Monday, February 27, 2017

An Afternoon at Belgravia Studios

Hands up if you've ever been coerced by one of those people on the street offering you an amazing day out at their luxury beauty studios being pampered and photographed? Well last year my friend was and in the end had to sign up just to make the person go away - and she's not someone who rolls over easily! I was lucky enough to be invited along and as it was a Sunday before Christmas it made a nice trip out for us both, but how did the experience fair and is it something that I think is worth it?

There are a number of packages available at Belgravia Studios and I think what you might decide on or will be offered depends on what offers are available. In our case the session was booked for £100 which was a refundable deposit, so essentially the experience was free for us so a win win.

We arrived at Belgravia Studios which were very plush and looked nicer than my expectations and just a short walk from Kings Cross Station. The photographer was certainly a character and popped over and introduced himself and explained a little about what the photography session would include.

Next was the 'style consultation' from a Professional Make-Up Artist that includes a mini hand massage and mini manicure (just a file and one coat of paint), your skin cleansed, toned and moisturised, make up session and professional hair styling which is detailed on the offer.

Now this would the stage I'd be most critical at, whilst I appreciate that the make up was 'for camera' I didn't find it was anything particularly special and when I saw it outside the studios I couldn't wait to get home and remove it; its' certainly something to consider if you were planning to head out after your photography session. We left after dark and I was heading straight home so I wasn't too worried about any stares on the underground but I certainly wouldn't have gone out wearing it. We talked through that I liked a red lip and a vintage style make up was suggested but it wasn't anything beyond what I might do for myself, not even so much as some winged liner.

The cleanse, tone and moisturise was simply that to clean the face and there was no hand massage for either of us and in fact two other guests commented on lack of one and requested it before they left. Hair was at the hands of straighteners giving me some curls which I was happy with.

Next there was some more waiting around before we were led downstairs to the photography studio, a series of rooms and spaces which the photographer would make use of on our shoot. We had been asked to bring at least four outfits which left my friend and I panicking hours before we met and saw me dragging a heavy bag on the train with me laden down with shoes and dresses to choose from.

It would have been useful to know in advance that the photos primarily focus on head and shoulders and the need for 'outfits' or indeed shoes wasn't necessary, I didn't wear any in my photos so I had carried them unnecessarily.

The photographer as I mentioned was very good at his job and looked through what we had brought and pointed out what he wanted to see and in what order. The photo shoot was fun, my friend and I took it in turns, moving around the studio to the various 'sets' and posing for our photos. He was chatty (very much so!) and put us at ease not that either of us is particular adverse to having our photos taken and would exclaim various compliments at the photos being taken that I was actually quite excited to see the photos at the end of the session.

The photography portion of the day is actually very quick and soon we were returning to our normal clothes and were led back upstairs to await our 'private viewing session' which is really being taken into another room where your photos have been edited and touched up for you to pick from.

Our package included one free image and as we sat waiting I asked my friend if she knew how much the photos were, thinking my enjoyment of the photography session I might actually be tempted with an additional purchase or two. I was shocked when I was told £99 per image - they would need to be some pretty special photos to make me part with that cash.

This was where the hard sell began, my friend and I sat down and we were shown a slide show of our images with the 'sales assistant' exclaiming how wonderful certain shots were. Next step was to go through the photos removing any we didn't like and this carried down until we got a small selection left and were offered various packages to reduce the cost per image but still requiring us to buy multiple images at a few hundred pounds.

It came to a point that I actually had to be a little blunt with them and explain that I would not be spending any money on purchasing images as there were now that I particularly liked. Whilst I don't profess to be the most amazing photographer between my friends and I, I have a number of photos of both myself or with friends that I liked far more than what are very old fashioned in there style. This might be my exposure to the fashion blogger and street style of photography but I have no need for some head shot of myself adoring my walls - and if I'm honest I looked almost moody in most of the photos and missed my smile.

Having dropped that bombshell and my friend agreeing too that there was nothing she particularly wanted to part cash with we were left with each choosing our free image. Mine was the photo above, my only comment being the crease in the wallpaper ruining it. I was told for £2 I could have that adjusted which I was happy to pay for - to date I've yet to receive the adjusted image.

When my friend requested the refundable deposit the person handling our transaction was a little short as 'she'd never had to do that before' and it took some fussing about but was done.

In summary as a 'free' day out it was fun and made for a blog post but it's certainly nothing something I would pay for, certainly not at the prices listed. I would far rather seek the services of a street photographer and try that out than what I find an outdated and old fashioned service.

That said when I talked about my experience on Facebook some friends commented that they had been and actually spent in excess of £400 on their photos from the session so maybe it's just not for me.

What do you think of these photography sessions, have you ever had one or been tempted to book?

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Finding a Good Nights Sleep

I've discussed many times that I have dreadful sleeping patterns and habits. I will sit flicking through tv channels till all hours and even worse has been the latter months of my time at home that I find myself unable to kick start my day until early evening and continue through the night.

As I have begun interviewing for future jobs and my return to work is imminent I'm conscious of my need to adapt to normal business hours and an early morning commute into London that means trying to find one or two rituals and products that help relax me of an evening before bed.

First up is a relaxing bath, I've not a big relax in the bath fan I must confess but it's something I've enjoyed more off whilst having time at home and I've been using Imperial Leather Relaxing Sleep Bath Soak of an evening to unwind thanks to the Camomile and Ylang which aids restful sleep.

One ritual I'm find an ease at following is spraying my bedsheets with a pillow spray. I've been using pillow sprays for sometime although it's somewhat nicer currently that I can spray in a timely manner rather than spritzing moments before bed. The two I have in rotation at the moment are at two ends of the price spectrum, Ragdale Hall Sleep Pillow Mist is a mere £5 from Marks and Spencer and the mist I was first introduced to. For someone who usually turns their nose up at anything too 'lavender' this is a pleasing version of the scent that enjoy smelling as I might initially toss and turn in bed.

A little more expensive and to evoke the spa experience is Champney's Heavingly Days Pillow Mist* which also contains lavender mixed with geranium and chamomile and is a slightly more sophisticated smell and I also love spraying a little on my bedside lamp so that the scent 'burns' in the room creating a haven for bedtime.

This Works are well known for their pillow mist but it's the This Works Skin Deep Beauty Oil* which I keep in my bedside draw and apply the oil to my pulse points if I need to 'enhance feelings of well-being' and relax after a particularly stressful or tense day.

The final product is Melatonin in tablet form which is a manmade version of the hormone produced in the brain that helps regulate your sleep and wake cycle. My understanding is that it is only available to purchase over the counter in the US, where I picked up my stash and they have been used as an alternative to treating insomnia and for me they are priceless.

I had heard a lot about these through the wonder of the internet and finally purchased in Las Vegas last year but forgot about them as I struggled to fight my jetlag, when I finally remember I had them it was amazing at how they worked. My issue is primarily falling asleep and I find it difficult to switch off but all I need to do when I'm really struggling is to pop one of these tablets and find I drift off very quickly and easily.

So there are a few of my tools for finding a good nights sleep, what are yours?

*this post contains press samples and / or affiliate links

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Minimal Effort Make Up

Minimal Effort Make Up

I alluded to the fact earlier this week that I've been changing my make up habits recently due to my time at home following my redundancy. Whilst I'd often spend times at the weekend make up free because I've now find myself heading out perhaps for a coffee with friends and wanting to look like I've made some effort but not needing to go all out on make up. I appreciate that there are a number of products in this line up and it's by no means a no make up make up but its essentially the bare minimum effort I can make and look like I've made one.

Starting with the base and not wanting to waste my favourite foundations on a few hours wear and preferring not to pile on the slap there have been three products I've tested recently. First is the new to me brand and product IXXI Skin Enhancing Daily Defence Care Light Elixir* which is similar in design as La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Unifant* in that both products are designed to even skin tone whilst offering skincare benefits. Where the Unifant from La Roche Posay is a lighter coverage I'm surprised at the extremely and almost flawless finish IXXI gives me that it has become my preference. The La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Unifant has been saved for the real 'no make up days' and I've found myself throwing IXXI into my make up bag for overnight stays when I need make up the next day but simply for heading home.

Minimal Effort Make Up

The disappointing product has been the Physicians Formula Mineral Wear All in 1 ABC Cushion Foundation which I have since passed onto a friend to try out.  Whilst it does offer many of the qualities that Physicians Formula suggest; flawless skin-perfecting effects, blurring fine lines and the like unfortunately whilst I didn't think my skin was too dry of late it clung to any hint of dryness especially around my nose. I tried on a couple of occasions, using heavy duty moisturisers to combat any dryness and hydrate the skin but this cushion foundation sought them out so it was the oilier skin friend that has benefitted.

I've fallen a little out of love with the Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer in recent times just from boredom more than any faults. It's a light coverage so works better with the heavier coverage from IXXI or on nights I've had a good nights sleep. It doesn't crease nor settle in fine lines and it's sponge applicator makes it easy to apply and blend with fingers which is great when in a hurry.

Sometimes I might reach for a dusting of a bronzer but usually I rely on a little blush and to compliment the red lip I'll get to later is the Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush in Rose Champagne. I picked this up in Las Vegas last year and it must of been on my radar for some reason or another. The first couple of times I used it I found it a little understated as a blush being a very pale dusty rose with a slight shimmer. I was almost ready to move it into the pile to pass on when I started developing this quick and easy look and tried it one last time and found I enjoyed it with this look. It's a blush you won't necessarily need a highlighter for, certainly for a shopping trip or drive home from a mini break but in the right light there is a shimmer there.

Minimal Effort Make Up

Brows are simply brushed over with a product such as the Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Mascara which is becoming a new favourite and I forgo eyeshadow and instead just rely on mascara, the choice for a minimal make up look has been L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes So Couture Mascara. I picked up this mascara along with the L'Oreal False Lash Sculpt Mascara, a duo recommended by Lydia Elise Millen and they do indeed work together to create a long false look but on it's own So Couture Mascara is more of a natural appearance but an enhanced one.

And the final step for me is red lipstick, as long as I have a red lip I feel happy and confident in my appearance. Two recent favourites I've been enjoying are the Chanel Rouge Allure Ink in Libre and Maybelline Vivid Liquid Lipstick in Orange Shot. Both products are similar in finish although the Chanel has a less matte look but I find I can easily pop these on and paired with the other products I look like I'm more put together and if I bump into someone I'd rather not have seen I have a war face on.

What products do you reach for when you're wanting a quick and easy make up look?

*this post contains press samples and / or affiliate links

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Pink Parcel - It's a Monthly Thing

Pink Parcel* is a monthly subscription service designed for us ladies to make that time of the month a little more enjoyable, if that is indeed possible, but they are certainly trying. Each month in addition to your chosen sanitary products you'll receive a selection of luxury products from make up to speciality teas and I was recently sent a box to sample for myself.

It is traditional in its service; for £10.50 each month your Pink Parcel will arrive containing all your goodies from one of the three delivery dates you have chosen that best suits your cycle and of course you can cancel or pause your subscription at any time.

Whilst you can gather a sneak peek at what treats will be included in your months box online, you will already know what sanitary products you have requested from brands such as Tampax and Always Infinity in various absorbencies to see you through the different stages of your period. 

The photo above shows you a sample of the sort of products you can find in your box each month, snacks, beauty products and even in Decembers' box was a fabulous pair of socks for those nights on the sofa with a hot water bottle feeling sorry for oneself but what did I think of the whole service?

In theory I love the idea but it's not necessarily something I would want each month but then this is the opinion of someone who has never been lured by beauty boxes. I would be tempted to have a subscription and then gift boxes as I saw fit to friends and family, perhaps the friend who is having a particularly rough visit that month or a young lady you know who has just started her periods.

Inside your Pink Parcel* will be a neatly arranged selection of boxes, containing 16 tampons, 8 pads and 6 panty liners and it was nice to have the drawstring bag which discreetly hides inside your bag. Again this is adequate depending on your periods length and needs. I didn't make use of the panty liners as they're not really something I reach for so they were wasted but the sanitary towels and tampons served me well.

Overall I think this will be of value to those who need a pick me up each month or have a love of subscription services. Perhaps I'm slightly jaded from my influx of 'blogger mail' and the fact I don't suffer too much at the time of the month and only for a couple of days at at time so for me it isn't a service I'd necessarily benefit from but I do think it is a nice service and something different providing products you need in addition to those you'd like to receive and are a treat. Of course it's also perfect for the forget types who find that visitor arrives just as you're out of your last tampon.

What are your thoughts on this service, would you be tempted?

*this post contains press samples and / or affiliate links

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Book Review | The Stylist by Rosie Nixon

My book reading has suffered from my lack of a London Underground commute of late so I'll refer back to a book I was sent last year and did actually manage to read, that book is The Stylist* by Rosie Nixon

If you are a fan of Rachel Zoe Project, Fashion Police of E's Red Carpet coverage and immersed in awards season right now you'll love this book. Mona Armstrong is the stylist to the stars with a diva like attitude who needs an assistant and sweeps Amber Green off her feet and whisks her to LA for Awards Season.

This is an easy read, it's nothing too complex but its a worthy read and a page turner which I read very quickly. Amber isn't your traditional ditsy character in this sort of scenario, she feels 'just like me', slightly flawed but not ridiculously so. Of course she doesn't plan to have her head turned, she's meeting and being mixed up with glitz and not so glamourous glamour so it is understandable she falls down a few rabbit holes. 

Of course there is the ensuing love story although it doesn't over take the story and is a little bit cheesy and predictable in it's nature but enjoyably so. All the characters in The Stylist leap off the page and I defy you to not to try and work out who characters are perhaps based on.

And if you're into such things this is the first HarperCollins book with a 3D cover; download the free app and The Stylist will come to life and there's many ways to share your red carpet experiences on social media. 

My reading might have suffered but being at home I've been able to test products that I would be less likely to reach for such as La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ Unifiant, Medium*. You'll be familiar with my love for the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo in it's original form but last year they released a tinted version for those with blemishes they wish to conceal but without heavy make up.

I find that I'm comfortable enough in my bare skin for a quick pop to the shops at the weekend but that is obviously because I do not suffer from any serious or particularly 'visual' skin conditions or blemishes but others are not and it's great that there is now a product on the market that will assist them in their quest.

Despite my comfort in my own skin I have found that whilst being at home and perhaps rather than popping out to the shops I am heading into town for some more serious shopping I don't want a full face of make up but I am looking to look a little more polished and thats when I have been using La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Unifant*. I don't find it is a particularly high coverage but my complexiion is 'unified' and an imperfections or discolouration are visibly reduced. My skin has certainly improved in the time I have been off work in part from wearing less make up and using a product such as this which will still provide all the benefits of using the Effaclar Duo in its original form.

The Unifant comes in Light and Medium shades and is easily applied with fingers so it's great for travel and on the go. You'll find it quickly absorbs into your skin and pores do not become blocked. In 24 hours you will notice a reduction in your blemishes. If you're suffering from blemishes or redness this is definitely a product you should seek out to try.

Would either of these products be of interest to you?

*this book contains press samples and / or affiliate links 

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Review | Parissa Brow Shaper Mini Wax Strips

At Home Waxing

I was offered the chance to try waxing at home with Parissa* just as I was about to embark on my redundancy period. I thought it was perfect timing, as I was keen to ensure I didn't fritter my money away and thought I could adopt a more thriftier approach and perhaps start tackling some beauty treatments at home. 

When a selection of Parissa's Waxing Kits* arrived my initial enthusiasm had waned and I was reminded of my last at home home waxing experience and decided that I would instead look for cheaper alternative to the London salons and hid the kits in my testing pile.

Fast forward some months later and whilst you would imagine I have all the time in the world to visit beauty salons and embark on various treatments and should be primped to perfection the reality is quite different. Of course it has been a good thing as I work through my stash of false nails and catching sight of my eyebrows in the mirror the evening before I was due to meet a friend for lunch I decided to be brave and dig out the Parissa Brow Shaper Mini Wax Strips*. 

It all seemed fairly simple, press on and zip off and the brow wax strips were very small that I was sure I could avoid removing my whole eyebrow! Each box contains 16 double sided wax strips and a small vial of Azulene Oil, Parissa's treatment which is also available in a full size, for use after any wax or shaving treatment to protect and repair the skin.

Inside your box is a longer strip of the wax which you will need to cut into individual strips which are small, if you're all fingers and thumbs you might find it a little fiddly but persevere. The clear strips are separated to reveal the wax and where I 'struggled' was touching the wax on the sticky side before adhering to my eyebrow. 

Parissa Brow Shaper Mini Wax Strips

The wax is a in a 'straight line' which requires some manoeuvring to work with the arch of the brow, but again the size of the wax makes it easy to work with. For my first attempt I was amazed with the results and found it easier than I expected and I imagine the initial errors I made would easily be avoided on future attempts as I became used to the process. 

Thrilled with my efforts I reached for the Parissa Face & Bikini Wax Strips* and decided to tackle my upper lip. The strips contained in this kit are much larger in size and I cut to fit to my lips shape in thirds. My upper lip is always the more sensitive area to wax or thread and I was tackling a larger area than with the eyebrow strips but it was quick and relatively painless and I was pleased with the results. I'm also quite interested to see if I can shape the large wax strips for my eyebrows to treat in one go but I'll save that for when I'm a little more practised.

I usually spend between £20 and £50 on threading once a month, depending on the location I choose for treatment. That includes my brows, lip, chin and neck and it can often be in a matter of weeks that I could benefit from a further appointment but tackle with tweezers or my epilator until I can justify a further appointment. A box of Parissa Wax Strips costs under £9 and will last a couple of months at least depending on the areas you're tackling. 

I half expected to wake up in the morning with the usual spotting familiar after waxing but there was none to speak to. I did use the Azulene Oil after waxing and was a bit over zealous with the spray and found it a little greasy in nature so I am now spraying onto cotton wool and rubbing the area which is much better for me and find it helps soothe the area.

Have you tried waxing your eyebrows at home, if not do give Parissa a try I'm converted?

*this post contains press samples and / or affiliate links

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Products I've Loved and Used Up Recently

Rosie Bea Nails

My monthly 'products I've used up' posts have fallen by the wayside recently for one reason or another. In the case of the products I'm sharing today I've managed to use up, or they're at least on their final uses before I've hit publish on the general review so I thought I'd gather them all together to talk about with you today.

First up is the Rosie Bea range in collaboration with Eylure and Elegant Touch and I must admit that before I received the press release I wasn't familiar with Rosie Bea but of course I am familiar with the brads, especially Elegant Touch.

I love false nails as they're such a handy quick solution when time is short. Post Christmas my acrylic nails I've been enjoying recently where a little too long to manage, yet I was unable to find the time to visit the salon and have them infilled.

After removing the acrylics myself at home and deciding to allow my nails a little breathing space they were not looking their best so when I headed to Center Parcs I threw in the Rosie Bea Marina Nails* to wear. I did think these were black as they are quite dark but they are obviously a navy which I found much more flattering to me than a black nail and work perfectly with the stiletto shape. I found them an almost practical length, I was able to go about my normal business although on my return I did find typing a little cumbersome so decided to take them off. I always love when I remove false nails myself as it gives me confidence I can get through a couple of days without worrying about a nail pinging off at an inappropriate moment.

I was able to try out the Rosie Bea Spotlight Nails* on Monday when heading to a job interview and even managed to put them on during my train commute! They're that quick and easy to use. I love the nude colour of these nails but they are my lesser favourite as I'm not a fan of the polka dots nor find the rose gold metallic tips suited me but when I saw my mum later that day she kept commenting on them so it was personal taste rather than any fault of the nails.

Using false nails are perhaps not the most cost effective method but for practicality and trying out nail art when you need a quick fix they are working well for me. 

John Frieda Shampoo

John Frieda is a long loved brand for me, one I used well before my beauty blogging days and their products are those I always reach for and know exactly what I'm getting. The John Frieda Luxurious Volume* range is one that has appeared on these pages on numerous occasions and I was recently sent some products from the range to enjoy once again. I have been regularly using the shampoo* and conditioner* and it's as good as I remember.

As someone with blonde balayage I need to ensure that the shampoo and conditioner I use do not strip the colour, or with my dark roots they don't appear greasy. John Frieda ticks the right boxes and I find I can manage an extra day or two from my hair (of course with some assistance from dry shampoo).

The new to me product was the John Frieda Luxurious Volume 7 Day In Shower Treatment*, a semi-permanent treatment with 'volume boosting polymers' designed to thicken your hairs individual fibres. You simply shampoo and condition your hair and then apply 3-4 pumps of the product to your hair. You're advised to focus on the roots which always concerns me with a treatment of this kind as I worry about it look greasy so I tentatively used only a couple of pumps and was happy with the results. I find I apply and tend to leg shaving or something similar as you need to leave on for 3-5 minutes before rinsing. Its not an additional step I find I need to use often but it is an extra one I take two or three times a week depending on the occasion.

Patisserie De Bain* is a brand I've often seen on the shelves of Superdrug so I was excited to be sent a couple of products to try which in the Orange Crush scent smell amazing. I have powered through the Orange Crush Bath & Shower Creme* which I adore for using at bath time. The scent pairs perfectly with my Soap & Glory Orangeasm Body Scrub and this little duo has been a regular staple.

The Orange Crush Hand & Body Lotion* which whilst smells amazing hasn't been as big a hit. It's a thick lotion which I find doesn't sink into the skin without ease and as someone who finds body lotion a faff and a ritual I'm lax in following I am less inclined to reach for it. I have instead been relying on it as a hand lotion, the application of which has suffered from my current at home state. A small amount is easier to apply and sink into hands and whilst it is a little tacky initially that disappears quite quickly and the lingering scent is enjoyable - and thanks to the size and how much I need to use this will take some time longer to use up than the shower cream.

What products have you been using up recently?

*this post contains press samples and / or affiliate links.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Review | Footner Exfoliating Socks

There are few beauty treatments I really enjoy for pleasure but a pedicure is one of them. That said during the Winter it's hard to justify the expense when feet are hidden in thick tights and the thought of departing the salon in flip flops when there is snow on the ground isn't particularly enticing either. I had been intrigued by exfoliating socks for some time and when Footner* asked if I would like to try some out I thought now was the perfect time.

I think it goes without saying if you're not a fan of feet and have even clicked on this post you're not going to enjoy the content, things may get a little gross. Even my friends have hung up the phone on me as I've rambled about my 'shedding foot skin'. On that note lets start with the less than attractive Footner packaging which I think lets them down. I don't think anyone but perhaps a foot fetishist would be drawn to the feet on the box and whilst it is not a 'cheap' product it is one that works. I think they could take a leaf out of the Sephora's book and follow their packaging for their masks as it would be  far more desirable.

Footner Exfoliating Socks* contain active AHAs which you'll also find used in cosmetic skin peels and will soft the hard skin build up and start the exfoliation process naturally unlike the beauty salon where your beautician will use whatever their tool of choice is and in the hands of the wrong person painful or dangerous.

I had the Footner Exfoliating Socks* in my testing pile for some time and was apprehensive to test for three reasons; what would happen, I needed to remove my nail polish (I hate my toes polish free) and that I needed to commit to the 60 minutes of wear time. Fast forward to hard skin appearing heralding the need for a pedicure appointment and my friend telling me she had tried them out and loved them it was time to dive in.

The instructions are all very simple; remove the plastic socks (you will need scissors to cut them open), slip onto your feet and there is an adhesive strap to close them around your foot. I didn't realise this and just put my own socks over them to secure and didn't experience any issue with this. You must leave them on for 60 minutes but can easily go about your business in this time.

My first impressions were that there was an alcoholic chemical scent from the socks but not one that lingered once my own socks were worn. I've referred to my notes at the time of application and I described wearing Footner Exfoliating Socks like wearing crisp packets on my feet and whilst it wasn't uncomfortable they did 'crunch' as I moved about. I was also initially concerned about the liquid/gel from escaping onto my sofa but any fears were unfounded.

Once the 60 minutes wear time has elapsed I removed the socks and washed in warm water to remove any residue. For the rest of the evening I was glued to looking at my feet and nothing. I woke in the morning and still nothing. This is not unusual, Footner advise that the skin will start to shed between 1-3 days and if you want to speed up the process soaking in warm water does that.

True to form in a matter of days the process of shedding skin begun and if like me you have a guilty pleasure of enjoying peeling skin when you've been sunburnt or remembers sitting in class at school pouring glue on your hands to peel off once it was dried you are going to love this.

You are of course advised not to forcefully remove skin during the peeling process but in many instances it would easily peel off although some days later I have one or two particularly hard skinned areas, namely on my big toe which are still peeling but at a painful stage.

You are not to use foot creams during the process so when skin becomes dry I did find on my particularly firm carpet that bits would catch and be a little painful but that was isolated areas and generally there was no discomfort.

I have subsequently noticed a tip from Footner that if you do not want specific areas to be affected, such as the tops of feet then you can apply petroleum jelly which I did not do. That said it was quite nice to have areas that are usually unreachable to the usual files and blades such as between the toes that were prone to dead skin shedding.

You are told that in 10 days the process will have ended and I imagine that would depend on how often you are soaking your feet. I found myself jumping in and out of the shower to soak my feet throughout the days when I was at home to speed things up and of course it will depend on the 'state' of your feet when applying. To date I still have one or two stubborn areas that have not fully shed and still offer hard skin but overall my feet are definitely improved and this product undoubtedly works.

Footner Exfoliating Socks are recommended to be used every 2-3 months with at least three weeks between treatments if you want to apply more regularly. I'm not sure how practical this product is for regular use throughout the year. Yes it was fine over the Winter and during a quiet week at home but I wouldn't dream of using this in the Summer as I would never expose my feet in their shedding state in a pair of summer sandals.

Another word of warning, yes I was a picker but you will find socks and carpets covered in dead skin. Yes I know it's gross but it is the reality so you have been warned.

My final thoughts are that Footner Exfoliating Socks are a fantastic product, I think it'd be great for me and women alike but you need to be prepared for the period of time that your foot will not be looking their best. If you're on your sickbed or prepared to hide in socks for over a week then go for it.

I'd love to know if you would or have given these a try.

*this post contains press samples and / or affiliate links

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Disney Memories

Last week my family and I booked a trip to Walt Disney World so currently I'm in full on excited planning mode and following some funny conversations with the family I thought I'd share with you a couple of my Disney memories.

My earliest memories is sometime in the early eighties, not long after my brother had been born and my dad took me to see The Lady and the Tramp at the cinema. It's probably so memorable as I'm sure that was the last time my dad went to the cinema and he brought me a box of Malteasers. Just seeing a box now reminds me of that feeling of a child to be given this HUGE box of chocolate.

The next is from our trip to Walt Disney World last year. We always have a list of things we each want to do and one of mine was to meet the Lady Tremaine and the Ugly Stepsisters. For those who enjoy the Disney character greetings this trio are well known for providing some great experiences and we indeed got one, unfortunately at my 'expense'.

My brother had picked up a white Mickey Mouse Vinylmation figure that he was asking the characters to sign and as I queued to meet the ladies he handed me the figure for signing, instructing me that I had to ask them to sign in a specific place. I replied that I couldn't do that as they would tell me off. He persisted, I asked them to sign it where he asked and they did indeed tell me off replying 'no' when I pointed out where they should sign. As we were with my niece and nephew who were a little apprehensive about them at first, they were certainly giggling as they watched my dressing down.

And finally it's another character greeting that provides fun memories and once again giggles from my sister in law and I's trip to Epcot back in 2012. Mulan is Sarah's favourite character so of course we were sure to meet her in her spot. After the obligatory photos my sister then put her hands together and bowed. Obviously we are all fans of Disney but even we can be surprised how we embrace the Disney magic and believe we are meeting prince and princesses. As we walked away my sister in law turned to me and said, did I just bow to Mulan.

What are your Disney memories?

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day with Homesense

As a single girl I believe there's an idea that today I should be weeping at home with a tub of ice cream but unfortunately I have to disappoint those with that belief and share that I do not actually mind Valentine's Day.

No there might not be a man showering me with flowers and cards but I'm lucky that over the years I've had some fun evenings celebrating, whether it's the nights out me and a group of single girls have had, honestly hit the pubs on Valentine's Day and there's sure to be a wealth of singletons at your disposal if you're looking or the times with friends enjoying the comforts of home, and that's where Homesense* can be of assistance.

I'm sure you're familiar with Homesense an Aladdin's cave of homeware at affordable prices and you simply do not know what you might find on every visit. Currently I'm looking to update some furniture in my home and enjoying popping into my various local branches and seeing what is offer, waiting for the perfect piece to pop up. Patience is not usually my strong point but in this instance I'm keen to wait.

Perhaps even better than the furniture on offer is the trinkets and those extra somethings that brighten up your home and can help you enjoy a romantic night in whether by yourself, with friends or a loved one. Le Creuset is one of the brands you'll find in Homesense so you can prepare the perfect meal or perhaps you want to gift a photo of you and your beloved and need to find a frame that compliments the image perfectly.

I love the cushions on offer from Homesense and and even at the weekend I had to resist purchasing another two for my lounge having yet to display those I brought a matter of months ago. There are so many wonderful high end home stores around but I bulk at paying in excess of £50 for cushions, in Homesense you can find that similar styles and quality can be found for half that price. If you want to cosy up on the sofa tonight then check out the range on offer at Homesense or perhaps one of their luxurious throws.

If your plans for this evening are of a solo nature then try looking through their beauty stores. At the weekend I spotted the likes of Cath Kidston and Too Faced on the shelves so if you're in need of pampering then Homesense can help with that too - oh and acrylic storage in abundance, and candles, all the candles.

Homesense is particularly fun seasonally, of course of late it's been preparing for the 'day of luuuurve' but Easter is starting to creep in and it reminds me I must get into my parents garage this year and unmask all the treasures I've purchased from Homesense over the years.

If you're looking for a champagne home on a lemonade budget then Homesense can really help you out, from the labels you know like Ralph Lauren and DKNY to lesser known quirkier pieces (I'm still regretting the flamingo lamps I left behind a week or two ago) there is something whatever your style and one or two things you didn't know you needed to you find them.

How will you be celebrating Valentine's Day this evening?

*Homesense provided Gift Vouchers in exchange for this post but all views and opinions are my own

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Review | KYPRIS Skincare

Kypris Skincare Review

When KYPRIS* contacted me and asked if I would like to test and review some products from there range I confess I was rather excited. I had seen the brand appearing on some of the usual suspects blogs but with a hefty price tag it was unlikely I would make the purchase myself. This would give me an opportunity to try out such a high end brand and see if I would be convinced to purchase myself in the future.

My first issue with the brand, inspired by the goddess Aphrodite, was not quite knowing where to start. Yes there was KYPRIS Cleanser Concentrate* but after that point I was a little stumped. Where and when did I slot in the Beauty Elixirs and those such as Moonlight Catalyst* and Antioxidant Dew*? Luckily Cult Beauty a stockist for the brand have a handy 'how to use' for the products and the KYPRIS website identifies in a little more detail where the products should fit into your routine, especially important for those that are specific to am or pm usage.

Once I'd got the products sorted in my routine, complete with notes on the packaging themselves to avoid error I have been able to use. KYPRIS Cleanser Concentrate* is a gorgeous product. In a luxurious glass tub it's light and creamy as the name would suggest with a lovely botanical scent which follows through with many of the products in the range.

As they suggest this is an indulgent first step in your skincare routine, a product which can be used morning or night to remove make up, simply nourish skin and packed with all sorts of ingredients such as moringa to leave skin able to combat any stresses the day may bring. I wish I didn't like this product as much as I do and whilst I'm not sure if I'm ready to justify £50 on replacing, if money were no object I'd be doing so.

The next step in your KYPRIS skincare regime is the Beauty Exlixi I, II or III which are 100% active beauty oils for dry, oily or sensitive skin. It's interesting I favour for scent Beauty Elixir II Healing Bouquet* which is for oily skins and I've found mine more balanced in recent times.

All three Beauty Elixirs feel wonderful on the skin which is another shame as they are priced between £50 and £70 for just 14ml, if you want 47ml of Beauty Elixir I 1000 Roses* you'll be looking at £175 although thankfully that is one I don't particularly like as I'm not a fan of the scent of roses.

Next we more on to the recognisable product of their serums, which I feel more comfortable price wise, although still at your top end at around the £50 more for 47mls although for a 'decent' serum you can expect to pay that and it's something I would be more comfortable paying for a product of its type.

The Clearing Serum* and Antioxidant Dew* are for am use and my favourite, Moonlight Catalyst** for evening. The latter smells amazing and less botanical and more masculine than the others. I could reel off a press release or cut and paste job from the website of the various ingredients and their wonderful properties but I think that would be more fluff than my simply telling you that these are pricey products but I can indeed see why.

I'm lucky to have an healthy stash of skincare products across all brands and price points so my need to purchase skincare items is few and far between but I can say were I more like the 'every woman on the street' and buying and using products in their entirety rather than testing various brands on a regular basis I would be looking to make purchases from the KYPRIS line.

I was fully prepared to scoff at such a high end range but the results on my skin from using has spoke for itself. Even during 'that time of the month' when I'd often find a hormonal spot or two appearing they have not appeared.

Of course I only received small vials of the serums and elixirs so it hasn't been the longest testing period of the skincare ranges I receive but the oils are so concentrate such a little goes a long way.

The final product and one I'm saving for my trip to St Lucia next month is Kypris Heliotropic Pot of Shade* which is a moisturiser with SPF30. I think if I'm having a luxury holiday, luxury skincare is a must.

How much do you spend on skincare products, is this a brand you would be keen to try?

*this post contains press samples and/or affiliate links

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Friday, February 10, 2017

The KonMari Method | Why It Doesn't Work For Me

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo was no doubt a life changing book for many in 2016. It was forever appearing across social media and everyone was talking about 'sparking joy' and as someone with a penchant for decluttering I duly jumped on the bandwagon and picked up a copy. It went unread until post Christmas I was in the midst of my end of year declutter and picked it up once again hoping it would keep me on track and help me further with my mission.

As the title of this post would suggest I'm not a fan of The KonMari method and whilst I'm sure Marie Kondo and her many fans will perhaps be shocked or indeed think I'm crazy I am conscious there are probably one or two people like me who like a different approach to their de-cluttering habits and perhaps they will share my opinions or even I might help offer some alternative methods to decluttering.

Before I go on I should share one or two points of note about me. In contrast to my best friend who will jump out of bed of a morning and immediately start tackling her to do list until it's done I will wake up, reach for my phone, make a cup of tea before starting my day. I like bite sized chunks to keep me interested and I'm known for doing my housework or similar tasks during the adverts of TV programmes. We will achieve the same, mine might take me all day compared to my friends half a day but the actual hours racked up on our task remains the same.

I must also share that I am a single girl, living along in a two bedroom flat so that affords me the luxury of space and the ability to potter and organise as I see fit without a partner or children who might mess up my plans. That said I'm so impressed with anyone that manages the KonMari method in a family home environment.

Back to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying which my expectations were already mixed. A quick browse on Pinterest will share various info graphics focusing on what appear to be Marie Kondo's main principles of decluttering by category rather than location and the mantra of 'does the item spark joy' which despite my initial skepticism has been the one thing I have taken from reading the book in a positive manner.

Even those who speak of The KonMari Method positively do argue that this is a very extreme process of de-cluttering and indeed one that requires time not to mention lifestyle changes which I question whether they are realistic 'in the real world'.

Marie Kondo claims that her method is life changing, those who follow her method will never have clutter again and it works for everyone, whilst briefly noting that some people have stopped 'for personal reasons' and I find it interesting that beyond the suggesting of asking 'does it spark joy' there is no discussion on dealing with life or clutter going forward and possibility of rebound, especially I would think at the time of my reading being Christmas and we're all privvy to one or two excess pieces of 'clutter' whether unwanted Christmas gifts, wrapping paper and the like.

As already referenced The KonMari Method requires you follow faithful the rule 'tidy in the right order' and that follows with one category at a time. What concerns me is that she suggests to adopt a different approach is 'fatal' - slightly extreme language for a book on tidying your home. Now I've watched those hoarder programmes, of course there are some serious issues for many and I can appreciate needing to look at the psychological aspects of why you have 'all this stuff' but those aside, if you have a major de-cluttering project on your hands I'd fear some of this language and indeed the method would be largely overwhelming and I know personally if I were to pull out every item of clothing I own and put in a pile I'd be bored before I made it to the halfway mark and postpone for another day.

My home is pretty well organised as I regularly declutter and my lifestyle, habits and needs are habitually changing. Last year I redesigned my front room, ridding myself of the large dining table that went unused and the second sofa that was taking up space when all I needed was an armchair. I also find that even at my most frantic, items in my home, no matter how untidy it can get have a home and I know where to reach for them.

For this reason, and my preference for a little bit here, a little bit here I prefer location decluttering and whilst I haven't reached zen status I don't think that altering this method would be practical for me. Most of us have busy lifestyles and to do a drawer or cupboard at a time is far easier. I also find that if I'm in that state of decluttering as I go about typical everyday tasks I would find things to rid myself off.

Interestingly another friend, jealous of my pottering and decluttering at home and subsequent rants as I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying has begun the process of decluttering his home. He is following the 'location' method and fitting in a drawer here, a drawer there as and when he has time available to him. He has found that this method has been motivating for him rather than overwhelming and enjoying the process whilst removing bags and bags of rubbish from his home.

As for me, take my bedroom for example, I can declutter the draw by my bedside and immediately put the excess products into the beauty stash that sits under my bed, a book that has been sitting hidden in a draw if it does indeed still 'spark joy' then it can be homed on the bookshelf. Because of the order that exists in my home this works for me and I find I can also make use of various selling sites as I go. In my wardrobe I prefer to turn all the hangers one way and as I wear clothing they are returned facing the other. This draws me to the unworn clothes and immediately allows me to see what is perhaps in excess and should be sold or passed to the charity shops.

I took some offence to apparently we cannot use old clothes for loungewear and our nightwear should be feminine and elegant. Whilst I enjoy my M&S satin pyjamas some nights others I love my Primark combos. I do agree if you put a t-shirt on and it has 'bad memories' then indeed get rid but I have t-shirts I've brought which I love but not to be seen in so I enjoy them in the comfort of my own home.

We should also not have a separate seasonal wardrobe, it should all be hung or folded together. I would find it more 'upsetting' to have a maxi dress that is only worn in Summer, hung or indeed folded and looked at during cold Winter months. I also have many items that are only intended for holidays, those beach dresses that can only be seen by fellow holiday makers, why can they not be afforded their own space hidden away till needed?

Folding is key to the KonMari method and again it's mixed results for me. I don't iron. I have never used my iron in the six years I've lived alone. I wash my clothes, immediately hang them from the washing machine and once dry they are hung in the wardrobe. Of course one or two items benefit from an iron occasionally and I'm lucky that my mum is on hand to assist but for the most part I wear dresses and the don't require the task and also are not the items in need of folding. My pyjamas on the other hand do have a tendency to be thrown into the draw and I have taken to folding as suggested and it certainly does look more pleasing. Folding my whole wardrobe is actually more time consuming in my experience as I have to have a flat surface to fold whereas putting on a hanging requires none.

Moving onto two WTF moments, the first socks. Apparently we should be allowing our socks to 'rest' and 'de-stress' and rolling into balls does not aid this. I'm sorry but this is baffling. I don't have wear not have many socks and if they are balled I'm ok with that. That said Anthea Turner, whose book I do enjoy more logically explains socks should be folder to avoid one sock stretching more than the other. Now that make sense to me.

The other is that we should 'be ashamed of the burden' we bring friends or family who we gift 'our clutter'. Now whilst I appreciate if I were to see my brother walking around in a t-shirt left behind from an old boyfriend that might have some negative consequences but I think we'd be mindful to not add those to the pile and I think it's wasteful, more selfish if we do not offer some of our perfectly useable, often brand new items to friends and family. I'm pretty comfortable my friends are mature enough to manage their own homes and clutters as they see fit and the unloved dress that could bring 'joy' to a friend would be less of a burden than watching them purchase one brand new on a credit card.

We are also advised that we should concentrate solely on our decluttering task at hand, not so much as a musical soundtrack in the background. Now whilst I appreciate friends think I'm crazy I cannot concentrate without background noise. As I type this post I jumping up and down into the kitchen cooking my dinner and The Jungle Book movie is playing on the TV. I need something there to motivate me. This of course may be systematic of my living alone and you could be reading this crying for some peace and quiet but I know many others that enjoy the radio or in more recent times it seems that podcasts are just the thing to keep one motivated.

The miscellaneous order would I'm sure be cause for worry to many people embarking on this decluttering project because I think Marie Kondo doesn't really acknowledge what items people have in their home that would amass this category. We apparently shouldn't have money banks, instead putting the money into our purses, mobile phone and other electrical boxes should be thrown too. I understand Marie Kondo's point that the cost of storing these boxes negates the resell value if that is where you're heading but I still have cause of concern.

The KonMari method seems to swing between extreme minimalist examples to airy fairy book stroking to feel the joy and thanking shoes at the end of a hard day. We are told that if everything has a place, which I do agree with, all these simple end of the tasks will take minutes. The problem I see is that if we start to add up all these tasks we're spending an hour of our evening putting away items from our handbags only to wake in the morning and run around repacking them. Most evenings I will go through my bag and throw rubbish, put pennies in the jar (sorry Marie!), receipts in the paperwork drawer but I see no need for finding a home, never mind storing my purse there every evening. I barely have time to shower in the morning let alone repacking a handbag.

Most reviews I've read of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying have that even if you think some of it is a little far fetched you will want to begin decluttering and reordering your home. For me the very opposite was true. The decluttering mission I was actually in the midst of has stopped and I have yet to start again. Appreciate that's counter productive to my own needs but I felt frustrated after reading and baffled at some of the methods which is probably a better response to some of the people that suffer from diarrhoea and other ailments during their decluttering missions so I read.

It wasn't all bad, 'sparking joy' is something that has benefitted me. Not so much in my decluttering mission but going forward. When shopping I've picked things up and what started initially as mockingly asking if it 'sparks joy' it's started to resonate. Whilst I'll never see my washing machine sparking joy I'm not ready to throw it out just yet but if it stops me buying another red lipstick it can only be a good thing.

I'd love to know if you've read the book and what your thoughts are? Is your home now a minimalist haven or like me do you still like to see a bit of character here; there's no way I'm getting rid of my pineapple collection.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

New In Beauty Haul | January 2017

Boots New In

It's ironic that as I say I do not purchase, or am at least trying not to purchase as many beauty products whilst I use up those I own I was recently sucked into a number of purchases that whilst I wanted to try them, justified hitting buy now purely by their aesthetics and how well they would photograph together alongside the one gifted press sample.

Starting with one of my favourite and holy grail products, the Wet Brush Pop Fold Pink which is literally as it's named, a full sized Wet Brush which folds for travel. For holidays I would usually take along an old Wet Brush which I could discard on my return but that isn't ideal as despite my love for The Wet Brush the bristles do suffer and do not travel well, especially in a brush whose bristles are already struggling. With the foldable option the 'intelliflex' bristles are protected by the closure option so this would be ideal.

In my handbag I had been using the Denman Hairbrush Compact purchased after an overnight stay in a hotel where I found I didn't have a hairbrush and had to take some tips from Ariel and use a fork from my late night room service. Whilst the Denman Compact Brush is a more affordable £3.29 compared to The Wet Brush at £13.99 it really is too small and not sufficient for even my head of hair.

The Wet Brush Folding Travel

The full sized and foldable Wet Brush has been purchased and saves any future worries about my hair look unkempt whatever the occasion. First impressions are that it is a little stiff both to unfold and pop out the bristles. I found myself really having to put in some effort to push them out and I'm interested to see how I fair once I have acrylics or gels reapplied and if that makes any difference. Otherwise the brush is what I would expect from The Wet Brush and I'm very happy with my purchase even if it's full size, even when folder is on the large size and won't be fitting in any small clutches.

I love Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for removing my eye make up before going in with my cleansers so I was keen to try the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel Wash and see how it compared. As my reservations may attest I really didn't think this purchase through. The Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel Wash is that, a wash and advises you to concentrate on the eye and lip areas to remove make up. I reach for a micellar water either as a first stage in cleansing or for evenings when I flop into bed and feel the short walk to the bathroom to use a flannel and running water too much so to use the Cleansing Gel would require my being in the bathroom and if I'm in the bathroom I would reach for a cleansing oil or similar. That said how would this affordable option compare to what are often my high priced variations in the bathroom.

In honesty I prefer a cleansing oil to remove my make up, or simply the micellar water for eye make up remove in the first instance. I don't often wear heavy make up so whilst of course cleansing is necessary and I do dabble in the double cleanse there is only so much attention I need and Garnier Micellar is 'nice' it's not something I'd be rushing to repurchase. My skin isn't left dry after use although I have been following up with a luxurious Kypris cream cleanser and then heading straight into the rest of my regime.

One point of note that has surprised me most is that it actually stings my eyes on occasion which the micellar water does not. It was literally like I had got soap in my eyes. If you're looking for a first cleanse to remove make up and want an affordable option to combine with a higher end 'on the face' cleanser then you could look at this. Just proceed with caution if you have sensitive eyes.

Moving on to dry shampoos and the ridiculousness of purchasing two new cans when there is a plenty already at home, but as I said, it fit the theme. First is Batiste 2 in 1 Dry Shampoo which I thought I'd try after dabbling with  Batiste Instant Conditioner*.  Recent months I've been able to find more success with dry shampoos in-between washes thanks to my blonde balayage and it's really the darker roots which need some more attention. Also being at home by myself more often in recent months due to my redundancy I'm less inclined to wash my hair and reach for a can of dry shampoo. This is a sweet scent, a little more powdery than I usually expect but it does indeed refresh my roots and I love the cocoa and cashmere scent.

Moving onto the newer dry shampoo brand on the block and the fresh release from Colab, Paradise Dry Shampoo which has been doing the rounds and I'm sure those of you who know me won't be surprised that I 'had to have' the flamingo print can.

Flamingos aside I am a Colab fan, particularly the Extreme Volume range I wanted to give this a try and it's another scent, more mature than Batiste sweeter offering, that I have enjoyed. For only £1.73 this is such a good product and whilst I still prefer the Extreme Volume range and will soon return I'm sure to reaching for dry shampoo to give a little oomph and texture to my hair it does indeed help allow my day or two from washing. 

Accessorize Perfume

Accessorize's newest perfume release is Love Lily* is a great scent which you can buy from Accessorize branches or The Fragrance Shop. Firstly if you have smelt this fragrance and you can help tell me what it is that it reminds me of and I can't put my finger on - it's driving me crazy.

I've been enjoying the fruity and sweet fragrance which is unlike me but perhaps I'm ready for Summer and preparing for my holiday to St Lucia in seven weeks. I always imagine sweet perfumes are for the younger crowd and I'd suggest the bottle is young without being twee and it's pink flower in the lid doesn't look offensively out of place next to my Chanel bottles. If you're looking at budgeting in 2017 and want a fragrance for under £20 then this is worth checking out.

What new releases have made their way into your shopping basket?

*this post contains press samples and / or affiliate links

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Review | Benefit They're Real! Double The Lip

Review | Benefit They're Real! Double The Lip

Benefit is a nostalgic brand for me. Back in the day, the now discontinued You Rebel Tinted Moisturiser was my go to evening base and Some Kind of Gorgeous, also discontinued the one used for day if not only a covering of Benefit That Girl Primer.

Whilst in recent years I've dabbled with Roller Lash, Hoola and call Hervana once of my favourite blushes I see it more as a younger, gateway luxury brand. It's fun packaging and being one of the more affordable high end brands available meant I was often picking it up in the US when the exchange rate made it an even more attractive purchase.

As a blogger Benefit are certainly a brand I notice and commend for recognising the value of bloggers and are well known for their amazing press packages which often include the perfect photo props to ensure images are shared across social media.

With that said you can imagine my delight when I received the full collection of one of Benefits newest releases, the They're Real Double the Lip* lip liner and lipstick in one, available in eight shades which I'm sharing my thoughts on with you today.

Review | Benefit They're Real! Double The Lip

They're Real Double the Lip Lipsticks are formed in a tear drop shape which I initially thought was a little small and was keen to see how it would apply. It's always strange to use something different to your regular products with the standard sized bullets or doe foot applicator but any concerns are unfounded. Using the tip of the teardrop to tilt and apply the darker liner shade and then the full side of the bullet to fill in the lips works well to apply a seamless application. Because of the two in one nature you do need to remember to turn the lipstick and I have been caught out once or twice although the different shades applied on the lips without the attention to lining and filling doesn't create any obvious differences.

Benefit They're Real! Double The Lip Swatches

With any range of lipsticks there are going to be shades that are hit and miss, Criminally Coral (first on the left)looks dreadful on my skin tone and I received two of Pink Thrills so I've missed out on trying Lusty Rose. My first pick of course was Revved-Up Red (far right) which reminds me of a creamier more pigmented Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me. Nude Scandal (second from left) could very well become my favourite nude. I dabble in matte nudes but I never feel they're quite spot on but the creamy formula of They're Real Double The Lip makes this the right formula and shade for me. Another favourite is Juicy Berry (fourth from left) which I've worn a couple of times before we hit the Spring and berry tones are hidden away till next Autumn and I'm still undecided if Fuchsia Fever (third from right) is going to be a Summer hit.

Review | Benefit They're Real! Double The Lip

Priced at £16.50 this is a worthy purchase if you're looking for something new, high end and like me are one who doesn't often reach for a lip liner. If you're a fan of mattes these won't be for you but if you're looking for lipsticks which are pigmented, creamy without being difficult to work with these are ideal.

Are you keen to try the new They're Real Double the Lip products from Benefit? What shade are you excited for most?

*this post contains press samples and / or affiliate links

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