Thursday, 31 August 2017

#CBFest | Makeup with Cougar

The sun is still shining here in the UK as we make our way into September. I mean, I cannot believe we're 3/4 of the way through 2017 already. Madness.

Cougar Beauty and CB&CO Cosmetics got in touch to celebrate the festival season and challenge bloggers to create their best festival inspired look. Now, I've never been to a festival so besides from seeing friends pictures, I have no experience with festival season. So I delved deep into my wardrobe and picked out an outfit that I would wear if going to a festival this Summer.
Cougar Makeup Packaging
Eyeshadow Swatches
Alongside my outfit, I had to create a Summer look with Cougar's six shades of nude eyeshadow palette that was sent to me to review. It's a gorgeous shimmer based palette and it creates a gorgeous summery look on the eyes. The pay off is a little intense and dipping lightly into the pan, it does create a lot of fall out. For £13 you get six shades which works out at around £2.16 per shade. Not too shabby.

So with festival looks, I tend to see a lot of loose fitted clothing, open shoulders, lots of skin showing because festivals can get pretty messy and if the sun is shining, we don't want to be dressed up too much.
New Look Dress
Top half of dress
Top half of dress
I went for this bold, wrap style dress from New Look which has open shoulders, a plunge v-neck and short sleeves. I can always rely on New Look for when I go shopping as there's always something in their for me.

It was on sale at the time for £9.00 which is a pretty steal for such a gorgeous dress! The eye look that I created was pretty simple, I blended the lighter base with the golden hue shade and then tucked the darkest shade into the crease of my eyelid and under my bottom lash line. My only issue with the palette is that it isn't extremely pigmented on the skin, even when trying to build on top of it.
Close up of eyeshadow
Close up of eyeshadow
I finished off the look with these gorgeous nude coloured boots from H&M which are no longer for sale on their website but there's still some similar versions of it in their store. They are super comfortable and are the perfect styled boots that you can wear with anything, whether that's a dress, skirt or jeans.
Back of dress
So that's my festival-inspired look for this Summer's 2017 festivals. I definitely should have added some glitter to this look but unfortunately, I had none.

What do you think of this look? Let me know in the comments below.

*Disclaimer - I was gifted this eyeshadow palette in return for this festival-inspired challenge. This post also contains affiliate links.


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Gin Festival 2017

Whilst many are attending music festivals this Summer, I have been going to all of the alcohol festivals. First, it was the Beer Festival early this month and just recently, I attended the Gin Festival, another annual event that took place at the Tobacco Dock. The Gin Festival travels all over the country and pretty much sells out every time.

The Tobacco Dock is a grade 1 listed warehouse in the Docklands area of East London. Constructed in 1811, the warehouse was originally used as a store for imported tobacco. The warehouse is huge, with various sized spaces that would be great for weddings, corporate events, and office spaces.
Tobacco Dock Sign
Gin Cocktails Sign
The Dock
The Gin Festival has been established since 2013 and it's sold out events, clearly show its popularity. One of the things we noticed about the venue was that so much more of it could have been used but at the same time, I bet this venue is pretty pricey to hire out fully.

We were ushered to the press area where we received our goblet glasses, a handy guide book of all the gins available and our voucher to exchange for drinks tokens. The Gin Festival very kindly gave us a generous amount of tokens free of charge which certainly saved us a lot of money that night!
Gin Goblet
Sam and Katie
Gin Cocktails
Katie and Sam on dock
We started off in 'The Brands' area which held a selection of gin brands where you could taste the gin via a shot glass. This may have been a rookie mistake as we tasted a lot of gins within a short space of time and with very little tonic to accompany it.

After collectively agreeing to move on from these areas, we headed over to the Gin Cocktail stand where we were happily served three cocktails by the bartender. Myself and Katie went for a Tipsy Rocket which was a cocktail with both gin and prosecco in whilst Sam went for one that he definitely did not like. I also want to point out that the festival is very generous with its servings of gin...very generous.
Natalie and Katie
The festival soon filled up as we made our way across the venue to pick up some much needed street food. We then headed into the main space where there was music playing and SO MUCH GIN TO TRY. We also bumped into a friend from our university days which is so bizarre when you are in the middle of London.

The event was partnered with Fever Tree, which has quickly become mine and Sam's favourite tonic for gin. The tonics were all free to use so you were able to add as much tonic to your gin as you'd like.
Group of friends
Strawberries and Cream Cocktail
Crowd at Gin Festival
Some of our favourites from all the gin we tried were Zymurgorium Sweet Violet, which had an incredible parma violets flavour and is actually a gin made by a good friend of ours. Another favourite was the Poetic License Strawberries and Cream Picnic Gin. This one was certainly the taste of Summer.

We were there for the first night of the festival and we left around 15-20 minutes before the evening ended at 11pm. At this point we were all gin'd out and very thirsty for some good old water.
Fever Tree
Fever Tree Tonics
Tonic pouring into goblet
Sam with goblets
I'd like to thank the Gin Festival for having us along. We will definitely be back next year.

Have you ever been to the Gin Festival before? Let me know in the comments below.

*Disclaimer - I was invited along to this as press in return for a review of the event. All words are my own.


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The Ordinary Foundations | Full Coverage vs Serum

I have been waiting to try The Ordinary brand for too long so I finally went and ordered myself the foundations from their makeup line. If you haven't heard of The Ordinary before, it's pretty much featured on every beauty blog that I've read. It comes from a bigger company called Deciem who are renowned in the industry for their innovation and clinical formulas.
The Ordinary Foundations
I've wanted to try their range for ages and both the Serum and Full Coverage foundations arrived separately in the post over the past couple of weeks. I've had a play around with both of them and wanted to give my thoughts on how they felt, what I liked about them and which one I'd preferred. Please note that I haven't been sponsored to do this post, I merely love the brand and wanted to showcase them to you!

I tend not to buy foundations online anymore simply because I am hopeless at knowing what shade of foundation will suit me. From Ivory to Natural Beige, I haven't got a dickens as to which one works best and most of the time it's either way too light or way too dark. However, with these foundations, I did my research by looking at other bloggers and what they went for.
Foundation Drops
I ended up going for the same shades with each foundation (2.0 Light Medium) which was a risk but it paid off. The foundations arrived separately because there's apparently a huge demand for them, even after launching back in April. I am very impressed by just how many shades there are too within the line which is a rarity in the beauty industry. The foundations also contain SPF which us Brits tend to forget about when going out in the sun.

Starting off with the Serum foundation which arrived first. The foundation is quite watery and takes a little practice if applying it from the hand onto the beauty blender. It absorbs onto the sponge pretty quickly so time is of the essence when applying it. I am in love with this formula because it's lightweight and blends really easily into my skin. It's the perfect shade and it actually doesn't feel like I'm wearing any foundation once fully absorbed.
Foundation Swatches
Foundation Swatches
The foundation also sits well with my concealer and doesn't look cakey or cracks when I use my setting powders.

The Full Coverage foundation arrived around a week later and I very quickly switched over to use this one. This is very much the same shade (which is great), however, the consistency is a little thicker but not as creamy as other full coverage foundations that I've used before. This formula I'm not so keen on because it's quite heavy and leaves me with a dewy finish. I can mute this down with powder but this is something I don't want to be doing during the Summer.

Between the two, the serum is definitely my favorite at the moment and one I'd re-purchase as soon as I run out. I think with the full coverage, I need to test this during the Winter but I do think this one actually comes out a little darker once set onto my skin.

Both foundations are a steal at £5.70 for the serum and £5.90 for the full coverage. This is cheaper than most drug store alternatives and as long as you don't mind waiting a little longer for delivery, they are so worth it. If anything, these foundations have made me want to try out more of the range.

Have you tried The Ordinary range? Let me know in the comments below.


Monday, 28 August 2017

Highs & Lows | Week 18

It's a bank holiday weekend and you can feel the excitement and see the happiness on people's faces knowing that they get an extra day off to do whatever they like. This weekend for us has been a very productive one, a trip to a Gin Festival on Friday, booking a holiday on Saturday and taking lots of photos on Sunday for my blog. The sun has been shining which is great because Summer this year has not been the one.

Highs ↑

Gin Fest

We kicked off the Bank Holiday weekend with a trip to the Gin Festival that took place in Tobacco Dock, a massive warehouse space with an outdoor area next to the docks. The event is very popular and was pretty much sold out by the Friday evening. With over 100 different gins to try, you can stick with a traditional British Gin or dip your tastebuds into International gin waters. 

We're going to Morocco

It's BOOKED! Thank the lord, we're going on our holidays. Whilst the rest of the UK will be wrapped up in winter wear, myself and Sam are jetting off to Morocco to spend a week in a five star, all inclusive luxury hotel. I cannot wait. October cannot come sooner. My blog brain is already thinking of the blogging content I can create!

Bank Holiday

I'm probably not alone on this idea, but can we just have bank holiday weekends every weekend? Let's just do a three day weekend - no one likes Monday anyway. It's such a shame that we are so work obsessed that I think it's important we spend more time with out loved ones and relaxing.

Lows ↓

Lost it/found it

So being the clumsy person I am, I thought I lost my debit card on Friday. I cancelled the card only to find it Saturday afternoon in my bag. And this has happened to me twice now. Why can't the damn cards just get lost instead of magically reappearing. Not cool debit card, not cool.

What have you been up to this week? Let me know in the comments below.


Friday, 25 August 2017

SENSSE | Affordable Beauty Tools

When it comes to beauty tools, I'm pretty new to the game. I tend to assume there's a lot of gimmicky products out there, just like there are beauty products. SENSSE do a range of affordable beauty tools that all work together in order to assist with our skincare routines. Up until late last year, a skincare routine for me, didn't really exist. It wasn't until my blogging become more serious, that I started to take an equal interest in taking care of my skin.
Beauty Tools
I was sent three of their tools to test out on my skin and after using them for a week now, I wanted to give you an update on whether these things really work or whether they're just another gimmicky product you'll use once or twice and then store away, never to use it again.

SENSSE is a British brand and I believe it's a fairly new one at that. They have seven products in total and these include tools that focus on parts of the face, including a satisfying pore suction cleaner that I desperately want.
Beauty Tools
The packaging for these tools does stick with the brand's theme of white and pink and I especially love the luxe sparkly purse that came with the Hot and Cold Facial Massage Bar. So let's delve straight into what these tools do and how effectively they worked on my skin.

Eye Massager - Buy here (£39.99)

This eye massager fitted with blue and red LED light therapy is meant to recharge and refresh the eye area for brighter, younger looking eyes. The LED light therapy helps remove impurities from pores, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and reduces puffiness and redness. Initially, I was a little scared to use this device because knowing me, I'd accidentally glare into the light for too long. (I don't have much confidence in myself) The instructions say to use a small amount of eye cream and massage the tool into the skin for 10 seconds. 

This is definitely a tool I'd need to try for a few weeks to see if there's any difference but interestingly, the tool only works when it comes into contact with skin.
Eye Massager
Eye Massager

Silicone Facial Cleansing Brush - Buy here (£39.99)

The Silicone Facial Cleansing Brush was probably the one I could see myself using more often and as part of my weekly skincare routine. The only downside to this product is that it's becoming a little discoloured after a few uses, which is a bit off putting. I love the various rubber bristles on the front and the raised bumps on the back. The two settings are meant to give your skin a deeper clean and to also reduce the signs of ageing. 

What I love about this product is how quickly it works my moisturiser into the skin. After a minute of gently gliding it around the skin, it's been more or less absorbed. The back of the device is used for reducing wrinkles and fine lines on the skin and I definitely noticed a difference in my skin after a few uses.
Silcione Facial Brush
Silicone Facial Brush
Silicone Facial Brush

Hot & Cool Facial Bar - Buy here (£59.99)

The priciest of the tools, the Hot & Cool Facial Bar is probably the most exciting of them all. With the promise of youthful, glowing skin in just three weeks, I'm expecting some serious results! The facial bar has a number of settings include a hot and cold option that is meant to relieve skin fatigue and brighten tired skin. The tool is used alongside the facial brush, using the hot option to open up pores, exfoliate and cleanse with the facial brush and finally using the cold option to brighten, tone and firm skin.
Facial Bar
I think overall, the silicone facial cleanser is going to be my most used. I'm eager to see the results from the eye massager. With the hot and cold facial bar, it will be one I use on occasion, perhaps when I have friends round and we're having a pamper session.

What do you think of the SENSSE Tools? Let me know in the comments below.

*Disclaimer - I was gifted these products in return for an honest review. All words are my own.


Thursday, 24 August 2017

11 Struggles Most People Have On Their Periods

Periods. They ain't fun, yet so many of us go through them every month. And I've spoken to a few of my friends who surprisingly do most of these things on their period. It's a topic that's not spoken about so openly and after hearing about a campaign called The Homeless Period, I wanted to raise a bit more awareness about this cause.
The Homeless Period has raised concerns for the lack of sanitary supplements for people that are homeless in the UK. Started by 3 people who met as interns at a London advertising agency, they discovered that shelters allowances don't cover sanitary products. So they started a petition and got over 100,000 signatures to take it to Parliament. Since then, more awareness has been brought to the topic and more people have donated money and sanitary products to the cause.

So I know you're waiting for what we all secretly do on our periods, so here goes...

  • Period Poops - it's weirdly satisfying. It's like your body is doing a good clean out of all the nastiness.

  • The constant worry you are leaking. Because don't believe those glossy magazines that say it doesn't happen. ERRRRRRR, yes it does.

  • Jesus this month's period was worse than the last one. And repeat that saying. And repeat. And repeat.

  • Sweating - What we think going through the menopause will feel like. And sweating down below ain't sexy either.

  • You find yourself most frisky when on your period. I mean, really body? You're going to put me through that emotion too?!

  • The people closest to you end up being loved one minute and then given the evil stare of doom the next.

  • Even though you've done it a million times, it's still awkward when you buy sanitary supplies and have to pay for it in front of the cashier instead of self-service...#theyknow

  • The impossible task of removing a sanitary pad or tampon out of your bag and taking it with you to the toilet without anyone seeing.

  • Having a cheeky gander at the absolute mess you've just made in your toilet bowl like you're some sort of intrigued scientist.

  • Made a makeshift pad out of toilet paper because you've come on unannounced and have no sanitary supplies to hand.

  • Ruining pretty much every pair of knickers you've ever owned.

Anyone who doesn't get periods, thank your lucky stars. For those who do, celebrate it because it's normal and most importantly, you're not alone. If you'd like to donate to The Homeless Period then you can do so by visiting your local shelter or food bank.

Did you find yourself relating to these? Let me know in the comments below.


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Personal Barbers | Shaving Subscription Box

You may have seen The Personal Barber mentioned on my blog before after featuring it in one of my Father's Day Guides this year. The Personal Barber is a subscription box specifically for all things shaving and I touched on it briefly in my last post.

I really wanted to test the kit out and thankfully my partner Sam was sporting a bit of a beard when I asked him. SO...LET'S GET RID OF THAT BEARD!
The Personal Barber Box
The subscription box comes with a selection of products that change every month. The first box which is what we received, comes with all the basics for a wet shave. As Sam's hair was quite thick and long, a wet shave might not have been too kind to his skin, so when it came to shaving we used a shaving gel.

There was a step by step guide of how and what to do with the products which are great for those who don't tend to use so many products when shaving. First up was this delicious-smelling honey soap from Haslinger. It's very mild and is shaped for easy application. Sam rubbed the soap directly onto the hair and he seemed to enjoy it! This pre-shave step is what will help the hair follicles loosen up to make shaving less painful.
Haslinger Honey Soap
Applying soap on face
After applying the soap, the Somersets Detoxifying Face Scrub is applied to the area. An exfoliating scrub made up of vitamins and Jojoba beads which aren't harmful to the environment. The scrub cleans the skin and the hairs to avoid any bacteria or dirt going into the pores once shaved.

Sam did say that this had a burning sensation on the skin which may have been down to the sensitivity of his skin. Sam doesn't normally exfoliate so perhaps he was just being a wuss.
Somersets Face Scrub
Applying face scrub
And now onto the actual shave. We were given an old-school shaving brush to whip up the shaving gel and apply it onto the skin. The brush was very soft and it glided onto the skin effortlessly. I made sure that Sam completely soaked his hair in the foam so as to avoid re-shaving areas.

Sam also resembles Santa in the below photo which I find pretty hysterical every time I look at it.
Shaving Brush
Applying shaving gel
Shaving foam on beard
It was clear to see Sam's surprise as the razor glided effortlessly down his face to reveal hair-free skin. The whole shaving process probably took around 15 minutes which is slightly longer than he normally takes when using an electric shaver but I want to say that using this process left him with a much smoother and cleaner finish.

The subscription box came with several razors so he's probably got a good month or two's worth of shaving left with this box. Ideal if you're getting the box as a one-off but it will also keep you going till your next box.
Razor shaving hair
Finally onto the Facial Moisturiser which is from the company Good Day Organics. It's a light oil that's unscented, so great for those who may be sensitive to perfume/aftershave. The oil keeps the skin hydrated and the jojoba in the product helps maintain oil levels which means less chance of breakouts on the skin.
Facial Moisturiser
The result is a chin and neck that is as smooth as a baby's butt. I love Sam freshly shaven and I think he enjoyed playing guinea pig for this one.

What do you think of The Personal Barber? Let me know in the comments below.

*Disclaimer - I was gifted this subscription box but wasn't required to write this extra post. All words are my own.



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