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I’ve been talking about sharing some Tinder dating stories for a while now, and after comparing notes with Brighton Girl, now seems like just as good a time as any (you should check out her Tinder diaries over here).

There have been many Tinder dates over the past few months, but the one that will forever stick in my mind is with a guy I shall affectionately call ‘Latex Man’. Most of my unsuccessful dates end up with a nickname, much to my friends’ delight and I’m afraid his is rather a spoiler.

We met for a casual drink after work, and halfway through the second round, he started telling me about what he liked to do at the weekend. Namely, dress up in latex, go to fetish clubs and get involved in what can only be described as a fellatio human centipede. Now, for those of you that know me in person, you’ll know I’m incredibly open-minded about this kind of thing, and I really admired his honesty, but at that point I couldn’t really see where I fit into that equation, so we finished up our drinks and I headed home.

Date number two was with a guy who got nicknamed ‘the runner’. This one fell on a Saturday night, again just for drinks (as let’s face it, no one wants to be stuck for an entire dinner with someone you might not get along with). Five minutes in, I knew we had zero in common and to be honest, it just wasn’t going to go anywhere. The fact he kept trying to buy me Zambuca shots (despite me continually turning them down) an hour after meeting him wasn't the greatest selling point.

I thought I’d be polite and stay for a while, so got us a drink and halfway through a conversation he leaned in and tried to kiss me. I gently put my hand on his shoulder to stop him and at that point, he took great offence, turned his back on me and proceeded to down the rest of his drink. Two minutes of silence later, he said ‘I’m just popping to the loo’, stood up, and...then walked out the front door of the bar never to be seen again. Good times.

Tinder dates are a minefield at the best of times, but not to be deterred, I carried on swiping. At this point, ‘Jack’ entered the scene.

Jack and I never actually met in person, as pretty quickly it was established that Jack was actually a male prostitute touting for business on Tinder. Clearly Jack missed the memo, but if you’re after a hookup, Tinder is a pretty good place to start, so I’m not sure he was having much luck finding new clients. Poor Jack.

Thankfully after that, there were some more ‘normal’ dates. They haven’t quite renewed my faith in online dating, but the cynic in me might just be proved wrong, you never know.
Probably not though.
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Before I bore you all senseless with a few posts about my recent trip to Canada, I wanted to apologise for the rather lengthy break in blog posts. And social content. And generally just not being present for months on end.

Early this year, I ended my long term relationship. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, it wasn’t pleasant and I’ve pretty much changed my entire life to try to make sense of it. For a long time, I was fine. Probably too fine in fact (and according to my friends, I was WAY too fine). Then I crumbled. My work life was beyond stressful, I had to pack, move house; I started dating again for the first time in nearly 9 years.

I went from feeling positive and fine to barely being able to get out of bed. I cried at work. I cried on the train home from work. I pretty much cried non-stop. And I’m really not a crying kind of gal. I suffered from bouts of anxiety that left me unable to breathe. I drank, I smoked, I ate bad food, I ate no food. Looking after myself wasn’t exactly high on my agenda, so you can imagine where blogging sat.

I have some wonderful, amazing friends (and family) who have no idea how much they helped me. Those nights when they just came and sat with me while I cried. Or managed to make me laugh for the first time in days. Without them, things might be looking very different right now.

Writing about makeup and food and my life just hasn’t been possible for the past few months. The creativity I usually feel got completely stripped away and the thought of sitting down to write left me completely blank. I felt like a shadow of my previous self.

The past few weeks have been different. Like I’m turning a corner. I’ve seen three of my all-time favourite bands play, I’ve been seeing someone who makes me laugh and smile genuine smiles again and I’ve travelled to both Canada and Turkey in the past month. The Canadian trip had been planned for ages so I could see my brother (the lucky shit) who lives in Vancouver but turned into a bit of a journey of self-discovery and healing. And the Turkish holiday not only showed me I can be brave (going paragliding when you’re terrified of heights is not the one) but also that taking risks (like going on holiday with someone you only met a few months ago) can sometimes be well worth the reward.

I want to get back to blogging regularly but I can’t promise it will be all beauty related. I’m not quite sure of the direction I want to take it right now, but I’ve realised it needs to be more of the things I love – music, food, beauty – in order for it to be truly fulfilling.

If you’re still here after such a long break, thank you. It really means a lot. I’m hoping to get some more posts up over the next couple of weeks. See you soon!

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Over the past few months I've been trying to make some healthier life choices. I've been heading to the gym regularly, eating better and attempting to cut down on all my favourite sweet treats. Including Mini Eggs, which you'll know pains me greatly as they are one of life’s greatest pleasures (only a minor exaggeration, the love is real). So when Slissie asked if I fancied giving their slimming aid a try, it seemed like a great time to do it.

Slissie is a portable device that releases appetite suppressing flavours, which are designed to help distract you from eating the things you want to avoid (aka Mini Eggs). It's not a diet in itself but more of an extra bit of willpower - something I know I need a hand with every now and again. The science behind it suggests that by smelling and/or tasting specific flavours, it can actually help to reduce cravings and appetite, therefore aiding you in your weight loss journey.

To use the Slissie, you simply attach one of the flavour pods, push the button down, release and suck the tip gently. It’s a little like a vaping device, only minus any vapour – you just get a burst of your chosen flavour.

My starter pack came with super mint, vanilla and fruit flavour pods, although there are other options like milk chocolate, chocolate orange and mint chocolate. Out of the three I preferred the super mint flavour, as it felt quite refreshing and I’ve often chewed gum before to help supress any sweet cravings. I’d be interested to give the chocolate flavours a try as there really are times when all you want is a giant bar of Galaxy and just the flavour might be enough to get rid of the cravings!

I found the Slissie quite easy to use, although you do have to remember to keep it charged up regularly in order not to be disappointed when you have a bad sweet craving! The flavours themselves were a touch on the artificial side, but the concept itself is really good and I have definitely noticed I’ve been reaching for less sweet stuff over the past few weeks. As an ex-smoker, I found it an odd sensation to use a device that reinforces those old hand to mouth behaviours that I had when I was smoking, but I don’t think it would be an issue for most people. I will happily carry on using mine over the next few months and then gradually try to remove it once I feel more confident I can keep my sugar monster at bay.

A three week start kit from Slissie costs £39.99 with refills costing £12.99 for three. You can find Slissie on their website.

Have you ever tried Slissie? Is it something that you’d consider using?
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There's been an awful lot of coverage about Too Faced Sweet Peach collection but while both the palettes are getting a lot of love, I think the lip glosses are getting overlooked in favour of their more instagrammable counterparts.

I'm not usually a fan of lip glosses but the oil in the title of these had me really intrigued. Turns out they sit somewhere in the middle and are a peachy, sweet, joyful treat for your lips.

There are eight shades in the range to choose from, each of which is lightly tinted in peachy/pink shades. There's enough colour to make you feel like you're wearing something other than a plain old gloss, but not so much that you'd worry about doing it without a mirror on the bus.

I suspect the peach scent will be a bit of a divider - I know of at least one reader that thinks it's too sickly, but I actually love the smell. It reminds me of the peach sweets you get at a pick n mix stand and you know what, that's more than fine with me.

Like the rest of the collection, the packaging is super cute, with the peach theme carrying through on both the gloss lid itself and the cardboard outer. I'm finding it strangely satisfying that the outer packaging matches the colour of the gloss inside - a small point but one that makes my inner organisation geek very very happy.

Like most glosses, they only wear for a couple of hours before needing a bit of a top up, but the mix of oils in the formula means that they're very hydrating and will allow you to get away without a lip balm.

As with the rest of the collection, these are limited edition, so grab one quick before they go (they're £16 each). You can find them via Debenhams or direct from the Too Faced website; just hear in mind the latter comes with some quite hefty postage fees as they ship from the US.

I'm loving the 2017 launches from. Too Faced so far - add in the recent Skinnydip and Kat von D collaborations and I think they're really bringing out some exciting stuff. I can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings!

Are you a fan of Too Faced? What do you think of the Sweet Peach collection?
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It's safe to say Glossybox really know how to do a collaboration box. Previous boxes included NARS and Harvey Nichols and this time they've got a totally amazing one with luxury skincare brand La Mer.

La Mer are one of those brands that I think we've all heard of but are often out of budget for a lot of people. Created by Dr Huber back in the 50s, it's a brand that focuses on the healing energies of the sea. Dr Huber's Miracle Broth features heavily in all of the products, providing moisture, smoothing, radiance, smoothing and regeneration to the skin.

The special edition Glossybox contains 6 of their cult products, and gives you everything you need for a complete La Mer skincare routine.

Inside the box you'll find:

The Cleansing Micellar Water 30ml
The Treatment Lotion 5ml
The Eye Concentrate 3ml
The Revitalizing Hydrating Serum 5ml
The Moisturizing Cream 7ml
The Intensive Revitalizing Mask 15ml

I'm looking forward to trying lots of these properly over the next few weeks - I popped the mask on over the weekend and was really impressed with how much brighter my skin looked after just one application.

In total, the contents are worth £118, based on a cost per ml price, however you can purchase the box for £35 if you're a Glossybox subscriber or £40 if not.

Demand is set to be really high for these - there are 2000 boxes available, so if you'd like to get the chance to purchase one, you need to sign up to this list in advance.

The boxes will be released on 20th February and will be available while stocks last (not long at all if it's anything like the NARS ones!).

What do you think of this special edition Glossybox? Will you be ordering one?
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I think it's safe to say you all know I'm a bit of a chocolate fiend. When I first started working in London, one of my pay day treats to myself was a pit stop at Godiva in St Pancras and a special box of chocolates to savour over the next few weeks.

While I can easily devour a giant bar of Dairy Milk with no minimal effort, sometimes you just need something that little bit more special to savour. With Valentine's Day fast approaching, I wanted to share a few treats from Pierre Marcolini. They'd make a beautiful gift from your boyfriend/girlfriend but an even better one from yourself.

Pierre Marcolini are a luxe Belgian chocolatier brand (founded by Mr. Marcolini himself) that not only make some of the tastiest macarons I've ever eaten, but they also have an impressive selection of amazeballs chocolates. These are the kind of chocolates that you want to keep hidden and not share with anyone. The ones you eat slowly so you savour every delicious mouthful and feel very sad when the box is finally empty.

Inside these colourful hearts are six different flavours of truffles. You get three each of: dark chocolate ganache with raspberry pulp, passion fruit milk chocolate ganache, lime white chocolate ganache, salted butter caramel, praline crisp with nougat and praline crisp with pistachio. Although they're very rich, the raspberry especially has a lovely fresh finish to it and I suspect I could demolish a LOT of the salted caramel given half a chance. I virtually had to wrestle one of the pistachio truffles away from my boyfriend so I could get a taste – he adores anything chocolatey with nuts in, so this was a clear winner for him.

Their special Valentine's collection has been given a super cute makeup in terms of packaging, with illustrations from Parisian designer Séverine Assous. It features very cute drawings of everything from Wonder Woman to Little Red Riding Hood and adds a nice edge to the more traditional boxes hidden underneath.

The 18 Heart Collection costs £19, but there’s also a very cute little two heart box (filled with the raspberry truffles) available in stores for £4. There’s a couple of stores in central London, but the UK website will also ship nationwide.

I’m off to finish the rest of my chocolates. See you soon!
*contains PR samples

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My ideal Valentine’s day involves steak, gin and a sh*t load of chocolate. Oh and some Fleetwood Mac on the go. It doesn’t matter whether you’re single,  coupled up or meeting up with friends – Valentine’s Day is a great day to treat yourself. I’ve pulled together a few ideas for some gifts I think you’re going to love, whatever your romantic situation.

Kiko’s 'Matte for You' Valentine's collection is what actually makeup dreams are made of. There’s a very definitely pink and heart them going on, right through from the super soft face brush (which has a red heart in the centre) to the ridiculously pretty heart shaped lipsticks. The lipsticks are the highlight for me. Not only are they rich in pigment and lovely to wear, but the heart shape gets so many cute points it’s not even funny. There are five shades in total, with each one costing £6.90. I’d recommend grabbing a spare or two as you might want to keep one just to look at. Ahem.

Chocolates are a failsafe for any occasion, but especially on Valentine’s Day. Hotel Chocolat is always one of my favourites as they have a great selection for all budgets. If you want a box big enough to share, the Valentine’s Sleekster is a great option. It has 27 heart shaped truffles inside, in a mix of nine flavours. The Salted Caramel Kiss is my favourite, closely followed up by Passionfruit Cream and Illegal Gianduja. There are three of each chocolate, so if you’re feeling charitable, you could share 50:50 or using my preferred method: 2 for me, 1 for you.

Following on with the food theme, Crabtree and Evelyn’s Rose & White Chocolate biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to a post-dinner film on the sofa. The rose stops the white chocolate from being too sweet, while giving just a hint of the Turkish delight taste I always get when I eat rose-flavoured food. Yum. £5

I spotted these Ban.Do pens when I was killing time in John Lewis at St Pancras while waiting for a train (they have such a good stationery selection!). They cost £12 for three, which makes me want to do a *little* cry, but with slogans like ‘you're better than unicorns’ and ‘you rule so hard’ on them, they’re basically the motivational pickup everyone needs from time to time. Plus they look great in flat lays, so bonus points there.

For an indulgent bath and body treat, I urge you to get some Lola's Apothecary products in your life. This beautiful range is handmade in small batches and features lots of natural ingredients and rich essential oils. The duo you can see here is from their 'Delicate Romance' collection, which as you might be able to guess from the rose petals inside the (very Instagrammable) bottles, is rose infused (along with lots of other good stuff). The dry body oil is amazing for all skin types and works well as a Massage Oil, and the Bath & Shower Oil gives off the most amazing aroma and is one you'll really want to savour. The special Valentine's gift set contains both of these products, plus a small bar of luxury chocolate, for a special price of £75. 

Finally, is it even Valentine’s Day if there’s not at least one scented candle involved? Liz Earle’s Rosemary & Rock Rose candle blends subtle rose with fragrant rosemary and I was surprised at how well these two combine. If you steer clear of rose scents because they’re too floral, I think this would be perfect for you as it has a lovely herby note to help balance out all that rose.
What are your plans this Valentine's Day?
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There's been a huge amount of news over recent months about a male contraceptive trial that recently had to be stopped due to a small number of subjects feeling depressed. As a woman who spent virtually 50% of her life taking the pill, it amazes me that more isn't said about the side effects it can have. I've read a lot of articles recently from women who have all stopped taking the pill for various reasons but the majority seem to have been for mental health.

I started taking the pill when I was 16. I was one of the 'lucky' ones - the first one I took seemed to work well for me and as such I never ended up changing it. Like a lot of girls who are given the pill, it was Microgynon 30, one of an older type of pill and what I now know as one of the cheapest to prescribe. But it worked well enough for me and I carried on taking it religiously for the next 15 or so years.

Now, having taken something for so long, I never really thought I had any side effects from it, but looking back now I can see that I did - I just assumed they were part of my personality rather than a by product of the pill!

I would get horribly anxious around the time of my pill break and have horrible hot sweats for the few days my 'period' came. And for the past 12 months I just had constant cycles of feeling so unbelievably down, even when everything in my life seemed to be going pretty well.

About six months ago I was a few weeks in to generally just feeling terribly sad - I remember talking to a friend about it and saying I couldn't understand what was happening to me and that I just didn't feel right or like myself at all. She recommended speaking to my doctor, which was always my fallback plan, but I will always try to take things out of my life before adding more in and after reading a lot of things about the pill and depression, I thought that stopping it seemed like a good first try. (Note: I'm not advocating not going to your GP if you are concerned about how you're feeling/possible depression/mental health issues. That would have been my absolute next step if this hadn't worked for me.)

Nearly six months on I can say I feel so much better and that I wish I had done it much earlier. I don't profess to feel happy every day, but I feel more like me and less like there's a giant black cloud constantly hanging over my head. I've also realised that I'm not quite as much of a moody bitch as I initially thought - I think the hormones from my pill were making me a LOT worse and it's only now I'm no longer taking it I can really see the difference. Sadly the pre-period hot sweats have remained (sexy) and my skin is a bit oilier than it was previously, but I'll take those any day over the way I had been feeling.

It's been a bit of an adjustment in my personal life as I have a long term boyfriend, but the inconvenience of other contraception pales into insignificance to the positive difference not taking the pill has made to my mood. When I  started out as a 16 year old girl on the pill for the first time, I didn't really have a plan long term or get spoken to about many other options. It was just the one that seemed to be offered at the time.

Hormones are funny old things and will affect different people in different ways. If you're not sure the pill or injection or whatever is working for you, don't be afraid to swap or change or stop altogether. You might try lots of different methods before finding one that works for you. Or maybe you'll have a long-term relationship with condoms as they feel like the best solution overall. It's all totally personal and you need decide what's right for you as an individual. And what works now, might not in 5 years time. So don't be afraid to re-assess.

I'd love to hear your thoughts/opinions on all of this - have you experienced something similar?
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The Primark beauty section keeps going from strength to strength. I featured their PS Pro Oval brushes a few months back (great Artis dupe!) and I'm pleased to see they're back in stock again. On top of the oval range, they've launched a bigger selection of your more 'typical' types of brushes and I wanted to share my thoughts on the ones I think are well worth a purchase.

With prices starting from just a couple of pounds, you'd be forgiven for thinking that they might not be much cop, but you'd be wrong!

The majority of the brushes have a decent-weight plastic handle, with a metal ferule and synthetic bristles. The fan brush and a concealer/detail brush have a chrome handle and there's also a retractable kabuki brush that's perfect for popping in your handbag.

For me, the stars of the show are the large powder brush, foundation brush and the angled eye brush - all three feel far more expensive than their true cost and give an excellent finish to makeup. The pointy nature of the foundation brush allows you to get into smaller areas as well as give an even finish all over. While the powder brush is pretty large, it's perfect for finishing products or larger washes of bronzer and feels super soft against the skin. I've been using the angled eye brush for both gel liner and for my brows and it works equally well on both - I'd recommend buying two of these so you don't have to keep cleaning it in between uses!

One brush I really wanted to love but just didn't was the fan brush. I have a bit of a thing for these kinds of brushes - they feel so nice when you waft them over your skin (just me?!) but this one shed a lot of fibres and didn't feel as soft as the other brushes in the range. It does look super pretty in a flat lay though, so there's that. Hashtag blogger cliche.

Overall, they all washed up pretty well (fan brush aside) and retained their shape and softness nicely. As far as I'm aware, the brushes are all cruelty-free and there are ten in total in the range (so a few more than I have here).

Given the price of these brushes, I think they're such good quality - definitely comparable to some of my Real Techniques brushes and around half the price! They range from £2 to £5 and are all available to buy separately so you won't waste money on purchasing sets that you only want half the brushes from.

They're in stores as we speak and I believe will be a permanent part of the collection, but you never know with Primark - things can tend to sell out pretty quickly!
Have you tried any Primark makeup/brushes before?
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