little powdery; I find that the brush included in the palette causes quite a lot of flaking on the palette, but my soft Spectrum brushes don’t produce much mess at all. Pigmentation wise, let’s look at the swatches shall we?

Top to bottom: Fearless, Fabulous, Faithful, Flawless, Firm, Fit, Fiesty, Flirty, Funny, Friendly, Fine, Fierce

While I’ve read some reviews that slate the lighter shades of this palette, I was fairly impressed by them as I often find lighter colours barely show up on my skin. I’m not one for darker shades on my eyes (glasses problems), but they apply smoothly and are nicely pigmented.

I prefer the shimmery shades to the matte – Flawless and Fiesty are a little blah for me – but all the shades blend really easily and there are some fab combinations; Fabulous, Faithful and Flirty is my absolute favourite and possibly the best makeup look I’ve created in my lifetime.

I know I’m a little late to the party with this palette, as its been available for some time now, but I have absolutely no regrets and I might go as far as saying its the best beauty purchase I’ve made this year.

Have you tried this palette? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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My Healthy Habits Box

You might remember that in my January haul post I promised you a review of the Happy Healthy Habits Box from Kikki K, so here it is!

SONY DSC

While Kikki K sells some of the most beautiful stationery I’ve laid eyes on, they place a lot of emphasis on wellbeing -they even run workshops on it! – and that is what this box is all about.

The box itself contains 6 mini books – Gratitude Journal, Habits Journal, Happiness Journal, Mindfulness Journal, Goals Journal and 101 Dreams Journal – a mini weekly habits pad, a sheet of quotes sticks and 4 quote cards, as well as habits activity book.

SONY DSC

Gratitude Journal – this is for writing down the things in your life that you’re grateful and why, and helps you to appreciate life’s little moments

Habits Journal – using this little book, you can look at your habits and evaluate what habits you’d like to change or stop, and even think about new habits you might want to bring into your life. I think this is my favourite of the mini books because it really made me look at myself and change my way of thinking about certain aspects of my life

Happiness Journal – in this book you can write down what makes you happy and why, and also what makes you unhappy and why. Looking into why certain things make you feel the way they do is a real eye-opener, and really helps your habits change!

Mindfulness Journal – this is a way of making you stop and think about how you’re really feeling. Sure, you might think you just feel good/bad/whatever, but in reality, you may have many different emotions and feelings that all add up, and taking the time to think about it can help you improve these feelings.

Goals Journal – this journal is about more than just setting goals. Its about looking at the reason behind your goals, the steps you need to take in order to reach your goal, the deadlines for these changes, and also rewarding your achievements

101 Dreams Journal – write down all your dreams, big or small. Once they’re on paper, you’re one step closer to make your dreams a reality.

Mini Good Habits Notepad – this is like a mini post-it note of positivity! Each week, I choose which habits I want to reward each week – I use my habits journal to decide! – then every day I check them off when I’ve done them. Being able to physically check off a good habit is great for my self esteem, and the desire for that tick makes me more motivated to achieve my good habits. At the end of the week, I get a little reward for a full house of ticks!

I’ve been using the box for a month now, and I can honestly say that its totally changed the way I look at a lot of things. Yes, at first I felt a little silly writing down some of my goals and dreams, but actually its helped so much, and not only am I improving my habits, I’m making sure I’m putting myself and my happiness first – its actually the reason I re-wrote my New Years Resolutions a few weeks back!

Do you have any habits you’d like to change?

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A Month with Magnitone

I have never been good at washing my face. Ask my mum, she’ll tell you.

Now I’ve been pretty lucky that, despite this fact, I’ve grown up with fairly good skin. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but my face can get pretty dry at times, so back in December I vowed to improve my skincare habits in 2016, and it all started when I added a Magnitone Barefaced to my Christmas list. Now I know its been almost two months since Christmas, but I didn’t properly get into using my brush until I came back from my January Disney trip, so its been a full month of everyday use today!

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The brushes come in 3 beautiful pastel shades, and I chose orange! The brush also comes with a sweet little travel case, and I also got a shower hammock (sold separately, but Mum got it free with an offer when she bought the brush), so I’ve got the full works! Because the brush is 100% waterproof, instead of a regular charging cable, there’s a cute little magnetic charging device that plugs into a USB socket. Its recommended that you charge your brush for a full 12 hours before first use, and I’m yet to need to recharge so far!

So I’ve been using my brush every day now, usually right after I have a shower because it means my face is already wet and free of makeup, but if not then I use Garnier Micellar Water to ensure my face is totally clean. Using the brush is totally straight forward, just apply your favourite facial cleanser to the brush, then turn it on! Press the button once for a regular buzz, or twice for a pulsing cycle. The brush will run for 1 minute per cycle, beeping every 20 seconds so you can move on to the next area! Once you’re done, rinse and dry, then you can carry on with your regular routine, which for me is Nivea Soft Cream!

How am I getting on?

Well, I’m really enjoying it! For the first week or so of use, I found that using the brush was bring out a lot the rubbish I didn’t know I was in there, and I was breaking out a little. Magnitone say this is totally normal, and this cleared up nicely after a while. It’s like an electric toothbrush for your face! I think for me its great to have a product that gives me a clean feeling every time I use it, but I also don’t feel like I’m spending forever on a fancy routine; its 1-2 minutes, and it feels like fun rather than a chore. I’ve been using Neutrogena cleansers because I really love the smell of them and they’ve worked well for me in the past, and I love seeing the brush foam it up properly on my face.

I haven’t needed to change my brush head yet, but its really easy to take it off and replace, and you can get all sorts of different heads too! Oh, and it came with a 12 month warranty too!

Are you confident going barefaced?

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Handmade Love #1 – Alice Vitrum

I love shopping handmade, and I love sharing my favourite handmade finds with people, so it only seemed to make sense that I should start a little series on them, right?

First up is the Etsy store of the lovely Charlotte, Alice Vitrum. I’ve been friends with Charlotte through Instagram for quite some time now, and admired her cute creations for ages, but it wasn’t until October that I finally could call one of them my own, and this chubby little charmer took up residence on my jewellery stand.

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I instantly fell in love, so when Charlotte started looking for a brand rep, I jumped at the chance, and in return I got sent two more beauties, themed from two of my favourite films, The Lion King and Tangled. As well as the designs being available in silver and bronze, some designs have a longer chain; my Tangled boat scene does and its perfect!

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As well as adorable fandom jewellery, she also makes AMAZING embroidery hoops – you can see some of these on her Instagram (@alicevitrum), where you can often find sale items and discount codes, like 25% off using TY1100 – ends today!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BBYJ8KXM4dI/?taken-by=alicevitrum

Don’t you just love handmade?!

(If you’d like to be featured as part of this handmade series, please get in touch!)

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Lottie London Purchases

So it was a Saturday night, and I’m scrolling through Asos – this is a regular occurrence – when I see my name..

My name is not a common name; I almost had to look again to believe that what I saw was in fact true: beauty products with my name on them?

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You got it! Ok, so I can be a little behind on beauty brands, but this was news to me, and I was excited! If, like me, you have an unusual name, you probably also spent your childhood searching for a personalised mug or keyring with your name, only to be bitterly disappointed, so this makes up for it!

Another bonus of stumbling upon these beauties was that I’ve been wanting some nice new makeup brushes for a while now, so this was obviously a sign from the universe, right?

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Just to clarify here, I’m a makeup novice; I don’t wear it every day, and when I do, I don’t really know what I’m doing – if it looks good then it stays, if its a mess, it comes straight off again! With that in mind, I chose the basics: a foundation brush, powder brush and an eyeshadow brush, and also a kabuki brush.

First impressions, I love the colours of the brushes and the tips of the brushes match the colour of the handle which is a sweet little touch. The brushes themselves are actually great too; I was worried because the black part of the hairs looks and feels a little too synthetic and plastic-y, but the coloured tips are super soft and fine, like I hoped they would be!

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I also treated myself to a few other goodies – they were on sale!

For my handbag, I bought a little button compact in coral, as well as a pack of 3 mini nail files and 6 hair ties, because you can never have too many!

As a little bit of a brow obsessive, I couldn’t go without the cute yellow tweezers, and the mint eyelash curlers rounded off my purchases for the day, and I love everything I got!

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Now I didn’t just jump straight to the shopping cart, I went to Google first – what is this brand that shares my name?!

So Lottie London is a UK based cruelty free brand, which had me jumping for joy! The range spans not just brushes and accessories, but also nail varnish and other beauty products, and honestly I just felt like the brand shares my style as well as my name; my favourite colours, simple but cute designs and love of nail art, just to name a few! Oh, did I mention they were a great price?!

You can buy Lottie products from ASOS or Superdrug, and check out their webby here!

xoxo

#fitfordisney – Me and my Fitbit

I feel like its about time I wrote this post because I’ve been meaning to for ages!

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This is Zip. She’s part of the Fitbit activity tracker family, and I’ve had her for almost two years (this isn’t strictly true, following an unfortunate incident with a washing machine, I had to replace my original one). Zip goes everywhere with me, either in my pocket or clipped onto my underwear, and counts my steps, calories and distance. She’s like a tiny fitness Tamagotchi; the more you do, the happier it gets!

This Zip is the bottom of the range from Fitbit (around £40), so doesn’t have all the fancy features of some of the other trackers – sleep, heart rate, waterproof, etc – but personally I don’t feel like I’m missing out. Its battery powered, but it lasts about 5-6 months before it needs replacing, and automatically syncs to a USB Bluetooth dongle when its nearby, but while other Fitbits can sync automatically to your smartphone, the Zip doesn’t.

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The Fitbit Dashboard is where you can check out all your stats, as well as link up with other Fitbit friends, and log activities, food, weight and more! Because my Fitbit can only really track my step movement, after a workout I can log all the extra stuff I do; you can select popular activities from a pre-prepared list, or add your own custom workouts, and this also updates the number of calories burnt, as well as your ‘Very Active Minutes’. The Dashboard is really motivating – nothing better than seeing all your targets go green!

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You can also win badges by reaching certain targets – I just won the Monarch Migration for reaching 2,500 lifetime miles!

I really love my Zip, its amazing how motivating this tiny tracker is! I would definitely recommend it to anyone; despite the lack of some features, I don’t feel like I miss out on anything, and the Zip is way cuter than other trackers, and a great price!

If you’re looking for fitness motivation, look no further!

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The Sophia Satchel

I’ll admit I have a slight addiction to Fabletics; cute gym wear is my jam, and I’m a firm believer that wearing clothes you feel better in when you workout improves your whole workout mentality.

So when I needed a new gym bag and I came across the Sophia Satchel, I was sold on the fact it was pretty, and you could use it as a backpack, or add the detachable shoulder strap to wear it across the body, so when it arrived and I discovered all the amazing extra features, I just had to share them all with you!

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Its made from a soft polyester, which can mark easily but is also super easy to wipe clean. The front pocket is a great size, and there’s also two inside pockets (one zippable), and a large zipped pocket down the side of the bag.

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As well as the backpack straps, there are metal loops on the side of the bag to attach the shoulder strap to, and all the straps are length adjustable.

But here’s where the surprises begin, because you know the front pocket..

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Yep, removable! It attaches to the main bag with metal loops that clip on, and magnetic poppers at the bottom, so you can use the shoulder strap to use it as a mini bag, or use it as a wash bag or cosmetics bag!

On top of that, because of the way it attaches to the main bag, you can also use it to carry your yoga mat!

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I’m so pleased with this bag; as a VIP member I got it for £26 (£35 for non-VIPSs), its such great value for money and I’m raking in the compliments down the gym!

What’s the most important feature of your gym bag?

Beautifully Disney – Alice in Wonderland Mini Lipsticks

This week’s theme is the gloriously bizarre Lewis Carroll classic: Alice in Wonderland.

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On my last Disney World trip, I decided to treat the lipstick addict in me to one of the Beautifully Disney mini lipstick sets. After flicking through the various sets, I chose the Alice in Wonderland set based on the colours all being ones I know suit me.

The set was $24.95, which is about £16, so £4 per lipstick, and that didn’t seem totally unreasonable to me as I pay £5-10 for a full-size lipstick back home. And the really are quite mini..

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Next to one of my Barry M lipsticks, which are the smallest ones I own, it looks diddy. The packaging is very basic and plastic, but the box the set comes in is really sweet, I can’t bring myself to get rid of it!

So onto the colours! Please bear in mind I am not a beauty blogger, or even a regular makeup wearer, and other the the lipstick I’m not wearing any other makeup in the photos, and they aren’t edited so what you get is me and my honest opinions..

1. Curiouser..

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Curiouser is almost nude in colour, but is packed with glitter to give a little bit of sparkle.

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Its a little pinker than my lips, and the glitter really makes an impact so despite the nude-ish colour, I wouldn’t wear it on a day to day basis.

2. Dum de Dum

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Orange! I love orange lipstick, so this made me so excited.

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I was a little disappointed. You’d need to layer and layer it on in order to see more than a tinge of orange, which I imagine for those who aren’t quite so into orange lipstick would like as its very subtle, but for me I kinda wish it had had a little more to it.

3. Rosebud

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This is my absolute favourite, I wear it all the time. Its not quite so red as it appears in the picture above, but its a little darker than my lips, so gives a really nice hint of colour, while maintaining a very natural look.

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4. Mad As A..

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Stay with me now, its not as drastic as you may think. Yes it looks very dark, but I gave it a try, and I really do like it, although I wouldn’t wear it every day.

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You need a steady hand or a good lip liner, because the deep colour means any slight wobbles in your application is gonna show, but the beauty of that means you can also add to the shape of your lips or add more definition.

They’re not professional makeup by any means, and you do pay a slight premium for the Disney name, but they’re good little lipsticks. The size is perfect for popping in a pocket or small purse, but you might find yourself losing them in a big handbag.

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