gifted You’d have to have been living under a rock not to have heard of this stuff. A wave of bloggers and vloggers were raving about it last summer and so when I put together a list of tans to review this season, it was top of my list. How could a colourless water deliver everything it claimed to? Peachy, non-orange tones, no transfer, no ‘tan smell’ and above all else, as EASY to apply as spritzing yourself with.. water! Not quite. I stood in the bath while I (with my husbands help) saturated my entire body with the tanning water. I stood for 10 minutes until it was tacky but not 100% dry and then put on my tanning onesie and spent the rest of the afternoon on the sofa. A couple of things.. I ended up standing in a pool of water which resulted in (you guessed it) VERY tanned soles and the directions tell you to buff the product in with a mitt, but this felt counter-intuitive since it was absorbing the water I just applied – so I didn’t do it everywhere. I used around a quarter of the bottle for one application. This was the first tan I’d tried in over a year so initially I thought it was hella dark but in hindsight it was a medium, natural looking tan. Unfortunately it wasn’t an even tan. I had huge streaks on my arms and legs where I can only guess the tan had been absorbed by the onesie I wore while it developed. You can see the result in the video but it wasn’t pretty. On my chest and my face (the ‘static’ areas that don’t see a lot of movement) I got a really nice, even colour and I think it would work well as a facial tanner alongside something else for the body but I wont be giving this another go. It wore away in an unslightly pattern (appeared to cling to dryness that didn’t exist) and where clothing (mainly my bra) rubbed against my skin it disappeared quickly but it other areas it was tough to get rid of. It also made my skin incredibly itchy. At least part of the issue was user error but it was just a dud for me. Have you tried it? Did it live up to the hype?
If you are a regular viewer you will already know of my love for these foot ‘masks’. I’ve tested different brands but for price, fragrance and effect, Superdrug is King. These are not those peeling masks you’ve heard about where all of your skin falls off – but scroll down to watch my experience with the Footner mask last year if you’re in to that – these are an entirely pampering and 100% less scary experience. After my bath (where I’ve buffed my feet with my cheap Primark ‘Pumice’) I pop on these ‘socks’ and leave them on for as long as I can stand. I’m not a sock wearer and especially in the summer months it can be like some bizarre form of torture to put what are essentially plastic bags on my hot feet but I have a couple of tips if you feel the same way. Keep them in the fridge – your summer feet will thank you! Put them in a bowl of cold water – so long as the water doesn’t get in to the sock you can keep your feet chilled while you soften your skin If you’re a cold feet kinda person then throw on a pair of slipper socks on the top and wear them overnight for the ultimate result. I always end up tearing them off in a rage at 1am when I try it but it’s a nice idea. they do the same job as daily moisturising but in one intense hit and if you are going to do that foot peel thing (it’s very effective once it’s over) these are the perfect follow up treatment to rehydrate. I like them as a weekly treat and usually wear them while I’m doing housework or something else where I can’t just lather on the Heel Genius and let it go to work. If you can do that (the moment I put cream on my feet I need a wee) then Soap & Glory has the product for you but if you have figurative itchy feet then why not literally nourish them while you go about your day?
It’s been a minute since I did a wind down but I am ON ONE this week and felt like maybe we needed a debrief. So first thing’s first, I posted this video and asked for opinions on advertising and product gifting in the YouTube space and the subsequent discussion took up a large part of my week. A couple of people switched me on to JamBeauty89 who recently decided to stop receiving PR and I spent the remainder of my week bingeing her videos, feeling like I’d found an American sister. Everything she said about the overwhelming nature of receiving products to review is dead on. I don’t receive all that much anymore – since I didn’t update everyone when we moved in 2016 – but back in our first house it was insane. It gets to be where there’s a constant knot in your stomach because there’s always extra clutter and your to do list is growing faster than you can tick it off. Beyond that, I know my content is impacted by what I’m receiving, even when I’m entirely honest in my reviews, the brand put the product in my hand where it perhaps would not have been otherwise. It’s stopped me from shopping organically in some cases and I’m currently mulling over a few options as to how I can deal with that. In the meantime I’m cutting back on all featured PR on my channel. It’s useful for swatches etc here on my blog but I’m going to be more mindful of what I share/recommend moving forward – outside of single reviews. While I was on a Jam Beauty kick I watched her recent Fab Fit Fun unboxing and remembered I’d read somewhere that it was coming to the UK. Well it’s not technically here, but it’s shipping to us from the US now and after she explained the process of choosing the items and the box being custom to you as well as good value for money, I pulled the trigger. It was a moment of weakness (It’s £50 4x a year) but I’m so excited to share it when it arrives. If you’re considering giving it a go you can get $10 off if you go through this link (I also get money off too when you do – full disclosure) I’ve been in a really productive mindset since I read this post about batching work too. I was already in that zone but I saw it on Monday and I’m now a full week ahead with so much content coming up, you’d think it was 2010! Something clicked this week and I’m just feeling so different, so positive. I can’t explain what or why but I’m grateful and sending out all of the positive law-of-attraction-vibes to allow it to continue. Maybe it’s cause the sun is out? How was your week?
I’ve never really loved a denim jacket on my frame. I’m bigger on top and they just add bulk but this summer (in lieu of the perfect hat I’ve accepted I will never find) I decided I would embrace the chunky jacket trend and after much searching, I found the one. It does still throw out my proportions in this double denim combo but over a summer dress, with the sleeves rolled back.. I kind of love it. It’s a mid wash shrunken style from ASOS but I must have tried on twenty. I tried on 3 variations of what in theory should have been this exact jacket but the material was different on each and I needed a little stretch. Now I have it though, I actually think I’d quite like an oversized slouchy one too. Is this the beginning of an addiction? Here are a few I’m currently looking at.. Noisy May Oversized Denim Jacket Missguided Oversized Denim Jacket ASOS Girlfriend Jacket And this is the one I have – perfect if you’re a little shorter in the body like me! ASOS Shrunken Denim Jacket so the question is.. will I wear a denim jacket enough to warrant a second? I think I know the answer but it doesn’t hurt to browse, does it?
*sponsored / car hire gifted by Hertz This isn’t just what you wear to the airport (or on your road trip) but the way you choose to travel. I’ve thought a lot about this recently since it comes up in conversation often and we’re currently deciding what our 2020 trip will look like. Everyone’s travel style is different. We love America and if money and time were no object I’d drive from state to state stopping in a different town every night until I’d seen it all. The kids only have so much travel in them per trip so it’s not feasible right now but our recent Cali-Vegas adventure definitely quenched a little of that thirst. Some people prefer to lounge by a pool/beach for the week and I get it (especially if you’re all go in your day-to-day) but I can take a day to do nothing at home and my vacation time is precious ‘make the most of the place your in’ time for me. A nice in-between in to get a car and explore one place. Hertz have recently launched their ‘Ride ‘n’ Seek’ activity where they’re encouraging you to take snaps of various landmarks/sights in the area and upload them for a chance to win prizes (a polaroid camera, 1000 Hertz Gold points etc) and it was a really fun addition to our trip. In between the adventuring you could take a day by the pool or a trip to the beach and really get the perfect mix. In terms of comfort, I haven’t deviated far from this same airport/road trip outfit for 10+ years. Leggings and a stretchy vest top, a baggy tshirt and trainers. I usually wear my bulkiest coat/jacket on the plane so I don’t have to pack it and carry the bag I don’t want to squash or that takes up the most space. I bought this Le Pliage hold all from Long Champ last year (it’s the neo so colour coded leather which totally sold me) and I couldn’t be without it now. Really spacious and hard wearing – can’t recommend it enough if you’re considering investing in a carry on item ahead of your summer holidays. What’s your travel style?
gifted I first tried this mask last year and (after already being wowed by these bubbly masks) I wasn’t bowled over. It’s a cut gimmick, the gel transforms on the skin to a full bubble-bath-worthy froth but I didn’t really ever feel like it was doing all that much. I used almost exclusively in the tub and I don’t think I was really getting the most from it because I revisited it recently and really like it. you get a really deep clean kind of feeling and that was lost on me before. Ordinarily I like hydrating, clearing or peel type treatments that show a visible improvement after removal and so this just seemed a little blah but after wearing it on dry skin for 20mins rather than 5 minutes at bathtime I can definitely feel the benefit. I wouldn’t necessarily run out and purchase this because it’s not something I usually look for in my routine and it’s pricey but if you are in to that squeaky clean sensation then it may be right up your street. Buy online for £26
The ‘shop with me’ style videos I’ve been putting out the last few years have quickly become my most viewed content. With that in mind I’ve decided to take weekly trips to the high street (what a hardship) and film a video in a new shop each week. I’ll still be making my monthly pilgrimage to Primark (don’t worry) but after the response to my Matalan visit I thought it would be fun to diversify more often. This week I’m going completely the other way and BEAUTY shopping! I rarely film beauty hauls these days because I realised that I was swimming in makeup and skincare and 80% of it had been purchased purely for review. It was becoming too much for my storage and my wallet so I’m hoping that just as the ‘shop with em’ replaced the clothing haul, it may do the same for beauty! I took a little trip around Boots (which is getting an overhaul – I can’t wait to see the finished product) and Superdrug in Meadowhall at some of the new launches and what’s been released since I last took the time to really look. If you’re interested, the video is below. If you’d like to recommend/request a certain new product you’d like to see me review here/on YouTube then let me know!
I rarely watch insta stories (I know, it’s like blasphemy in 2019) but I spotted a ‘New House’ highlight on one of my favourite acconts, @LoveMaegan and now I am dying to move and do up a new place. We have a ‘5 year plan’ and we’re halfway through right now so we’re in our current place for 2 and a half more years and I don’t want to make any major changes (everywhere it still white, white, white) that may put off prospective buyers when we do sell, so I tend to stay away from interior inspo since it gives me itchy feet I can’t scratch – but I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. My husband is looking at houses constantly (it drives me nuts – it’s like looking at holiday destinations you can’t afford to visit, that’s just not my thing) but obviously everything is so subject to change in that area that I can’t even consider the options until closer to the time. Instead I thought I’d use this burst of enthusiasm to create some vision-board-style posts with ideas for each room. They may not be anything alike and in 2 years I may hate them all but for now they’ll serve as a scrapbook and the closest I’ll get to that element of The Law Of Attraction without feeling too ‘woo woo’ Let’s start with the kitchen. This is something we cannot agree on, Lee wants to move in to something where everything is new and done but I’d like to move somewhere that needs fixing up a little so that everything can be just as we like it. If I had my way, any of the below would tick all of my boxes.. Get Beautified The Spruce Katy Did And Kid Real Homes Life On Virginia Street A Thoughtful Place I have a vision in my head of a Nora Ephron movie house and when I picture myself in 10 years I see a big kitchen with lots of light and counter space. I may be absolutely dreaming given some of the layouts he’s shown me on Right Move but it is the dream. What is that picture in your head? That image you have of yourself in the future? I also blame these movies set in California for my completely unrealistic wish for an outdoor swimming pool..
*PR Sample I was so excited to try these Cushion Lip Tints from Revlon but I was.. disappointed. They’re very similar to the Lancome Matte Shakers and they’re £20 so if you liked those you may be all in for this dupe but neither really floated my boat. They give a good amount of colour but the texture is thin and they just don’t last for me at all. They leave something of a tint behind but not enough to hide the uneven wear and so unless I’m prepared to touch up regularly they’re just not an option. I love a tint in the summer and these looked really cool in theory. The colours are nice, the twist up pen-style applicator is cute. They’re balmy – so although not the most flattering if you have any dryness they are hydrating – and they’re a nice satin hybrid – now that matte liquid lips seem to have had their day – finish wise. I’ve heard other people rave about them so this is very much subjective and what textures you prefer, they’re just not for me. You can find them online here for £7.99
I go through phases of wearing very little makeup (absolute laziness more than anything) and when I come back to it I feel like nothing works for me anymore. It’s usually around the turn of the season and so I’m between something full coverage and something sheer as well as different methods of setting/cream or powder highlights.. etc etc etc. I thought I’d share what I’m using right now because I feel like it hits that sweet spot we’re in right now. The sun is shining but it’s cold and a little rainy. Summer is on the horizon but we haven’t really felt Spring yet. This combination gives me just enough coverage with a dewy, long lasting finish and a sheeny, Spring glow. Beauty Pie Daily Vitamin Defense Serum Despite the title, this has no spf so you need to apply that on top if you’re wearing it (which I should be – I’m very prone to pigmentation, I just haven’t entirely unpacked from out holiday yet) but it’s the perfect, light serum to wear under makeup. I don’t always moisturise in the morning, I’m oily and I’ve always felt that it breaks down my foundation but this is just right. Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance Once the serum is totally absorbed I apply a little of this. It’s really the only primer I’ve ever seen a marked difference on wear time with. I like primers for other reasons but nothing really seems to impact how long my makeup lasts – apart from this. Pricey but lasts forever and the radiance version just adds a little extra glow. Beauty Pie Serum Foundation This is something I’ve been using off and on for months and I can now say (pretty certainly) that it works best when applied liberally. I often try to sheer out my base to give a more natural finish but this seems to wear unevenly when I do that (even over the primer) and it’s a light enough base to wear in full, really. At this point I already have a good, dewy finish and I could powder my tzone and be done but.. Hourglass Ambient Light Palette I go back to this time and time again and I now honestly think I would repurchase when I run out – even at that astronomical price. Actually.. that’s not true, I’d buy a full size ‘Dim Light’ because it is the ultimate all-purpose setting powder/highlight/glow getter. I’ve never used anything that’s given me such a subtle sheen and if you’re in to the natural, you really have to try it. *note SPACE NK NEVER HAVE THE MINI DIM LIGHT IN STOCK! RUN, DON’T WALK TO PICK UP THE TRAVEL SIZE IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY TRIED IT!! What are your current transitional favourites?