The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Review

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

I'm a big fan of The Body Shop, so when a brand-spanking new range wings its way onto the shelves of the heavenly-scented store, I can't help but get a little excited.

The range in question is the new Wild Argan Oil range, which contains a plethora of new products, a few of which I was lucky enough to be sent. The range actually contains eight new products, all of which are infused with radiant Community Trade Fair argan oil. There is a shower gel, body butter, a miracle solid oil, a solid oil lip balm, body lotion, radiant oil, body scrub and bubble bath. Definitely something for everyone looking to try the new range.

I was sent a little selection from the collection and have been trialling them ever since. A few weeks after trying them, I think it's about time I fill you in on my thoughts on this exciting new range. Firstly - this range smells incredible. Whilst in the past I've found some argan oils to smell less than desirable, this selection smells completely delicious. The range smells super sweet, almost marzipan-esque, and I could literally smell it all day long. Probably not one for those of you who aren't keen on super sweet scents, but it's definitely a must-have for me.

Onto the products themselves. The shower gel* has been a firm favourite of mine, so much so that I'm already nearing the dregs of it (does anyone else tend to go a tad OTT with products when they're a fan of the smell?!). It leaves my skin feeling soft and smelling delicious - everything you want in a shower gel, right? The body lotion* also smells divine and is a really luxurious and hydrating product that leaves my skin feeling really soft and smooth. One of the products that I've really enjoyed using has been the miracle solid oil* for body and hair - this unique multi-use product is perfect for taking away on holiday (no liquid = perfect hand luggage item!) and leaves both my skin and hair feeling nourished. Finally, another product I've been loving is the solid oil lip balm*, which is incredibly hydrating on my lips, and has become my go-to lip-moisturising product.

Overall I am head over heels for this new range from The Body Shop and completely recommend it. I think all the products smell incredible and moisturise and hydrate amazingly well. Perfect if you suffer with dry skin/hair/lips!

Have you tried anything from the new Body Shop range yet? Let me know what you think!

August Wishlist

Saturday, 16 August 2014
Wishlist
1. Joules - £49.95
2. New Look - £12.99
3. Joules - £14.95
4. Accessorize - £29
5. H&M - £3.99
6. Miss Selfridge - £35

You might notice a bit of a difference with this month's wishlist post - instead of pastels aplenty, darker, more autumnal shades are creeping in. Let's face it, summer is drawing to a close in all honesty, and the shops are becoming stocked up with autumn clothes galore. Whilst some people love autumn, I do feel a bit sad at the thought of leaving all the summer days behind, although I am a big fan of A/W clothing. I thought I would mix a bit of summer and autumn together in this post to ease you all into the transitional period!

First up, I feel like this floral dress from Joules is the ideal transitional piece, perfect for wearing on those chilly September mornings. It's pretty enough that it can still pass off as a summery piece, but as it's long-sleeved and a chocolatey colour, it is also perfect for autumn. I can see me wearing it with some chunky boots, a big scarf and thick tights come those cooler days. Joules country clothing always makes me think about windy autumn days, getting wrapped up in scarves and donning floral wellies - anyone else feel like that? Next on my list, I couldn't resist putting in this donut clutch bag. New Look have excelled themselves when it comes to funky clutches, and this donut one is my favourite so far. I need it in my life - perfect for wearing on a night out, and sweet enough without any calories! For the third item on my wishlist I popped another pretty piece from Joules in - these gorgeous little hare earrings are super cute and a really good price. I think they'd make a lovely present for an animal-lover.

Say cheese! The camera bag from Accessorize is something I've had my eye on for a while now, so naturally it had to make the post. I think it's neutral enough that it would go with any outfit, and you guys know I love a quirky bag. It's definitely a bit pricier at £29, but it is Accessorize so it's to be expected. At the opposite end of the pricing scale, this floral makeup bag from H&M is super cheap at just under £4, and is such a cute design I couldn't resist putting it in. Sticking with florals, these shorts I found on Miss Selfridge are again, a perfect transitional piece, and there is also a matching top available - co-ord alert! Finally, I thought I would throw a beauty product in to mix things up a bit, especially considering I have decided I need this in my life. Whilst I love my current brow product of choice, watching too many YouTube tutorials has lead me to lusting after the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade. I'm not too sure which shade I'll need yet but I know this is something I just have to have.

What's on your wishlist this month? 

Introducing Essence

Friday, 15 August 2014

In today's post I'm going to be talking about a new brand I've recently discovered sitting on the shelves in Wilkos. A few weeks ago I blogged about Wilkos' new beauty range, and amongst the gorgeous brushes I found, I also discovered a brand called 'Essence'.

I'd never previously heard of the brand before, but a quick look on their website suggest they're available all around the world. Whilst in Wilkos I spotted a stand full to the brim of Essence goodies, and after originally giving them a wide berth, I tried a few testers out and was immediately sold. On the stand there was everything from nail polishes to blushes, eyeshadows to eyeliners... and everything was ridiculously cheap. Luckily for me it was all three for two as well, so I couldn't resist picking up six different bits - three eyeshadows and three nail polishes.

The nail polishes had me seriously excited as soon as I laid eyes on them - I'm a sucker for a cheap nail polish, and the best thing was that a great deal of the polishes available were glitter-based or 'effect' polishes. The three I decided to go for in the end were two 'Nail Art' Special Effect Toppers; 'Circus Confetti'; a multi-coloured mix, and '23 Million Dollar Baby'; a stunning jewel-effect, and one Effect Nail Polish; 'Glitz and Glam'; an sparkly pink with iridescent turquoise running through it. In short - these polishes are fantastic. As you can see from the images above, they are completely stunning and unlike any polishes I've seen before. Well, I tell a lie, I do think I've seen lots of polishes similar to 'Circus Confetti' before, but as for the two other polishes, I don't think any other brands have achieved similar effects as yet. 'Glitz and Glam' and '23 Million Dollar Baby' are absolutely gorgeous, almost mermaid-esque nail polishes. '23 Million Dollar Baby' almost looks like sequins on the nails, whilst 'Glitz and Glam' is a really beautiful mix of pink flakes with iridescent green/blue running through it. As for staying power? I've found these polishes last amazingly well, with no chips at all. They're also really easy to apply and to be honest I can't fault them at all.

The eyeshadows definitely aren't as exciting as the polishes, but they're still worth mentioning. I was drawn to them as from swatching they seemed fairly pigmented and for the price I couldn't grumble. However, upon application there really isn't much to be impressed about when it comes to the 'Mono Eyeshadows' - they look pretty but take quite a lot of work and aren't nearly as pigmented as I originally thought. I opted for 'Purple Clouds', a lilac-toned shadow, and 'Dance All Night', a pale beige from the Mono shadow range. However, the eyeshadow I am impressed with is the super sparkly deep brown/copper shadow, 'Chocolate Jewellery' from the 'Metal Glam' range, which is really pigmented and super sparkly. I'm definitely keen to try more of the 'Metal Glam' shadows after trying this one.

Overall I'm really impressed with Essence as a whole. I think Wilkos have done really well to secure this brand in their stores as it is bound to be really popular, particularly with younger girls starting out in makeup. I'm wishing I'd given the blushes a try as opposed to the shadows as they had some really interesting gradient blushes, but I'm sure I'll get round to trying them soon. I can't remember exact prices but everything I've mentioned cost around £1-£3 each - so really affordable. I'm keen to try more of the polishes as they seem to have quite a range of different 'effect' lacquers and for the price they're definitely worth it.

Have you tried Essence yet? What do you think to it?

Why The Daily Mail Readers Will Never Understand Blogging

Thursday, 14 August 2014
I find tabloids are best used as fish and chip wrappings - don't you agree? 

I'm not sure if you've heard, but today an article went live on the Daily Mail (both online and in print), featuring yours truly. Yes, you heard right, for some bizarre reason a week ago I agreed to be interviewed (and photographed) for the Daily Fail, as the majority of the internet-dwelling population like to call it. Why? Predominantly for the blog exposure, if I'm honest, but also because I wanted to expel some myths about twenty-somethings 'having it all'. Why I thought the Daily Mail was the right place to do that, I'll never know.

The article is about people my age expecting more out of life by now, simply put. After writing this post a few weeks ago I felt it the perfect opportunity to paint a wider picture for people - to let everyone know how our generation is feeling. I'm an honest person, and I always write honestly on this blog - that's why I deem it successful. I wrote that blog post, as I write every blog post, so that my readers can relate and perhaps find solace in the fact they might not be alone in feeling as I did when I wrote the post - like a work in progress.

Of course, the lovely people (can you sense my sarcasm?) at the Daily Mail took it upon themselves to turn my words into something all the more sinister - as they do the majority of their articles - deeming me a self-entitled brat with a head full of fantasies, who expects the world handed to her on a plate. A girl who wants the get-famous-quick lifestyle of the reality stars which the Daily Mail so often promotes (or rips to shreds), but doesn't want to work for it. Although I like to think the majority of my readers know me well enough to recognise that this is, quite frankly, a whole load of rubbish, I still felt the need to address a few things, and write a response of sorts. Not because I feel I have something to prove, but because I am most definitely not the type of person to sit in silence when I'm bad-mouthed, by anyone - including hideous tabloids like the Mail.

First of all - I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, and as such I have worked damn hard to get me on that path. After completing my GCSEs and A-levels, I went on to study for three years to get myself a degree in English, that I'm actually incredibly proud of. Whilst studying at uni I worked in a shop part-time to pay my way whilst gaining experience in the beauty industry - the industry I wanted to write about. I also spent months of my life interning at newspapers and magazines, staying late every night and all the time working for zilch - nada. I saved money so that I could move down to London whilst interning, and whilst doing all of this I also wrote my blog.

Now, readers of the Daily Mail might think my blog is a silly, insignificant place on the internet where I drone on about blushes and mascaras, but to me it's something I've built up over years of hard work, that has given me a considerable amount of recognition and has actually been extremely worthwhile in terms of giving me internships, and, would you believe it, even jobs. It has given me the opportunity to work with dozens upon dozens of incredible brands, which has given me further exposure. More than anything, it's been a platform for my writing - which you can think what you like about - but unlike the Daily Mail, every single word I've ever written on this blog has been the truth. I don't spin lies to get a good story - I write honestly and I know for a fact that is what makes my blog appealing to my readers - they trust me, which is something tabloids like the Mail will never be able to achieve.

Blogs might not be the be-all and end-all, but anyone who thinks that they are not worthwhile is most definitely misinformed. Blogging has changed the landscape of publishing - and maybe that's why journalists at the Mail are quaking in their boots - they know that bloggers do have power. Whilst some people might think we spend our days flouncing around doing nothing, a whole lot of hard work goes into running a blog. Whilst scrolling through the comments on the article I noticed a couple of people stating that blogging is never going to be a full-time job - well how wrong you are. I know dozens of bloggers who do it full-time, and make a great deal more than you'd think. They get to go on press trips, as would journalists, and get to try new products before anyone else. They work with huge brands on national campaigns and this wasn't all handed on a plate to them - it's down to years of hard work. Blogging takes time - it's not just a case of sitting down and tap-tapping at a keyboard. It takes research, trialling products, hours of photography and editing, proof-reading, promotion through social media... It isn't easy, and it definitely isn't for the lazy.

I don't expect the world handed to me on a plate. Whilst I do dream about having a certain lifestyle, I also recognise that not everything I want may be achievable. I also know fine well that nobody on this earth gets anywhere without putting in hard work. I'm a big believer that you can be the brightest spark on the planet, but if you don't put work in, you won't get anywhere. I don't think the Daily Mail wanted to paint that picture of me, though. It wasn't a good enough story.

I started my blog because I wanted to pursue a career as a writer and I was told (by magazines, tutors and the like) that writing a blog would be a huge starting point. With the death of print looming around the corner, I think we all need to recognise that online media is taking over, and thus blogs will always be at the forefront of that. That doesn't mean bloggers are better than anyone else - but it most definitely does not make us lazy.

Whilst the readers of the Daily Mail might not understand the concept that people actually pursue careers in social media and blogging, I hope that my readers do. I also hope you all understand that I am not a self-entitled schmuck who expects the world without putting any effort in - I'm just a hard-working girl who likes to dream, but also understands that my dreams might be somewhat unreachable at times. I don't think anyone has the right to dampen a person's dreams however - and luckily, the Daily Mail hasn't dampened mine.

Things I'd Like To Do Before The Summer Ends

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

As sad as it is to say, I can definitely feel autumn creeping in and summer coming to an end. I'm an August baby and so will always have a soft-spot for the summer months - I mean, who doesn't? I actually think we've had a really good summer so far this year and I've spent many a day frolicking in the sunshine, which is basically what I wanted to spend the majority of my summer doing. There have been BBQS, long walks with my dog, day trips away and many a summer evening spent drinking cider and soaking up the last of the day's rays. I've given bike-riding a go (sort of), had picnics in the park and lots of long lunches in the sunshine. All-in-all, summer has been great - but as it's not over just yet, I thought I'd go through a few of the things I'd like to do before the summer is out. 

Go on holiday -  This one is a biggy and it's about 99% guaranteed not to happen, but a girl can dream, right? I always lust after a late summer holiday, and would ideally love to go to somewhere like one of the Greek islands with my other half. I've never been to Greece before but it looks so picture-perfect I would absolutely love to go. I'm hoping I'll be lucky enough to be whisked away on a blogging trip or something, but alas, that's probably never going to happen. That being the case, I still spend my evenings searching the likes of Thomas Cook for potential last-minute holidays - I know, I'm torturing myself really. Maybe next year? 

Celebrate my birthday -  I'm turning 24 this August and whilst that frightens me profusely, I am excited about the prospect of celebration that birthdays bring. I love it when my whole family come together to celebrate, and I'm hoping the weather will stay sunny for the big day. I'm also slowly but surely putting a wishlist of presents I want together, and there is a lot of makeup on there. I know, as if I need any more!?

Take a trip to the beach -  I can't actually believe it, but I don't think I've been to the seaside once this summer. Last year I went there multiple times, but this year something or other has got in the way, as well as me feeling guilty for leaving Rory behind (he gets car sick). I definitely think I'm going to have to take a trip to Skegness and soak up the sun, spend all my money in the amusements and buy an ice cream or three. It would be rude not to, right?

Go on a long bike ride - As I mentioned previously, this summer was the summer I got back on the bike (literally). I haven't ridden a bike in years and it's definitely been a learning-curve. Whilst I don't think I'm particularly road-safe just yet, I would really like to go exploring on a long bike ride with my boyfriend one day in the coming weeks. Here's hoping this weekend is nice so we can take a trip somewhere. The only downside to going biking with someone is I know I'm pretty much guaranteed to get left behind - oh well! 

I was asked by New Look to try out their Holiday vs. Festival Personality Quiz and my result was Barbados - which is pretty much my dream holiday destination and so I think the quiz is pretty accurate! I wasn't too keen on the tribal-inspired holiday clothing New Look picked for me though, so I'd say they got my holiday style right but not my fashion! It's definitely worth giving a go if you have a spare five minutes and want to see where New Look thinks is your ideal holiday/festival :) 


Holiday Vs. Festival Summer Personality Quiz by New Look

What are your plans for the rest of the summer? Let me know if you take the quiz and what result you get! 

*This post is in collaboration with New Look*

Royal & Langnickel 'Love is Hopeful' Brush Set Review

Tuesday, 12 August 2014
'Love is Hopeful' 13 Piece Brush Set - Royal & Langnickel

Back in June I visited London to attend IMATS, and of course walked away with a great deal of beauty and makeup goodies. One of which was the 13 Piece Brush Set from Royal & Langnickel, a brand I haven't previously tried, but after a quick stroke of the brushes at the stand I was happy to part with my pennies and give these beauties a go.  

I've been using them for a couple of months now and thought it was about time I gave you my views on these beautiful brushes. First of all - they are just that, beautiful. In a gorgeous pastel blue box, each of the brushes is a stunning baby blue and yellow, which look perfect sitting on my makeup station. The box they come in is really good quality and a great idea to keep your brushes safe, as it comes with a lid as well. They also had brush wraps available but I much preferred the box option. 

The variety of brushes in the set is great - there is literally everything you would ever need in there to apply a full face of makeup. It comes complete with a powder brush, contour brush, foundation brush, large concealer brush, stippling brush, mini flat smudger brush, small shader, line & smudge brush, smudger brush, crease brush, angle shader and angle brow. Phew! A whole load of brushes, ideal for those just starting out with makeup, or anyone wanting to upgrade their current brush collection. 

Each and every one of the brushes is 100% vegan and uses synthetic hair - something I always look for when buying makeup brushes. The are ridiculously soft, don't shed and are a dream to use. The plethora of different eye brushes has opened the doors for me when it comes to creating different eye makeup looks, and the wide selection of different face brushes means I'm never short on applying my foundation, powder etc. 

I paid £25 for the kit, which was a one-off price for IMATS. Usually it costs around £50 so I got a real bargain on the day, but I'd say if you have the money and are looking for some new brushes, it's definitely worth the splurge. I've hunted online to see if I could find them available in the UK and they don't appear to be on the UK site - but they are on the US site if this helps. If anyone knows if/where they're available in the UK if you could let me know in the comments that would be amazing! 

Have you tried Royal & Langnickel's brushes before?