Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Charlotte Tillbury, L'oreal and Garnier || Beauty Haul

As a lot of you probably already know, one of my biggest New Years Resolutions was to save money which I did a fantastic job of in January. However if you're a fellow spendaholic like me then you'll know that when you're saving you have this unruly desire to buy everything thats accumulated on your ever expanding wish list. For me, I think I've done quite well in controlling this (compared to what I normally do anyway) but Boots is dangerous territory for me when I'm saving.

I have been after some of the L'oreal colour riche collection forever especially Blake Lively's one because who doesn't want to look like Serena Van Der Woodsen?! Every single time I've been in Boots I've been down on my hands and knees foraging through the L'oreal drawer in hope for a Blake lipstick that isn't mashed up or already been tried on by 50 other girls but to no avail. So you can imagine that when I did finally find one I was so overcome with excitement that I had to buy two more...

I wanted Eva's nude initially because when swatched it was the shade I liked most but sadly I look nothing like her so I thought I'd pick up Julianne's too who I also look nothing like but her complexion is closer to mine than Eva's is.  They were on 2 for £12 so I very nearly bought 4 but I restrained because after all I am meant to be saving money so I settled for 3!

The next lipstick I got is probably the most exciting and that's Charlotte Tilbury's Glastonberry which I've wanted for the longest amount of time but have never been able to justify. I actually won this in the gorgeous Zoe's giveaway so I'm so thankful to her because now I can try it without actually having to break my spending ban too much! 

The last thing I picked up was two Garnier Moisture Match creams which I have never tried before but when they came out I remember really wanting to try them! I've heard that the revitalising hydrating gel is a dupe for Origins Gin Zing moisturiser and they were on 2 for £4 so since my skin has beeb really dry lately I also went for the rich moisturiser! 

I am planning to do full reviews on all of these products as soon as I get some spare time. Have you tried any of these products?? 

Lots of Love,

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Little Coffee Shop Of Kabul || Book Review

My usual type of book is a warm hearted chick flick but every now and again I like to read a book that explores more of a cultural aspect and has a deeper plot and meaning. My most favourite books actually end up being written in this style such as The Book Thief, A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner. When I saw this book I knew it would be my cup of tea and I was right, it is now up there as my second favourite book and I've read a lotta books!

The book is set in Kabul, Afghanistan so has a lot of culture throughout the book which I find very interesting, especially since Afghanistan is a war torn country it's fascinating to get an insight as to what life would be like living there. The author Deborah actually moved to Kabul herself and married an Afghan man so she injects a lot of her experience of the culture and their attitudes to woman into the book.

There are five main characters to the book:- Sunny, Yazmina, Candace, Halajan and Isabel. Sunny is an American woman who lives in Kabul and runs a coffee shop there, Yasmina is snatched from the valleys by drug lords who dispose of her when they realise that she's actually pregnant. Halajan is an Afghan woman who owns the coffee shop and lives next door to it, Candace is an American woman who's dating an Afghan man and Isabel is a British journalist investigating the drug lords. These five woman meet at the coffee shop regularly and discover a bond with each other which leads to them becoming close friends.

It tells the tale of how unsafe it is to live in Afghanistan, the fear these people face just going about their daily lives, not knowing when attacks will come, not being able to nip to the shops for bread alone and even just simple supplies not being available and taking months to be ordered from abroad. The cafe has to build a giant wall to be regarded as a 'safe place' for people to want to visit it which makes you really realise how lucky we are to live in a wealthy country. 

I finished this book in under five days and I've been really busy so it is a true testament to how gripped I was by this book and how much I enjoyed reading it. I can't remember the last time I read a book where I literally couldn't put it down. It's a rare thing that you come across a book where you get into it right from the first few words but this book had me gripped from page one. I loved it so much I even painted my nails to match the front cover (coincidentally). 

The writing is the perfect size for me, it isn't too big or teeny tiny which is my pet hate in a book. The chapters are reasonably sized too with some being quite small making it easy to read a little more and not worrying about losing your place because I always lose bookmarks. 

If you like books and enjoy learning about other countries history, culture and enjoy books about the war, the taliban or different political attitudes then you will love this book. I cried when the book ended, not really because it was a sad ending but because I was genuinely gutted I had finished it. Without a doubt I will be hunting down other books by this author cause I'm so impressed, if you get the chance to read it then definitely give it a read!

Have you read the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul??

Lots of Love,

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Frenchie || My Little Box

If there's one subscription box that has taken the blogging world by storm lately then it is My Little Box. Within a few months I've gone from knowing nothing about the brand to being desperate to subscribe myself but not being a lover of subscription boxes I hung back. As a general rule I think these type of boxes tend to be a waste of money, glorified samples and products that for the most part you wouldn't buy or use. However, as the months went buy, I only got more and more impressed by what was in peoples My Little Box so I decided to give it a go myself.

Firstly the box itself is beautiful and other months boxes have all looked beautiful too and I plan on keeping this and my future boxes to store things in. So much thought goes into these boxes and their creation, even the cardboard box it arrived in had a quote stuck to the inside of it. I also love the little illustration card each box comes with that has another quote in it and I plan on collecting these too since they're so cute.

The first thing that came in my box was this smartphone case that also has a pouch at the front for putting bank cards in or receipts/tickets. If I'm honest it's not the type of case I would buy for my phone and I probably wouldn't keep it in this but my phone is covered in scratches from being chucked in my bag. Therefore I will get use out of this cause I'm going to keep my phone in it when it is in my bag.

One of the cutest things in the box was this little bottle that contains 28 inspiring notes or tips that you can slip in your pocket to give you confidence during the day. It is a cute idea but having opened a good few of the notes a lot of them really aren't that special, however it would be a cute bottle to keep or to get someone to refill with cute notes when they run out. 

Another good thing about My Little Box is these little bags that the beauty section of the box comes in cause again they'll come in so handy for storing things or for traveling. In the bag there was DHC blotting paper which I was really excited about, although I've never heard of the brand before, I've always wanted to try blotting paper. I'll definitely be popping these into my handbag in the Summer because thats when my skin tends to have excess oil.

I was quite happy to see this L'oreal Brow artist plumper in my box too because I love brow products and L'oreal is my favourite drug store makeup brand. This one is in transparent and is similar to a clear mascara wand to plump up your brows.

Undoubtedly the thing I was most excited to see in my box was this full size, yes you read write full size By Terry kohl crayon. By Terry is one of those raved about brands and I for one love their ombre blackstar eyeshadows so I have extremely high hopes for this little beauty. It is in the shade Bronze Generation which granted being jet black with gold particles through, it isn't my usual eyeliner shade but I'm really excited to try it out all the same. 

My Little Box also contain one of their own products in each box, this time I got their apricot skin tint which is aimed to brighten and freshen up the face. It comes out in an apricot coloured liquid and also smells very apricot like so I'm excited to give this a trial.

The box also contains the My Little World magazine which I kid you not is actually a really good read with lots of tips and handy information. It also has little cards explaining about each of the products in the box, how much they retail for and what they're about.

Have you tried My Little Box? Do you think it's worth the £13.95 that it costs?

Lots of Love,

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Have a Lush Valentines Day || Haul

Happy Valentines Day you beautiful bunch!

Obviously with it being Valentines Day today, I thought it would be nice to share some bits and bobs that I picked up from the Lush Valentines day range because I am a magnet to anything that glitters, sparkles or smells nice!

The first thing I picked up was the giant love locket that left a giant dent in my purse at near enough £7 which I think is pretty expensive for a bath ballistic. However this beauty does redeem itself in the fact that it would do about three baths with its outer shell and also contains another bath ballistic inside it. I am looking forward to using this but not to having to cut it up and separate it. Although I was planning to avoid this one in order to save money, it smelt so beautiful that I just had to pick it up. It has a very sweet vanilla scent but not overpowering, it's a really nice smell.

I also picked up the Unicorn Horn which is so different to anything I've seen Lush do before. It has so many colours in it, pastel colours which obviously drew me in and has sparkles and pretty little stars. This one I'm not entirely sure of what the smell is but I know I wouldn't have bought it for its smell alone, it was definitely the aesthetics that made me fall in love with this one. It's quite a relaxing, herbal, lavender almost earthy smell, definitely not a favourite by scent but it is growing on me slowly but surely.

I was in need of another Lush lip scrub because my bubblegum one has started to taste a little funky because its passed its use by date so instead of buying the same again I thought I would go for something different. In the end I went for The Kiss with it being Valentines and all, this has cute little sprinkles on top and love hearts. I wasn't sure about getting a limited edition one because I really don't like the Christmas Santa lip scrub but I'm hoping this one will be a lot nicer!

The last thing I bought isn't from the Valentines collection but I believe it may be part of the Mothers day collection because I haven't seen it before in the shop is this Ultraviolet bubble bar. It looks a lot like the Comforter or Brightside but in deep purple and blues but it was it's beautiful scent that made me unable to leave the shop without it. Parma violets are one of my favourite sweets from my childhood and this smells exactly like a big packet of parma violets, so like it that if I closed my eyes I'd probably try eat it. This one was nearly £5 but this is massive so you could definitely get four baths out of this and I'm so excited to see what colour the water goes with this one.

Have you tried anything from Lushes Valentines collection? What are you doing this Valentines? Me and Gary are just going out for a nice meal, then out for some drinks before coming home to watch a movie and have snuggles with the pup. Hope you all have a lovely night whatever you're doing! 

Lots of Love,

Friday, 13 February 2015

Jewel Candle Cinnamon Bun || Review

Recently I won a Jewel Candle in my lovely friend Daisy's blog giveaway and I was super excited because I've had a jewel candle before and really love the product and the concept of it. Basically it's my ideal, a candle which also contains a ring inside and each ring is valued between £10-£250. The rings used to come with labels saying the exact valuation of the ring on it but I think they aren't legally allowed to do that anymore but you can take it to a jeweller and get it valued if you want to know how much yours is worth.

My last jewel candle was a Candyfloss scented one which I'll be honest I don't really use other than when I'm in the bath because I'm not at all keen on the scent of it, it's very sickly. So I didn't really have massive hopes for this one but it smells incredible, much nicer than my last one. It smells exactly like cinnamon and has a sweet tinge to it but not overly sweet which I really like and have continued to burn this even though I already have my ring. 

The hardest bit about Jewel Candle is if you're an impatient person like me because you need to wait until the wax burns down low enough that you can grab out the tin foil package containing the ring. I stuck my candle on the moment it arrived to burn it down and kept it on all that evening, it takes about 10 hours burning time before you can get to the package. I let mine burn half way down the foil and then I lost patience and went in with my tweezers to retrieve it.

Inside the special heat protectant foil theres a little bag which contains your ring. It has a label that says what type of sterling silver it is, this time mines was 925, no idea what that means so anyone who does please let me know.

My ring was this pretty silver band with two rows of diamond style gems on it. It is really pretty but it's also really huge. I found this with my last Jewel Candle ring too that it came up really big on me. I would only be able to wear this ring as a thumb ring but it is really pretty. I'm a size 52/54 in Pandora rings if that helps give you an idea of how big their rings are. They also do an earrings version of the candle too in a smaller jar which I think would be interesting to try.

Have you tried Jewel Candle?

Lots of Love,

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

I Heart New York || Lindsey Kelk

Last year I reviewed 'I Heart Christmas' by Lindsey Kelk and because I enjoyed it so much I bought 'I Heart New York' also written by her. All the I Heart books are written about the same character Angela Clark who runs away to New York to escape after a bad break up with her boyfriend.

This book is all about why Angela leaves London, her adventures in New York, her blogging job that she lands and her decision to stay in New York/go back home to London. Shortly after arriving to New York Angela meets a friend who takes her under her wing, helps her to try recover from her breakup and gives her a guide to New York living. The books main themes are break ups, friendship, dating and New York. 

I've never been to New York but this book almost makes me feel like I have because of it's stunning descriptions and all the names of different places and streets. Like Lindsey's last book it had parts that  had me laughing out loud and parts that had me feeling upset for the characters. It has also left me with even more of a burning desire to visit New York and at the back this book also has a whole section of tips on best hotels in NYC and restaurants to go to. It also has clubs that are good and shops that are a must visit and all the addresses and numbers of these places.

It's a good chick flick read and I can imagine it would be an amazing read for anybody going through a break up since thats what the book is about, it will make yours seem not as bad whilst cheering you up! I'm actually really sad that this book has finished now but I do already have another one of Kelks 'I Heart Las Vegas' on my bookshelf ready to read which going by the last two books I've read I'm sure it will be amazing.

Lindsey Kelk actually tweeted me after I posted a picture of her and Tanya's book together saying that they looked like a good pairing to her, I had a bit of a 'fan girl' moment.

Have you read any of the I Heart series?

Lots of Love,

Sunday, 8 February 2015

January || Instagram

January has been a really long busy month so I've shared quite a lot of instagram posts this month and I always find it really hard to pick just a few so as you can see there is quite a lot this month!

I have developed a massive Frijj milkshake addiction

♥ Dog walks by the lake at sunset are my favourite 

♥ Lush Sparkler bath ballistic

♥ Cuddles with mum

♥ Pup was scared of the windy storms we had earlier this month so held a cushion in his mouth till he fell asleep, n'aww bless.

♥ Customised slush puppy from Lucas cafe

♥ My new Macbook Pro which has become my favourite thing ever

♥ People Watching

♥ Cookies n Cream ice cream from Luca's (Yes that is what Luca is named after)

 ♥ Cinnamon Bun Jewel Candle from my gal Daisy

♥ One of the photos I took for my Salt Air Post, it was one of the 'product photoshoots' if you like that I'm most happy with!

♥ This is realistically what I have looked like throughout the whole of January, in my snuggle jumper from Next, hiding behind it whilst watching Pretty Little Liars. Both are in my Non-Beauty Favourites. I started watching Pretty Little Liars in January and I'm already on Season 4 eeek!

♥ Sparkly Pumpkin hands

 ♥ Don't study law, all my textbooks and all my revision notes!

♥ My Love Tanya book which I highly recommend!

♥ My #SmearForSmear which I have done a full post about on my smear test experience and why I think it's something really important for all girls to get done!

If you want to see more of my instagram posts then you can pop over and have a peek @whatabbyloves.

Lots of Love,