Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Review

Thursday, 30 July 2015

I'm always on the lookout for new skincare to try, so a few months back when the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix range started edging its way into the limelight, I just couldn't resist seeing if it lived up to the hype. That, and there was a Boots 'get a third' off deal on.

Because of the deal, I decided to have a little splurge and bought about 90% of the collection - the scrub, the cleanser, the serum, the treatment pads AND the cleansing balm. I've been using them a lot over the past few months and I thought it was about time I gave you guys a little run down on what I think to (supposedly) the favourite products of Kylie Jenner.

First up - I'd like to say that although the 'hype' surrounding these products got my attention, it was the fact that they contain glycolic acid that really drew me in. When it comes to skincare, I am all about the ingredients, and glycolic acid is one of those that my skin loves. Having oily, blemish-prone, blackhead-ridden, uneven skin with enlarged pores (I sound like such a beauty don't I?!) glycolic acid is one of my favourite ingredients. I first discovered it when trying Alpha H's Liquid Gold, and I haven't looked back since.

Why do I love glycolic acid so much? Well, it's an amazing exfoliator, and works miracles at buffing off dead skin cells, regenerating skin and so helps to banish acne scars, renew the skin and leaves it smooth and soft. It's probably not for those with dry skin, but if you have oily skin like me, it's an amazing product.

So, a range focused around glycolic acid is bound to get my seal of approval, right? Well, the majority of products in the range are fantastic - but there are a couple I probably wouldn't buy again. The Cleanser, Serum and Scrub are really brilliant products - they're not harsh at all and through using them I've seen a real noticeable difference in my skin. A product I wouldn't buy again is the Deep Cleansing Fix - as far as balm cleansers go, this is probably the worst I've tried - I found it really heavy and not as oily as I'd like, and just generally I found it didn't really agree with my skin.

A product I'm really on the fence about are the Exfoliating Facial Pads - as much as I want to love them, I haven't seen a noticeable difference through using them yet and they seem like a bit of an odd product to me. However, I am going to keep persevering with them and if things change I will keep you guys updated!

Have you tried any products from the Glycolic Fix range from Nip + Fab? I'd love to hear your thoughts. The collection is currently on offer at Boots if you're interested in giving any of the products a try for yourself!

Magazine Freebies I'm Currently Loving

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

I've always been a fan of picking up magazines when there's a freebie on offer (I mean, who isn't!?) so I thought I'd share a couple of gems I came across recently, just in case you missed them. I have a feeling these won't be on the shelf for much longer though, so if you're going to try and get them - be quick! 

First up, In Style. A magazine I always tend to leave sitting on the shelf, which is odd because it's actually a really good read. This month (August) they're offering a free mini bottle of the new St Tropez In Shower Tan, so getting hold of the magazine is a great way to give it a test before purchasing the full-size bottle. I had a little try of it the other night and wasn't too impressed, but if anyone else has tried it I'd be really keen to hear how you got on! 

Another really fab freebie this month comes from Marie Claire - a personal favourite of mine after interning there a few years back. This month they're giving away a free Ciate nail set, complete with top coat and colour, in a range of different shades. I picked up the bright orange shade (it is supposedly summer so I thought it kind of apt) and I was really impressed. Again, it's a good way of testing out a brand before investing, and you actually get a fair amount of product in these. The top coat is AMAZING as well, so it's worth buying the mag for that alone. 

Have you picked up either of these this month? Let me know if there are any other freebies in magazines you're currently loving! 

Scunci Insta Twist Review

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

I love plaiting and braiding my hair. Whilst I love this hair style all year round, I particularly love plaits during the summer - there's just something about floral headbands and plaited hair that makes me feel all Rapunzel-esque and summery.

The thing is, a lot of the time I can't really be bothered to plait my hair - I sometimes get in a stress and end up giving up and leaving it straight and boring. That's why, when I heard about this new 'Insta Twist' tool from Scunci, I just had to give it a go.

Designed to give you perfect plaits and braids quickly and easily, Insta Twist works by twisting two pieces of your hair separately, and then plaiting them together. You can make little braids, textured plaits and loads more with this tool - just pop a piece of hair in each of the two sections and you're good to go. You push the button upwards to twist the pieces of hair, and then downwards to plait them - simple!

I will admit, when I first used the Insta Twist I didn't really read the instructions properly and ended up getting my hair a little too twisted, leaving it tangled and basically a mess. Once I'd untangled it, I read through how to use the tool properly and took things a bit slower when using it (I'd just let it go full throttle the first time round - this isn't advisable). It twists the hair really well, and it's pretty amazing looking at how it plaits the hair so quickly and easily for you. Once done you simply unclip the Insta Twist and tie your hair using one of the many clear little bands provided.

I think this tool is really cool and would be perfect for doing lots of braids if you're heading off to a festival or simply want a really cool summer 'do. I would say that this works better on very sleek, smooth hair which is fully detangled to ensure your plaits are as neat as possible, whereas with my dry tangly hair the plaits turned out a bit more textured and lived in. The only downside to this tool is that the clips you put your hair in are fairly small so you're limited when it comes to doing bigger braids and plaits - other than that though, it works really well and for £30 is a really nifty little tool, that I'll definitely be using lots of over summer.

Have you tried the Insta Twist? Let me know what you thought to it!

Book Review: In a Dark Dark Wood

Sunday, 19 July 2015
In a Dark Dark Wood* by Ruth Ware

I've been really getting back into reading lately, and ever since reading Gone Girl (okay, I know I go on about this book a LOT in my book reviews but it's the reason I fell back in love with reading) I've been searching out thriller/dark books to read. A book I was recently sent is 'In a Dark Dark Wood' by Ruth Ware, and as soon as I read the blurb my interest was piqued. 

'In a Dark Dark Wood' is set around a hen party in the middle of Kielder Forest (I've been there, woo) which Nora, a crime writer, is invited to unexpectedly, after not speaking to the hen for ten years. It turns out the hen is getting married to Nora's ex, and things spiral from there. 

The book splits between the run up to the hen party and the aftermath, and focuses around the select few characters at the hen party. As the cover suggests, a murder occurs over the hen weekend and so you spend the majority of the book guessing who is going to be murdered and who will be doing the murdering. Whilst some of the plot is really predictable, there were some surprises and it's definitely a book that kept my interest the whole way through. 

Did the book blow me away? No, but as I said, it was a really easy read that kept me interested and I found myself getting it read in just a couple of days. There were things that annoyed me about some of the characters (particularly the fact that the main character still hasn't got over her childhood sweetheart, 10 years on) but overall I thought it was a good book. It would make an ideal holiday read for by the pool as it's not too dark but still dark enough to get thriller fans interested. I'm going to give it a 3/5

'In a Dark Dark Wood' is out on the 30th July - will you be pre-ordering a copy?

Plenish Cleanse Review

Friday, 17 July 2015
Juices* - Plenish

If you read this recent post of mine, you'll know that lately I've been having a bit of a tough time when it comes to food and being healthy. This being the case, I made the decision to really try my hardest to get healthy - eating better and exercising regularly. So far it's going okay - I'm still not eating as healthy as I would like, but I've stopped bingeing on food and for me that is a huge step in the right direction. I also did my exercise DVD for the first time in a LONG time the other night, so I think things are going to right way. 

As part of my bid to get healthy, I thought incorporating some health detox/drinks into my diet would be a good idea. I've toyed with the idea of getting a juicer, but I feel like I'd end up spending a small fortune on fruit and the drinks that I'd be successful in making probably wouldn't taste very nice, so I wanted to go down the bottled juice road instead. 

So, when Plenish got in touch I couldn't resist giving their drinks a go. Plenish have a range of cold pressed organic British juices, packed full of nutrients and designed to help cleanse the body. Whilst a lot of people will probably favour Plenish for the 'weight loss' aspect, their main focus is on 'health gain' - putting the right nutrients into your body to have you feeling the best you possibly can. I really like this about the brand - whereas a lot of brands are all weight loss, weight loss, weight loss, the key with Plenish is health. 

I was kindly sent a few mini bottles of Plenish to try, and not being a big health juice drinker, I was slightly apprehensive to begin with. The juices I was sent were Cacao Maca Cashew M*lk, Pineapple and Sweet Sexy Green. I've never tried any green juices before and any smoothies I've made have had to have a tonne of sugar putting in to be drinkable - so I'm basically a total juice newbie. 

Keeping this in mind, it's not surprising that I didn't get on with the Sweet Sexy Green drink - whilst I'm sure it is the healthiest of the lot, and packed full of the good stuff, for a newbie to juices it just was not for me. I found it really hard to drink even the tiniest bit, but a friend of mine did find it drinkable - so I think it's probably better for pro-juicers than newbies like me. The Pineapple juice was okay - I didn't find it yummy but I didn't think it was disgusting either - just somewhere in between. I think the addition of mint was probably what didn't really work for me, but I'm sure some people would be a fan. Finally, I'd almost given up hope that I'd be able to enjoy juicing at all when I tried the Cacao Maca juice - which was honestly really, really yummy. It tasted like chocolate milkshake and for me that gets a big thumbs up. It describes it as a 'superfood boost' so I was pretty chuffed that I really liked the taste AND it was doing my body good - hooray, finally a juice that is healthy and yummy. 

Overall I think Plenish is a great idea and the juices are ideal for people who really want to cleanse their body and improve their health and wellbeing. If you're new to juices and fancy healthy stuff, however, perhaps just stick with the yummier juices - like the Cacao Maca juice. What's great about Plenish is you can pick from different levels of cleansing so that you don't end up doing a cleanse that just doesn't suit you - so, for me, level one would be ideal - whereas for fitness fanatics, level three would probably be more their cup of tea (or glass of green juice!) The only downside to Plenish is that it is pretty pricey - but if you're looking for a cleanse and have the cash, it might be worth it to save the hassle of having to juice everything yourself, and knowing that what you're drinking is full of fantastic body-loving ingredients.

Have you tried a juice cleanse before? Let me know how you got on!

10 Reasons Why Moving House is the Most Stressful Thing Ever

Thursday, 16 July 2015

I've moved house before. Lots of times, in fact, when I was growing up. I remember it being all hustle and bustle, removal men carrying endless amounts of furniture out of the house and into (what seemed like) a Mary Poppins-esque never-ending lorry. Lunch time trips to the sandwich shop between journeys and 'first night in the house' meals eating chip shop chips or takeaway pizza. When you're a kid, moving house is fun. It's exciting and fun to watch and observe the constant movement around you, but the best thing is you're too little to really get involved, so you really get to see things as they happen.

When you're an adult and moving house, however, things aren't quite as fun. You have to pack up your entire life into a van and hope and pray it makes it to your new abode safely. So, I thought I'd go through a few of the things I've learnt about moving house, and why it's the most stressful thing EVER.

1. It's expensive. Like, who knew? Aside from the actual cost of renting or buying a house, you have to also pay a deposit, pay for a van, actually BUY new things for the house and, if you're moving out of a rented place, pay for it to be cleaned top-to-toe or almost kill yourself whilst trying to clean it yourself.

2. You'll break stuff. It's a given, really, that things will get broken when you move. That lovely vase you got for your birthday? Yeah, forget about that. Despite the advances in bubble wrap over the years, when moving house, things get broken. Be prepared for it and perhaps even try to embrace it - after all, it means you can buy new stuff.

3. Things will go missing. Whether it's the crucial screw that puts your wardrobe together or the lock to get into your chest of drawers, things will just disappear into thin air with no prior warning. Some might turn up in the midst of unpacking, but it's best not to hold out too much hope.

4. Your physical strength will be put to the test. Like, ridiculous amounts. If you're not the fittest of people (like myself) then you'll struggle. Lugging heavy boxes up flights of stairs certainly ain't fun, and you'll do a lot of that. You'll be a hot and sweaty (and exhausted) mess 90% of the time - this is perfectly okay.

5. Moving furniture around will become a bit of a comedy sketch - I'm talking Chuckle Brothers/Friends-style. Be prepared for lots of 'to me, to you's and 'PIVOT's whilst attempting to get those all-important heavy bits of furniture in the new abode. Try not to break anything.

6. You'll learn to appreciate the little things. When you first get moved in, everything will be packed up in boxes and simple things like having a chair to sit down on will become a big deal. You'll learn to eat your dinner off boxes while sitting on beanbags and will probably need to wash the same mug up ten times a day (where did you put all the kitchen stuff!?) until things are unpacked. It's all part of the fun - promise.

7. Arguments WILL occur. If you're moving into a new place with your partner or your family, it's guaranteed you'll fall out more than once. Whether it's arguing about which bright spark packed the scissors, where to put the sofa or who's having the biggest bedroom, it's pretty much a given that falling out will happen. This is perfectly normal.

8. Trips to McDonalds and takeaway pizzas will become a regular occurrence. There's the obligatory 'first night in the new house' takeaway, the 'well we haven't bought any food yet' trip to McDonalds and, my personal favourite, the 'I'm too tired from unpacking to cook' meal out. These things are probably the best thing about moving and it's more than acceptable to embrace them. I mean, all that heavy lifting will burn the calories off anyway, right?

9. Things won't fit. Okay, so I'm not talking clothes after all those takeaways (although this may well be the case too) - I mean furniture. The new vintage bedside tables you bought? Yeah, they don't fit by the bed. That TV stand you thought would go perfectly with the coffee table? Doesn't fit either. No matter how well you measure things up beforehand, it's guaranteed there will be a select few pieces of furniture that just won't go where you want them to. Luckily, nine times out of ten you'll find somewhere else to put them - hooray.

10. You'll realise just how much stuff you own. 'I've got nothing to wear' will seem like the most ridiculous sentence ever when you realise all of your clothes fit into approximately five huge cardboard boxes, three suitcases and four bin bags. Good luck getting them back in your wardrobe!

So there you have it... ten reasons why moving house is seriously stressful. Once you are moved in though, and things start to take shape, it is totally worth it to have your own space. Just try not to think about all the washing up, cleaning and tidying you need to do...