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Pure Potions - Lip Balm

Our skin definitely takes a battering during the winter months and when it comes to my skin, it's actually behaved itself - well mostly.

I've definitely noticed more breakouts with my skin over the past year and I think a lot of it is stress related. I'm trying now though to get a better skincare regime in place to make sure my skin is the best it can be.

Pure Potions sent me over their Skin Salvation Intensive Lip Balm to try out. Fragrance-free and 100% natural, the lip balm is a handy little addition to have whilst on the go.
Close up of lip balm
I don't know about you but I have collected so many lip balms over the course of several years. They seem to just always appear around my birthday and Christmas. It's like my family and friends are trying to subtly hint that I have prunes for lips. #thanks

Ideal for those who suffer from dry/sensitive skin or are allergy-prone, the balm not only works on the lips but for adding a protective barrier around the nose, eyes and other dry areas.
Lid off lip balm
The ingredients listed are all components that you know, rather than having no clue what it is; beeswax, olive, safflower & hempseed oils, as well as organic tinctures of chamomile, calendula, nettle & chickweed.

I think my favourite thing about the balm is that it's this wonderful mustard yellow, so you know it's the good stuff. It's suitable for all ages, including babies so a great all rounder for all the family.
Lip balm on lips
It's online to buy for £4.99. It's a bit pricer than your regular Vasaline but if you want something that's actually going to work, give this one a try!






*Disclaimer - I was gifted this product in return for my own honest opinion.

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Sexual Health - Supporting Your Partner

I love using my blog to voice topics that don't tend to get as much recognition or coverage as they should do. Until now, I've not really spoken much about sexual health or sex full stop. I think there's still that attitude that anything to do with sex is still a little taboo, a little 'oh gosh am I the only one who doesn't find sex talk a little awkward'. Personally, I feel like I can be pretty open about talking all things sexy time but there's still an atmosphere. 

So when LloydsPharmacy wanted to share some advice on giving support to those closest regarding sexual health, I thought it was important to share it with you, my readers. I also realised that my readers are mainly women aged 18-35 so I think we're all adult enough to take this stuff seriously. 
Pills
If your partner’s going through tough times, you might be feeling the strain too. Seeing someone you love upset and stressed can be difficult to deal with, and you might also worry that you’re not doing enough to help. With this in mind, here are some tips that should make it easier for you to support your partner through this difficult period.

Be a good listener

Listening is just as important - in fact sometimes even more important - than chipping in with suggestions and comments. So, if your partner wants to talk, be willing to simply lend an ear. By encouraging them to speak and not interrupting them or trying to steer the conversation, you can let your other half get some important things off their chest that they might otherwise keep bottled up.

Offer practical advice

It’s also a good idea to get clued up on the problem your partner has so that you’re able to offer practical, constructive advice when they want it. This can be especially important if they’re embarrassed or anxious about the issue and may be reluctant to research it themselves. For example, if your partner has a sexual problem, like erectile dysfunction, it’s useful to get the facts so that you can send them in the right direction when it comes to discovering the cause and finding a suitable treatment. 

It’s important to be aware that erectile dysfunction can be a sign of an underlying health issue, so if you partner’s experiencing this, they should get themselves checked out by a doctor. It’s also worth noting that there are a range of treatments available. As well as the best known medicine Viagra, there are alternatives such as Sildenafil. This medicine contains the same active ingredient as Viagra and it’s cheaper. You can get prescriptions for Sildenafil in the UK from reputable providers online.

Whether it’s a health concern, a financial matter or anything else, having useful facts to hand could help your partner take practical steps to work through their problem.


Don't judge

We all react to stress and anxiety differently, so you’ll need to be patient when you’re dealing with your partner. They might not do things exactly as you would, and you might find yourself getting frustrated with their approach. Try not to let this show though. If you lose your temper and reveal that you’re angry or disappointed, you could make your partner feel even worse, and this could lead to a vicious circle.

Find ways to lighten the mood

Your partner may find it difficult to take their mind off the thing that’s bothering them, but with a little imagination, you should be able to lighten the mood a little. Suggesting different activities, whether it’s going to the cinema, talking a stroll or - if your budget will stretch to it - heading off on a relaxing mini-break, could help to cut stress levels and put a smile back on your other half’s face.
You might not be able to solve your partner’s problems yourself, but by following advice like this, you’ll at least be able to ensure you offer the support they need.


I hope this has helped a few of my readers and if you are currently in this situation yourself or are suffering from any other sexual health problem, don’t ignore it. Make sure you treat it to avoid any further problems and for any advice, visit the LloydsPharmacy website here.






*Disclaimer - This is a collaborative post with LloydsPharmac.

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A Shoutout To My Harasser.

I felt compelled to write something to do with this because of something that happened to me the other night. It's nothing rare - it's happened before on various occasions. I can also guarantee that it's probably happened to many women of all ages and plenty of my friends.
Barbie being squeezed

Sexual Harassment. 

The other night, I was an angry woman. I had been touched inappropriately after repeatedly saying no. One decline wasn't enough and neither was the second, third or fourth. The advice that has been given to me all my life to say no, did not work.

A drunken man in his late 20s, early 30s was stumbling ahead, in front of me, whilst I walked from a pub towards Charing Cross Station. My natural instinct was to cross over the road to avoid any attention but I think this stubbornness in me, kept me on his side. He caught me walking past and tried to grab my attention, slurring his words pathetically which made him look and sound like a sleaze ball. 

He tried again, catching up with me as I tried to walk quicker. I tried this time to politely decline his clear attempts of chatting me up 'No thank you, I have a boyfriend, please leave me alone'.

Three CLEAR indications that this woman obviously doesn't want to be bothered right?! Wrong.

He continued to follow me across the road telling me he 'only wants to help' - because clearly I was the one who needed the help - and then as I said 'go away', he grabbed me by the arm.

I'm sorry, but at any point during our brief and forced encounter, did I say I wanted you to touch me?

Is it because I'm a woman, that you thought you'd try your luck with me? Or perhaps was it because I was on my own. Maybe it was the apparent 'signals' that I was giving off with my head down, clearly an intention that I wanted you, that turned you on and therefore thought you'd give it a go. Was it because my legs were showing? A small bit of flesh that made you think I was fair game? That I might be easy? That I wouldn't have a boyfriend dressed like that or that I wouldn't have a boyfriend because I was walking home on my own.

Did you hear me when I didn't respond to your first approach. Did you listen to me when I said no? Did you take my words on board when I told you to leave me the fuck alone.

But what I really don't get is why you grabbed me? Why did you put your hands on me? I said no. You wouldn't know this but my heart was beating faster when I could see you weren't going to leave me be. My instinct to scream at you when you touched me was something primal. You left me alone when I shouted for you to 'piss off' but I feel you only backed off because people were nearby.

You touched me without my consent.

And what if I were really on my own, walking down a street. Would you have gone further? Were you as drunk as you appeared to be? Or could you have overpowered me? Perhaps if you'd gripped me a little tighter, I might have suddenly frozen and the fear of being attacked would have overwhelmed me.

I wonder whether you have a mother. I wondered straight after our encounter whether you had a sister, a female friend or work colleague. Do you think they'd enjoy the same treatment? Do you think you'd be angry if someone did that to them? Did you think about me and my friends, my parents or my boyfriend when you started harassing me. I wonder if you thought about me in the morning, if you remembered me at all. I wonder if you thought about how scared you made me feel, how worried you made my mum, my dad, my auntie, my family's friends feel when I vented my anger on Facebook.

You don't know this, but after you harassed me, I immediately felt self-conscious of the outfit I was wearing. I felt as though I were naked. I felt really, really vulnerable. And you know what? It really made me angry.

I'm angry for letting myself feel this way. I'm angry for having to call my boyfriend so that I could talk to someone whilst walking home. I'm angry at you for thinking you had a right to touch my body. That you had every right to follow me, to make me feel like a piece of meat, to tell me that I needed your help.

What upsets me most is that this isn't the first time it's happened and it won't be the last for me or for another woman. I've been cat-called, I've had my bum felt, I've had my breasts ogled at when I'm trying to have a conversation, I have to put up with 'jokes' people make about women and then get the 'oh lighten up' reaction when I don't find it funny. But you know what? I actually feel sorry for you.

Yep. I feel sorry for you because you clearly have no respect for yourself. You have no respect for others and the saddest thing is that you've not been educated. You've not been taught that when someone says no, that means exactly that. I know plenty of single men that given that situation, they would never have thought to do what you did.

I just hope that if you have a son, you'll teach him your errors and hopefully a woman's place on this earth can be that much more closer to being equal to man. Because we are far from it - clearly.

If you've been sexually harassed or want more information, Citizen's Advice is a great place to help your situation.






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The AM-PM Tag

Thanks go to Nikki from Love Laughs Lipstick for sharing this tag post. I love these sort of tag blog posts because for many of you who don't know me personally, it's great to show you who I am and what I'm about. This is the AM-PM tag!
Sunrise

What’s for breakfast?

Breakfast varies which is annoying because when I was living at home, breakfast was always a must. We’d all have to get up extra early in order to get our cereal and tea. Now I’m lucky if I manage to  get a cereal bar and coffee.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee all the way. I’m sad to say that I can’t function properly until I’ve had at least one cup of coffee in me. I do sometimes get a thirst for tea but that’s normally in the afternoon.

How long does it take you to get out the door?

Normally I get up at 7.45am to be out the door by 8.25/8.30am. In my previous job though I was having to get up even earlier but now I have enough time to wake myself up and slap on some makeup.

What’s your go-to makeup look on a fuss-free morning?

My morning makeup routine has turned into quite a feat. I’m now using liquid eyeliner, contouring and even highlighting! However if I’m not feeling a massive amount of makeup, I’ll only add a small amount of foundation, a tiny bit of concealer under the eyes, a dab of eyeshadow, some mascara and finish off with a neutral lipstick.

What’s your evening beauty routine?

My evening beauty routine has also changed for the better (previously I just took my makeup off with a wipe). Now I take time to remove all my makeup with Garnier Micellar Water (love this stuff) and then apply a moisturiser and eye serum. I’m afraid though ladies that’s the best it’s going to get at the moment…

Snack time! What’s in the bowl?

I don’t really snack when I’m at home if I’m honest. If I do though, I have a thing for prawn crackers. Sam normally entices me with a bag of them from Tesco and I can certainly finish the whole bag with no help whatsoever.


How do you wind down and prep for bed?

I wouldn’t say I’m good at winding down at the end of the evening just yet. I would like to get into more of a routine though. For me, an evening of winding down would be to read a book whilst I have a face mask on or alternatively, a nice warm bubble bath.

Cosy up! What are you wearing to sleep?

I love to be toasty in bed. I hate being cold in general - it brings out my moody side in full force. I would normally wear a pyjama set during the winter and maybe a vest top and shorts for summer.


What are some things you have to do before hitting the hay?

Some of the things I do before hitting the hay would be going through my emails, trawling through Instagram and YouTube and sometimes not getting to bed till late because I’ve feel down the rabbit hole of the Internet.

Sunset

What are your AM-PM rituals? Let me know in the comments below!







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High Quality Accommodation - Necessary Facilities for Your Holiday

Introducing guest blogger Jack Louis. Jack is an experienced writer, blogger and social media promoter, providing valuable information that helps his readers. This week, Jack is talking about holidays (I'm craving a holiday) and the best accommodation options for your stay!

Holidays are the best times to make thousands of memories with your friends, family and loved ones. This is the time when you pack your bags and head towards beautiful destinations to spend your holidays peacefully. Well, except planning out the beautiful location, a high quality accommodation with all necessary facilities is also required because there is no use of choosing a beautiful location when your accommodation is completely awful. Hence, it is very important that you choose high quality accommodation by keeping it on priority. You must check out all the best and high quality accommodations such as hotels, resorts and lounges in order to make your journey a peaceful one because after a tiring day of exploring the new place and enjoying the beauty around, all you want is a warm and comfortable accommodation to take rest.
Hotel Room

Best Holiday Destination around the World


Holidays are all about living life with all comfort and peace. Therefore, choosing a high quality
accommodation with all necessary facilities is as important as selecting the best holiday destination. That is why today in this post we are going to share top five high quality accommodation with all necessary facilities for your peaceful holidays. The top five high quality accommodations with all necessary facilities are:

Hotel Room

Hotels

Whenever we plan out holidays, the first thing that comes to our mind is Hotels. Hotels are the most common accommodation which comes with all necessary facilities. No matter, if you select a high budget hotel or a low budget hotel, but you would definitely get all the necessary facilities in every type of hotel. All around the world, there are various types of hotels available differing in facilities, price, luxury and stars. Some are 2 star hotels and some are five star hotels. These stars show the number of facilities provided by these hotels. The best thing about hotels is that everyone can afford to be here. No matter if you are rich or a middle class family, everyone can afford to stay here. Also, there are many online websites which provide huge discounts on hotels. Therefore, if you’re looking for the high quality accommodation with all necessary facilities, then hotels are the most satisfying and enjoyable pick for you.   

Resort

If you’re looking for the high quality accommodation with all necessary facilities along with some refreshing location, then resorts are the best accommodation for your holiday. There are many resorts available around the world. You can get thousands of options according to your budget and requirements. There are some places which are considered as the best holiday destinations. Here you can look for some resorts with good ratings. If you have decided that you want to book a resort as your accommodation for the holidays then you can get the best resort information from various websites. The best thing about booking resorts online is that on various occasions you get huge discounts on them.   

Palace

The Palaces are considered as one of the most sophisticated and the classiest places to spend time in. Palaces are basically one of those accommodations which provide a royalty and grand residence. If you love to be in a royal residence or else you always have been dreaming of being in royal places, then you can plan out your holidays in a beautiful and royal palace. Talking about all the necessary facilities, there are many palaces available all over the world which are considered as one of the best and high quality accommodation with all necessary facilities.

Mansions

Mansions are considered as a large house and are just another name for an impressive house. If you’re planning for your holidays then there wouldn’t be any other better option than staying in a mansion.

Bungalow

There are some people who have separate bungalows for spending quality time with their family. If you don’t own any bungalow then you can get it on rent for some days to enjoy your holidays. There are many options available online, where you can book any of the bungalows you like. These beautiful bungalows are reliable and high quality accommodation with all necessary facilities included.
Hotel Room
So the next time you are planning your family holiday, consider these different high quality accommodation with all necessary facilities for your stay. Choose one that fits your budget as well as preference of comfort and have a fantastic holiday!





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My Most Reached For Beauty Products

Overview of all the beauty productsSo I realised that this is actually the first ever 'most reached for beauty products' post that I've done on UpYourVlog. I've found that over the past month or so, I've had a few beauty products that I've been reaching for on a daily basis not only for casual use but for when I'm having a big night out and I thought I'd share them with you. Here's my currently most reached for beauty products. Prepare for beauty products galore...

Zoeva Cocoa Blend Eyeshadow Palette - £18.00

Close up of Zoeva palette
The Zoeva palette has honestly become my favourite eyeshadow palette that I've ever used, so much so that I'm definitely going to buy more of their palettes when I have the money. The formulas are just so creamy and the colours all blend together really well. My favourites to use currently are Bitter Start which is the cream base colour, Freshly Toasted and Pure Genache. This is my go-to brown eyed look. Full review of the product can be found here.

Benefit's Hoola Bronzer - £23.50

Hoola Bronzer
The Hoola Bronzer has fast become a love of mine for creating a bronzed glow all over the face. At first I was using it just for contouring, but I found that blending this over the face actually gives my skin that 'I've literally just stepped off the plane from Barcelona' look. See the full review here.

Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette - £9.99

Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette
The Sleek Highlighter Palette should be in everyone's makeup drawers. It's such good value for money and I love using Equinox on my cheekbones, my nose and my cupid's bow to give my face more of a healthy glow. I definitely notice the difference when I don't use it and it's now become a daily addition to my makeup routine to add a bit of highlighter. It's also great for dabbing on over lipstick and under the eyebrow bone.


L'oreal's Infallible Foundation - £9.99 

Infallible Foundation
A bit of a surprise with this one, seeing as I picked it up on a whim. It's a constant shade battle with me to find the right foundation to fit my skin and even though I haven't quite found it yet, this one comes close. This is in the shade 9 - Light Sand and is a thick liquid foundation that provides great coverage throughout the day with very little flacking on the skin. I mix this with my Jojoba oil and it works really well.


La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Duo+ - £11.60

Effaclar Duo +
I've raved about this skincare brand on my blog recently here so it's clearly had a positive effect on me. The La Roche-Posay brand is specifically formulated by expert dermatologists and this product has done wonders for my skin in reducing blemishes and redness. See the full review here.


Eden Semilla's Jojoba Oil - £11.95

Jojoba Oil
This little bottle of goodness is great for keeping the skin firm and toned, reducing the appearance of fine lines and is a great addition to my beauty routine. I love adding a drop of this to my foundation, which not only makes it easier to blend but it also gives my skin a dewy finish. It will probably last me another six months because of how little I need to use. Great value for money! See the full review here.

Urban Decay's Naked Concealer - £19.00
UD Naked Concealer
This concealer definitely packs some glowy power. I was impressed by the coverage of this concealer too but I wouldn't say it's the best value for money in comparison to other concealers I've had in the past. I've been using this mainly for just the under eye area and for any spots or dull areas that need a bit of a pick me up. Read the full review here.

NYX Liquid Suede - £6.50
NYX Liquid Suede
Oh I love this shade so much. It's the perfect beige/pinky nude for every day wear and the matte effect is just perfect. It doesn't dry out my lips and it lasts for a while. The only thing I'd recommend is to not move your lips whilst you wait for it to dry as I tend to get it on my teeth...or maybe that's just because of my impatience to let it dry! Read the full review here.

What are you most reached for beauty products at the moment? Let me know in the comments below.







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Pairfum London - Reed Diffusers

You may have noticed before just how much I love diffusers and candles currently. The obsession started after I moved from university and I feel a bit empty inside if I don't have any candles burning away whilst I'm relaxing in the bath or un-winding from the day in my bedroom with my aroma diffuser blasting away.

Pairfum London sent me over one of their reed diffusers to test out and I have to be honest when I say, I've never owned one before. Why? Well because candles for me are the essence of what makes a room feel instantly relaxing and comforting. Anything else just wouldn't have the same effect. However, fragrances for me are a big contributing factor and I use my aroma diffuser daily so perhaps this would be a suitable alternative?
Pairfum bottle and reedsI received the Tower Classic with the Magnolias in bloom scent. This one appealed to me mostly because it's Spring and I wanted a little more of a floral scent as opposed to the spices that I prefer during the winter. The fragrance oil came in a 100ml bottle that's elegant in design. The decanter is very well made and has a frosted glass effect running all around it. A decorative chrome collar adds a little something extra but also keeps the reeds in place.

The natural black reeds (of which there are 10 in total) draws the oil up and releases the fragrance into the room. The more reeds you add to the oil, the stronger the smell. So what did I do? I chucked them all in because you know what, you have to commit when it comes to fragrance and just go wild.
Fragrance oil up close
Interestingly, a lot of reed diffusers use carrier solvents which aren't eco-friendly and are classed as VOC which are essentially harmful for the lungs to inhale and are depleting the ozone layer. However, Pairfum's diffusers do not use these solvents, so you're safe in the knowledge that not only you but anyone who comes into contact with the diffuser, will be safe inhaling it.

The fragrance oil lasts for 3-5 months, which in reed diffusers is apparently a very long time, so this will definitely last me until Autumn pops by.
Diffuser on dressing table
I think for the style and how gorgeous it looks on my living room side table, it's definitely worth the £20.00. The fact that it lasts so long as well makes up for the amount I'd spend in candles anyway.

Make sure you check out their range as they supply candles, perfumes and skincare products too!






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ResMed S+

Sleep. We all need it in various quantities. Some can last on a mere few hours whilst others need an excessive amount just to function. I'd like to say I'm pretty average on around 7-8 hours of sleep per night. I certainly can tell the difference if I've had less than 6 hours sleep. I get that sicky/woozy feeling that doesn't really go away all day.

When I first got the opportunity to review the ResMed S+ I had my doubts but also the excitement that technology has advanced to a stage where we can personally track our sleeping patterns sounded pretty exciting.
Packaging of ResMed
The ResMed S+ device costs £129.95 to buy from John Lewis here or Amazon here, so it's a pretty pricey gadget. I got pretty excited though when it arrived and I unpackaged it to find what was inside. The device comes in a silver stand which fits perfectly on my bedside table of books and it's plugged into my bedside socket. You have to download the app on either the Apple store or Play store depending on the make of your phone in order to use the ResMed.

The instructions are pretty self-explanatory and you can jump in with analysing your sleep almost instantly but first you have to build a profile to tell the device a little bit about you and your lifestyle. This helps tailor the device to give you advice on how you can sleep better, which is pretty nifty.
ResMed Stand
The ResMed can be adjusted so that the device can focus on your chest which is where it needs to be to track your sleeping. I'm not quite sure how accurate the device is but it seemed to be pretty in sync with my breathing when I tested it out on the app. The device monitors not only your breathing but your movement and the room's atmosphere in relation to temperature and lighting conditions.

I decided to get straight into the testing and tried it out that night. Unfortunately though, we had a pest problem at the time which ended with waking us up several times in the night, so not the best introduction to the ResMed device. However, what was interesting was to see this disruption had clearly had an effect on my sleep. 
Close up of ResmedThe app measures your sleep score out of 100 and this is broken down into Deep, Light, REM and Wake. It also shows you how many disruptions to your sleep you had in total. The below picture is a screenshot of the amount of disruptions I had that night and you can clearly see that our little mouse problem, ended up giving me 13 disruptions with only three points where I was in a deep sleep and four where I was in REM (this is the point where your brain is most active and dreaming occurs - I was probably dreaming of being chased by mice)
ResMed App
The app prompts you with daily advice on how to get better sleep and the message definitely seemed to be that I needed to exercise a little more. By fitting in exercise at least three hours before bedtime, this would help relax my body for rest. I think I need to also stop looking at my phone or laptop before I go to bed and keep my technological devices away from the bedroom when I start winding down for the evening.

I've been using it for around 3 weeks now and I've found it's definitely improved my sleep, if not also for making me more conscious of the amount of caffeinated drinks I consume and the alcohol I drink every day. It's very bad...

Is this a device that could help you? Let me know in the comments below.






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Bravura - Chemical Peels

I've been using Bravura's products now for a couple of weeks to see what acid peels really do to the skin and whether they make a difference or not. My skin is pretty sensitive so my initial worry was that I was going to have a major reaction to it and not be able to use it.

Bravura London tailors their products depending on how your skin is currently. I really dislike the question 'What's your skin type?' because it puts you into a box and in reality, your skin type changes depending on a variety of factors such as the type of food you eat, the amount of caffeine and alcohol intake, where you live and the weather for example. I notice I get really dry skin when I drink too much caffeine and not enough water. I get a really oily T-zone if I over moisturise and I also get breakouts when I'm stressed out. I get dull skin if I don't get enough sleep and I also get a sickly purple/redness under my eyes too from lack of rest.
Toner, Acid and brush
So the bottom line is, is that your skin type changes and when someone asks you that question, the real question to ask yourself is 'How does my skin feel today?' and that's how I picked between what was available with Bravura. I got sent the Revitalising Ginseng Toner and the Glycolic Acid. On their website, Bravura has a great recommendation section, where Amanda shares a detailed guide on different skin types (she's the Co-Director of Bravura). So if you're interested in acid peels, the first thing to do is to consult that section of the website here.

When I received the products, I have to admit I was a little nervous. One because of how my skin would react and that I really didn't want to be my super clumsy self and end up getting acid in my eyes. #nojokeimthatclumsy
Close up of toner and acid
The first step was cleansing the face so I normally use Garnier's Micellar Water to remove any dirt and makeup from my face. Next I swiped my face all over with the Revitalising Ginseng Toner and a cotton pad. This toner is specifically made for normal to dry and sensitive skins, so it was suited for my skin. It's ideal for balancing the skin's PH after cleansing and to prepare your skin for both moisturiser and applying the Glycolic Acid.

It's a very delicate scented fragrance, not exactly my cup of tea but it didn't put me off. The toner helps firm and tone the skin, tightening the pores and smoothing the appearance of the skin, giving it a finer, softer texture. This is an acid based toner which reduces the PH levels of the skin. The higher the PH, the more your skin becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. I definitely felt a slight tingling sensation when I first used this toner but it wasn't at all painful or uncomfortable.
Applying the acid onto face using brush
After using the toner, next comes the Glycolic Acid. Please note that for both the toner and the acid, it's vital you do a patch test on your skin. At the end of the day, this is acid and it should be treated with the upmost care when applying it onto the skin. 

The Glycolic Acid is infused with lavender (which I love) and can actually be used 3-4 times a week. I used this two times in the space of two weeks but I'll be increasing the usage as it suggested starting off once a week and then building up. This chemical peels tackles the top layer of the skin, breaking down the 'glue' that keeps those dead skin cells together. The results is that the skin becomes smoother and more even in tone and texture. It also produces more collagen which of course helps reduce the signs of aging.
Before and After pictures
I used the brush that came with the acids to swipe the solution over my skin. This had a much more tingly feeling and felt a little itchy but I wouldn't go as far to say that it stung or felt uncomfortable which was definitely what I thought would be the case. 

I left it on for 5 minutes and then de-activated the acid by washing my face with warm water. I did notice some redness which you can see in the photos but this cleared up after 10 minutes. Overall my skin definitely feels a lot smoother each time I do the acid peel but the long term effects aren't as prominent as I thought they'd be. The only thing I've really noticed is the fine lines across my forehead are slightly reduced. I think for this, you do need to use it for a few weeks 3-4 times a week before you start seeing a difference.
Before and After pictures
That said, I think chemical peels are going to become a bit of a beauty trend this year especially as it's now possible to do them in the comfort of your own home. You can get the Ginseng Toner for £12.40 and the Glyconic Acid for £9.59

Seeing as you only have to use a half a pipette's worth of product per treatment, I think this is fabulous value for money.

Have you ever had a chemical peel before? Let me know in the comments below.


*Disclaimer - I was gifted these products in return for my own honest opinion.

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Top Tips When Moving House

I've had perhaps, the fortunate opportunity, in moving house two times in the three years I've been in London and although it sounds excessive, it was needed. When we first moved down to London, we moved into our flatmate's parents house in Crayford. Crayford was in Zone 6 of London and if you haven't been to London...well it's a big place. Zone 6 is quite far out from the city and took a good 45 minutes to an hour to get there. When we moved, we went all the way into Zone 2 to a place called New Cross Gate, which is in South East London. This was perfect for the time but then Sam moved back from Cardiff and our flat in New Cross Gate became too tiny for the three of us so we moved slightly out into Zone 3, which is where we are now.

Moving house can be quite the challenge because you not only have to find the right property to suit your wants and needs, but the actual moving from one place to another takes a bit of planning, especially as you accumulate your own furniture over time. So I wanted to share with you my top tips for moving house. Whether it's your first time or you've moved before, it's great to get some advice from others who've been in the same boat!
Property

Decide on what you want

Whether you are living on your own, as a couple, with friends or with a family, you all have your own preferences. A bigger bathroom, more storage space or a better area to live in, these are all requests you need to write down before you start searching for a property. It's important to know your ideal property because this will be your home and you need to be happy with it. Sometimes it's compromise if you are sharing but if it's your first house as a couple, you really want to be sure of what you want in a property.


Be reasonable with budget

Here in London, you'll probably be paying a lot more than the rest of the country is paying, regardless of whether you are renting or owning a place. Make sure you don't get in over your head by setting your budget too high. Only you know how much you are earning, how much you spend and therefore how much you can afford. Signing a contract to a property is a very serious move and you do not want to end up putting yourself into debt because you can afford the payments. Sure, this may mean you have to sacrifice on some of the things you want in your next home but at least you won't have sleepless nights worrying about not paying your bills.
Inside a kitchen

Check the property

When looking at properties, please make sure to look out for tell tale signs of long-term damage, consider the area you are living in and whether it's at risk of pest problems and make sure you cover all the questions and queries you have with the estate agent. We've had a recent problem with pests that we weren't aware of but now we've experienced it, the first few things we'll check with our next property is the area the property is in, the age of the building and whether there's any exposed access to the property. Asking as many questions as possible, will help reassure you when the day comes to sign.


Get advice when signing

Estate Agents and landlords can sometimes screw you over, to put it politely. There's quite a lot of them out there that just want you to sign a contract and then have no involvement with you from then on. The same goes for landlords in that if you have a bad one, they could end up making your living environment unbearable. Purchasing your first property is also a big step up from renting so if you are buying a property, get some legal advice. Property solicitors like Slater & Gordon are available for you as a property owner to seek professional advice on the jargon that may leave you feeling stumped. They'll also help you with the conveyancing fees of moving from one property to another. They have offices all over the UK such as London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh to name a few so make sure you look into this avenue when purchasing a property.

Box full of photographs

Prepare for the move

Make sure you're fully prepared for moving day. Getting the keys for your new property should be your first port of call but it would also be a good option to make sure your moving day is a week or so before your contract ends at the current property you are in. There's nothing worse than something unexpected happening with the moving process and you're left with having to seek temporary accommodation. If you don't have a lot of furniture, then getting help from friend is a cheap way of moving. For us, I think we've now reached a point where we may have to hire a man with a big van for the day as we've not got a few bulky pieces that unfortunately won't fit into the back of a car. Also make sure you get enough cardboard boxes and packing tape. You can get boxes from your local supermarket.

Set up as soon as possible

The small things like your internet access tend to sometimes slip through the net when you're in the process of moving so make sure all your water, electric, gas etc are set up so that the move is as seamless as it can be.

And be sure to flag up any future problems with your landlord or agent if you are renting a property. If you have a problem, approach them and be persistent.
Keys on chain
Have you moved house? Let me know your experiences in the comments below.






*Disclaimer - This is a collaborative post. However all words are my own.

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7 Fun Tips for Hosting a Perfect House Party

Peter Minkoff is one of my regular guest bloggers and you can always expect the best advice from his blogs. Check out his last one here. He's a beauty and fashion writer for Shlur magazine living in London and occasionally in Brisbane. After graduating from Australian Institute of Creative Design, he worked as a stylist for few fashion events in UK and AUS. Beside beauty and fashion, he loves reading, making DIY cosmetics and traveling around tropical destinations. He plans to create a business for beauty and style advising. This week, Peter's talking about tips for hosting a perfect house party.
Pouring champagne in a glass
Is there anything better than throwing (or attending) a fantastic house party, with a lot of enthusiastic people, fabulous music, loads of great food and inevitable drinks? We don’t think so! If you would like to know how to host a perfect house party, stay with us. Here are seven fun tips to make it happen.

Be selective with your guest list

A perfect house party simply can’t be imagined without a lot of guests. Let us put it this way – how successfully you will organize your party actually depends on who you choose to invite. A group of friends you often party with is absolutely obligatory, as well as a few key players who’ll help that everything runs as smooth as possible. A friend who doesn’t drink should be an ace up your sleeve since you’ll need someone sober to deal with unexpected situations. 

Invite your close friends to pregame

Guys passing a drink
There’s nothing more awkward than starting your party off with a group of people you haven’t spoken since your freshman year, which is exactly why you should invite your close friends to pregame. At least ten of them will be enough for setting the fabulous atmosphere, so make sure they arrive to your place before everyone else.

The music matters…

If the music is a disaster, trust us – your whole party will be a disaster, without exceptions! A good strategy is to find a friend who has DJ-ing skills, even though you’ll have to pay him a few bucks –  this way you’ll have it under control. On the other hand, if that’s not possible, you can always come up with a house party playlist that consists of songs everyone knows. You can’t go wrong with the ultimate partying hits!

… As well as your food selection

Antipasti
In case you didn’t know, people usually expect to be fed well at the parties, which is exactly why you should forget about veggie snacks and have some delicious meals instead. Hot wings are always a good idea, as well as a cold cut platter, so make sure you have them prepared. Apart from these, pizza is probably the safest option – everyone loves pizza, right? 

Invest in a variety of drinks (and make sure there are a lot of them)

No party is good if there’s no alcohol, so you should always invest in a variety of drinks, taking extra care about the quantity. Besides beer and vodka, red and white wine are absolute musts. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on luxurious liquor brands – it’s completely fine to buy cheaper vodka or wine. However, you can always upgrade your drinking game by getting awesome glow party cups. These are a huge hit these days, and the fact that they glow in the dark makes them even more irresistible! 

Always keep playing cards on deck

Deck of cards
Keeping playing cards on deck is probably the smartest thing you can do since these can do wonders if your party gets in a rut. Spades are a true lifesaver, especially if there’s a small group of friends who love card games that can last for hours. This is definitely one of the best and the most effective options for getting the things going.


Lock up your roommate’s door and get the party started

Before people arrive, the smartest thing to do is to lock up your roommate’s door. This is particularly important if you’re having a huge party since you can’t possibly know where every single guest is. So, if you don’t want strangers roaming his or her personal space, lock the room up and enjoy the rest of the night!

As you can see, there are a lot of tips on organizing a perfect house party everyone will love to attend. Once you master those, you can be sure that you’ve become the ultimate party host who knows how to handle literally anything!

Peter is also an Editor In Chief on High Style Life. So go check that out too!






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