Rainbow Lucky Charms

30/08/2016

Crown & Glory Bobby Pin Club - August.

Social media is a wonderful thing except for when it comes to surprises. Beauty subscriptions and the like are generally staggered when being despatched. I'm one of those that whilst I kinda love surprises, I hate the waiting. So I usually find myself stalking hashtags to see what everyone else got whilst I'm stuck at work.

I usually do that around the time of the month that Crown & Glory send out their BPC subscriptions but I completely forgot so it was a total surprise to me this time.

For August they teamed up with Lemon Freckles. An Etsy shop inspired by Toni's love of brightly coloured and cute things. She also runs a blog over at www.lemonfreckles.com which I've been binge reading.


I wasn't sure what to expect as I didn't research the shop beforehand but I was pleasantly surprised. It's rather fitting that we finish summer with a brightly coloured aqua and lilac mermaid shell, with yellow and coral details along with a touch of iridescent glitter. Finished off with a gold toned pin.

Compared to previous months this is a little less fussy in it's design but I think it's just as lovely. It doesn't need any extras, the colours and the hint of sparkle are all it needs. I can imagine this looking particularly beautiful in blue and turquoise hair, showing your inner mermaid.

Sign ups for next month open on September 1st so get in their quick if you want a place.
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Price:
£5 per month

Where to buy:
www.crownandglory.co.uk
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24/08/2016

Sugarpill Sparkle Baby Palette.

Just recently I posted about the Sugarpill Cold Chemistry palette. Today I wanted to talk about something a little more girly and perhaps easier to wear. I mentioned before that Sugarpill is definitely known for their bright mattes which I know isn't for everyone.

The shades are available in the palette format for around £25 depending on where you get it from. You can also buy the shadow pans individually for £9ish but buying it as a palette makes the individual pan price significantly cheaper.


Kitten Parade is described as a shimmery peach with an opulent gold sheen.

Frostine is a frosty pale lavender that almost looks to be a matte shade, it does have the slightest hint of shimmer in it.

CandyCrush is a glistening mint pearl but it looks a look more aqua blue, with a white shimmer.

Hotsy Totsy is a bright cool-toned magenta full of iridescent sparkles but an overall matte finish.

The overall feel of the palette definitely has a distinctly more girly feel to it. The mint and pearl packaging has a much larger mirror than the Cold Chemistry due to the more uniform shape of it. The kitten on the front is a cute little addition and we all know I love anything with cats on!

As for the shades, I'm struggling to pick a favourite from the first three. Hotsy Totsy is a lovely shade but a little harder to work with because it's such a bright colour. I don't want to be looking like I have pink eye.

The shades do have a slightly drier texture which could make it difficult to apply but I find the best way is patting rather than sweeping. But I use this technique when applying any shadows. They apply better on the eye on top of a good primer such as Urban Decay's Primer Potion and blend out with ease.

I really like this palette though I feel you can't wear all the shades for one eye look. Each individual shade brings a little something to a netural look when popped in the centre of the lid and they look beautiful alongside other complimenting colours.

It's definetly more of a wearable palette whether you want to do a wash of colour on the lids or a full blown dramatic eye. If you haven't tried the brand before Kitten Parade is a great starter shadow if you're not sure about purchasing the entire palette.
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Price:
£24.95 / 4 x 3.5g
£8.95 / 3.5g single shadow

Where to buy:
www.cocktailcosmetics.co.uk
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22/08/2016

Birchbox - Dive In.

Birchbox has switched things up again by getting rid of the box completely this month. Instead replacing it with a dove grey neoprene bag with a pop of neon colour. They're chosen at random from pink, yellow, turquoise and orange.

I actually really rather like this bag, I would probably use it for things such as shampoo and the like when travelling. If it leaked it would be easy to rinse it out and make it clean again.


Merci Handy - Love & Hand Cleansing Gel - Black Vanilla
£2.99 / 30ml
It's kind of funny to me that I received this as a few days before getting my box I used up some of my Birchbox points. To make the order up to £30 I popped this in my basket, the exact same scent. Good job I like it since I now have two! It reminds me a lot of ones from Bath And Body Works, same shape bottle they used to use and it has those funny little beads inside. As for the scent, it's pretty inoffensive, not overly sweet. Leaves hands feeling fresh and clean without any kind of sticky residue.

Voya - Silky By Nature Shampoo
£18 / 200ml
I haven't had a chance to use this yet and I wasn't overly excited about it until I smelt it. Mmm yes! It's packed full of oils such as sweet basil, lemon peel, lime, and mandarin just to name a few. This gives it a deliciously zingy scent which feels really uplifting. The vitamins and minerals it contains help to keep hair healthy and shiny.

Anatomicals - The Buff Stuff Citrus Body Scrub
£3.99 / 200ml
I've used Anatomicals in the past and have enjoyed their products, from the puns to the packaging. It all seems to fit together and give an overall more fun vibe. I tend to me more careful with exfoliators as the dangers of microbeads have once again hit headlines. I researched to make sure and this doesn't contain any, instead, it uses walnut shell to exfoliate. It comes with a pink grapefruit scent so it's definitely one of those that should be used in the morning.


Nude - Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing Jelly
£32 / 100ml
The sample size of this is crazy small which is understandable since it's rather expensive. I haven't used it yet but I have a feeling it won't even cover half of my moon face!

Marcelle - Waterproof Eyeliner - Mulberry
£10.50 / 1.2g
There was a choice between a brown and a purple liner. I very rarely wear brown so I opted for the Mulberry shade. It's a dusky greyed purple but when the light hits it you get a wonderful purple shimmer that's almost hard to capture. Once on this liner stays put until you remove it with a cleansing balm at the end of the day.

Amie Skincare - Morning Clear Purifying Face Wash
£4.95 / 150ml
Recently I've been a lot stricter with my skincare routine so I'm trying not to disturb it too much. This cleanser is soap free but still gives you perfectly refreshed skin. It's full of active ingredients such as mayblossom and elderflower, helping with problematic skin. Along with cocoa seed butter and sweet almond oil that keeps skin hydrated.
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Price:
£10 (plus p&p) per month
Subscriptions also available with discounts

Get £5 worth of Birchbox points when you sign up here

Where to buy:
www.birchbox.co.uk
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19/08/2016

Pandora Essence.

Pandora seems to be one of those things that once you start buying, it becomes a bit of an addiction. Ever since I received my 'moments' bracelet as a Christmas gift, I've spent countless hours browsing their website and adding things to my wishlist.

The Essence line is slightly different in the way they work. First off, the bracelets are slightly thinner. At present, you can choose from a standard snake chain bracelet, a silver bangle, a silver ball chain or a two tone bracelet which features a 14ct gold clasp. All the Essence bracelets feature a spherical clasp.

As for the charms, they tend to be somewhat more simplistic in design. One of their main features is that they're lined with silicone. This allows the charms to be fixed in one place on the bracelet, meaning they don't slide around. This means that you can't use these on the regular bracelets and vice versa.

They also tend to represent your inner qualities such as compassion, friendship, courage and wisdom just to name a few. This is stamped on the silver portion of the core, which serves as a little reminder. Especially in my case.


Essence Silver Bangle
£49
I decided to go for the bangle option as I didn't like the look of the silver ball chain bracelet and I wanted something a little different to offset my regular Pandora bracelet. I did think this would be awkward to get on and off but you just twist the ends and it opens up easily enough. The bangle uses metal memory which means that it just springs straight back into place once you let it go. It can on occasion be a little fiddly to do the clasp up but you get used to it.

Essence Positivity Charm
£35
I knew straight away that I wanted this charm. Not only because of the marble-like pattern but the quality it represents also. Positivity is something I severely lack so I thought it'd be a sweet little daily reminder. The charm has a sterling silver core encased in a magnesite surrounding. Since this is a natural stone there can be variations between charms, as seen in my last photo. I opted for the left-hand charm as I wasn't particularly happy with the first one I had. That's one of the reasons I prefer buying in person but I didn't this time around. That'll teach me!
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Where to buy:
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17/08/2016

Glossybox - August.

August marks five years of Glossybox. Five! It doesn't seem like it was that long ago that monthly beauty subscriptions were popping up all over the place. Some haven't stood the test of time but Glossybox is still here.

August gives us the 'Glossy greats' box*. They've also teamed up with accessory label Rae Feather to design the box and a surprise inside.


Rae Feather - Mini Monogram Pochette
£20
I must admit when I saw this I was pretty disappointed. Upon checking out their website it seems celebs love them but I've never heard of the brand before. I can't say I'm a fan of their products or this little bag. It feels cheaply made and doesn't seem to hold a lot.

Spa To You - Deep Pore Facial Cleansing Brush
£6.99
A big toothbrush for you face. That's basically how I would describe this. The bristles are supposed to buff away dead skills for a deep but gently cleanse. I find the bristles on this to be a little scratchy. It's not something I feel comfortable using on my face as I feel people could overuse it and do some damage to their skin.


Cowshed - Wild Cow Invigorating Body Lotion
£20 / 300ml
Containing lemongrass, ginger and rosemary this lotion is sure to give you an energetic buzz for the day. It also includes shea and cocoa butter to help nourish the skin and deeply moisturise. Perfect for the imminent colder weather. It's made in England, using natural ingredients and is full of essentials oils that your skin will just drink up, with a scent that is light but zingy.

Mudmasky - Facial Detox Purifying Recovery Mask
£53 / 60ml
Damn this face mask is expensive! It claims to be the firs PH-balanced facial treatments. It's made using all natural ingredients and contains no parabens. It helps to detoxify the skin, refine and detoxify pores, hydrates, brightens and smooths. Giving your skin a really boost. It has a slight tingling sensation which is completely normal and it will give you a dark grey looking face once applied. It totally gave me moon emoji feels.


MUA - Eyeshadow Palette - Hall Of Fame
£4 / 9.6g
I have more than enough eyeshadow palettes to last me a lifetime so I will be passing this on to someone else. The Hall Of Fame palette features a good range of light nudes, medium transition shades and the perfect darker tones for a smokey eye. It also has a range of finishes, including both mattes and metallics, with the dark black being a glittery shade. Everything you need to take your daytime to look to a dramatic evening affair.
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Price:
£10 (plus p&ap) per month
Subscriptions also available with discounts

Where to buy:
www.glossybox.co.uk
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15/08/2016

Imperial Leather Shower Gel - Marshmallow.

It's not very often I generally favour a no-frills shower or bath usually it's because I'm ill. I've been enjoying something that's rather cheap in comparison to my usual Lush gels.


Last year Imperial Leather released a range of sweet inspired shower gels. I posted about the Spearmint which I wasn't a fan of.

This, however, has a sweet scent that isn't too strong. It's just nice and comforting without being too overbearing. It foams up really well when using a shower lily (which is such a nicer name than loofah btw!) and doesn't leave my skin feeling uncomfortably dry.

There's not much I can say about this but if you're looking for a cheap, nicely scent gel that's readily available then this is a lovely little addition.
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Price:
£1

Where to buy:
www.boots.com
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13/08/2016

Birchbox - Never-Ending Summer.

I seem to be running a little behind on the beauty box reviews but hey, I'm getting them done. Even if it is a little late. The mini reviews might be helpful to someone out there. And how I could I resist writing about this beautifully designed box?

For July Birchbox teamed up with Millie Macintosh to create a summer infused box. Along with an exclusive lip shade.


John Frieda - Frizz Ease - Forever Smooth Anti-Frizz Primer
£9.99 / 100ml
I think along with most other people, I'm not a fan of my natural hair. It's wavy and not in a nice way so I straighten it. But once the weather turns humid or it begins to rain it starts getting frizzy. This helps to not only protect against heat but with the addition of coconut oil, it helps keep hair more smooth and manageable.

Caudalie - Polyphenol C15 Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Anti-Wrinkle Protect Fluid
£29 / 40ml
That couldn't be a longer name for a product if it tried! This helps stimulate cell renewal whilst helping to diminish fine lines and wrinkles. Whilst I won't be using it for that purpose, the fact that it has SPF and smells like oranges means it's something that I will gladly smother my face in. It can't just be me that hates having anything on my face that I don't like the smell of?!

Thermaliv - Micellar Lotion
£12.90 / 100ml
Not the most exciting thing but it's a handy travel size. Micellar waters were something that really took off last year but I don't tend to use them unless I'm feeling really sleepy and just need to get my makeup off stat. It doesn't take off hardcore makeup but if you're just wearing a little it seems to be ok. It has a light, clean and fresh scent to it.


LOC x Millie - Ultra Gloss Lip Pencil - Bohemian Rose
£9 / 2.5g
I'm really not a big fan of lipgloss in the traditional sense but I can get on board with glossy lipsticks. This pencil is packed full of hydrating ingredients along with being cruelty and paraben free. I feel like this is a universal shade, it's not too pale and not too bright. It's a lovely rosy pink shade with very fine shimmer. This is the perfect addition for just keeping in your bag for little touch ups on the go.

Nails Inc - Nail Polish - Sloane Street
£14 / 14ml
When I first started this blog I was a big fan of Nails Inc. I went off them when they started raising their prices and finding better formulas at a cheaper price point. I haven't tried this yet but Sloane Street is a brightened blue-based pink.
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Price:
£10 (plus p&p) per month
Subscriptions also available with discounts

Get £5 worth of Birchbox points when you sign up here

Where to buy:
www.birchbox.co.uk
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11/08/2016

Life Lately {In Verbs} #1.

I love reading little life updates from my favourite bloggers but sometimes sitting down and actually talking about everything can make posts super long.

I nabbed this idea after seeing it on one of my favourite blogs - Cider With Rosie. It's a nice, simple and quick way of updating. So here's a few little thoughts before I pass out from exhaustion (see rubbish moment of the week).

Photo via Unsplash

Drinking: Copious amounts of freshly made lemonade, especially if it's the pink kind.

Watching: Stranger Things. After hearing everyone rave about it, I binged watched it in two sittings. There are honestly no words for it other than what the hell. I will be very surprised if they don't do another season, more please!

Enjoying: Warm summery days, the kind where you can skip wearing a thick jumper.


Wearing: Beautiful, handmade dichroic glass earrings from Etsy. The light hits them and they go between blues and purples to hot pink, orange and even yellow.

Using: The Productive app has helped me keep on top of my daily habits and become better at them. Purely because you get streaks if you don't miss a habit you've set for yourself, totally bringing out my competitive side and the one that wants everything perfect.

Best moment of the past week: Seeing old work friends. If only for a short visit to where I used to work, it was nice to see everyone and have a little catch-up.

Rubbish moment of the past week: Working eight long days without a day off but I'm done now so it's sleepy time for me.
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09/08/2016

Glossybox - July.

I'm a little late in posting this but as it was such a good box I figured I'd still pop it up.

For July Glossybox gave us an 'on the beach' themed box*. Perfect for the warmer weather.


Hairon - Detangle Brush
£6.99
I'm a big fan of Tangle Teasers so this is a great addition for me. This brush fits perfectly in the palm of your hand so feels nice to hold. It can be used on both wet or dry hair. It doesn't snag or tug on your hair so it's perfect for using with hair extensions too.

Blank Canvas Cosmetics - F20 Hot Pink & Gold
£14.99
There was a time when everyone used flat-topped brushes for buffing in foundation. Things seemed to have moved more towards the beauty sponges. A stippling brush is still handy to really work the product into the skin.
This brush feels fairly soft but I have plenty so plan on passing this along to someone who can make better use of it.


Hawaiian Tropic - Island Berry Lipgloss SPF 25
£6.99 / 20ml
I'm not usually a lipgloss person this smells delicious. It claims to leave a glossy finish but with a non-sticky and moisturising finish. Having SPF is just an added bonus!

Collection - Supersize Mascara - Ultra Black
£2.99 / 8ml
Mascara is one of those things I always need. I don't think I really have a holy grail besides YSL but they're so perfumed it irritates my eyes. It comes in brown, black and an ultra black. I got the latter which I'm curious about how black it really is. It contains keratin to help nourish the lashes.

UTan & Tone - Nourishing Night Creme
£25 / 50ml
This is something that seems kind of strange to me but that's because I don't tan, both real and fake. It's a super moisturising night cream that also acts as a gradual tanner. Something else that a friend will put to better use.
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Price:
£10 (plus p&p) per month
Subscriptions also available with discounts

Where to buy:
www.glossybox.co.uk
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07/08/2016

La Roche-Posay Serozinc.

If you mention La Roche-Posay to most bloggers they'd tell you how much of a cult following their Effaclar Duo has. It's the perfect moisturiser for blemish prone skin.

Their Serozinc toner was always spoken highly of by the likes of Caroline Hirons but it wasn't available in the UK. Until last year when every blogger rushed out to try it. Again, speaking highly of it.

I picked it up a little while ago but it wasn't until I recently switched up my skincare routine, becoming more rigorous, that it really became a daily staple.


So what is Serozinc? Serozinc is a mist toner containing zinc sulphate. It's perfect for oily and blemish-prone skin, both of which I have. But can be used on more sensitive skin also. It helps skin to look mattified and less oily.

 I tend to use Pixi Glow Tonic of an evening and this as part of my morning routine. It comes in a spray aerosol so after cleansing I just spritz it all over and let it sink in. The directions suggest wiping off any excess but I find my skin just drinks it up. It feels cooling and refreshing on the skin and doesn't give your pores that tight feeling. Once soaked in I apply moisturiser as normal.

I've noticed a real difference in my skin since using this, though I think that's down to being stricter with making sure I do my routine twice a day, every day. In the past I've used toners which have left my skin feeling dry and tight. This leaves my skin feeling fresh, shine free and any outbreaks I do have seem to look a little calmer. It's definetly a keeper for me.
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Price:
£8.50 / 150ml

Where to buy:
www.boots.com
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05/08/2016

Crown & Glory Bobby Pin Club - July.

It's that time of the month again when my favourite pink bubble envelope lands on my doormat. I'm always super excited for the end of the month when this turns up.

For July Crown & Glory teamed up with Nutmeg & Arlo, a one-woman band working out of North Yorkshire to create pins and stationery.


I had a sneaky suspicion that this month would be narwhal inspired and I wasn't far wrong! The pin features a blue narwhal covered in glitter, with a white horn and belly. Alongside an enamel set of stars, a cloud, and a rainbow. All set on a silver-tone slide.

I think out of all the pins I've had so far this might just be my favourite. I'm not sure what it is about it. Whether it's the cute little smiling face or the rainbow. But I've been wearing this clipped into 'milkmaid braids' and it looks super cute.

I know I say it every month but these pins are just so well made and they jazz up even the plainest of hair styles.
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Price:
£5 per month

Where to buy:
www.crownandglory.co.uk
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03/08/2016

Vans Late Night Realm Backpack - Macaroons.

Today I thought I'd flag up the sale that's currently on the Vans website. They have a whole selection of shoes, bags, and other accessories with a decent discount.

I always seem to find things that I've been eyeing up for ages, ending up in the sale. Which is just great for me.


As soon as I saw the promo images for the Vans Late Night collection, I fell in love. Burgers, donuts, and cupcakes were amongst some of the patterns that were adorned on shoes and other accessories. But the one that stole my heart was the rainbow macaroon print.

I needed a bag that was easier for me to cart my Macbook to and from work alongside any other junk I needed to carry, so I was looking for a replacement for my Hello Kitty Vans version as I felt I'd outgrown it.

When I saw this rainbow version I knew I had to have it. But I do that thing where I put off buying it and then it goes in the sale.

I don't feel there's much I can say about this bag as it's just your regular backpack. It's made of a sturdy material so I don't feel like I have to worry too much about filling it with heavy things. It's roomy and has a front pocket that has smaller pockets inside, perfect for organising little bits.

The Vans backpacks come in a whole range of colours and patterns so there's something for everyone. It's not the most glamourous bag but it's practical and that's what matters.
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Price:
£24.50 (originally £35)

Where to buy:
www.vans.co.uk
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01/08/2016

It's Always Darkest Before The Dawn.


Lately, life has been getting me down. I've always been pretty honest online when I've had my struggles but never truly opened about how I really feel.

I'm at that age where everyone is settling down and getting married, having kids, progressing in their career and just doing seemingly well with their life. Then there's me, having wild Friday nights in with Netflix and my kitties. Hardly the same is it?

I'm always reading things about how you shouldn't compare your journey to someone else's. And it's true but I can't help doing it. It leaves me feeling like what I'm currently doing with my life is something I should be ashamed of. I don't want children and that's a personal choice. Yet I have to constantly put up with people questioning when I'm going to have them. I've got my babies, they have four legs and are furry.

From a young age, we have a vision of how we think our life will turn out but things don't turn out as planned and you feel left behind. Wedding invitations are popping through the letterbox, friends are announcing their fabulous new jobs. It can leave you feeling like they're getting everything you want at a much faster rate than yourself.

Photos via Unsplash

I thought I'd share a few things that I've learnt recently that have helped me somewhat.

Go at your own pace. We live in a competitive world but everyone is running their own race. You're only competing against yourself with the person you are currently and the person you want to be. If you need to take some time to slow down, do! There's no shame in that. You'll reach the finish line when you're good and ready.

Be patient. Both with yourself and the path you're on. Nothing happens instantly, good things take time and you'll get there eventually.

Accept the route you're on. It's unique to you and may not match up with what others are doing. Don't rush into something just because you feel you need to keep up with everyone else. Following a different path to everyone is perfectly fine, you might be on route to something even better. We're not destined to follow a set timeline of events.

Those are a small number of things I'm learning to apply to my life and situation. I'm not sure how to end this post so I'll leave you with a quote;
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