Sunday, 9 March 2014

Reviews: Micellar Water and Beautifying Oil

B. Pure Micellar Water
Sorry Soap&Glory, Una Brennan and Philosophy: it's over. There's a new make-up remover in town, and I'm all in love with it. 

I don't go to Superdrug much (I'm a Boots girl) but i be heading there a lot more often now, after sampling their B. Beautiful range. 

I've read all sorts of info about micellar water, as I'm sure you have, and finally got around to trying it. I only used the tiniest bit on a cotton ball and stared at my own face for a few seconds in awe. It normally takes a minute or two for my other cleansers to take off all my foundation (I probably wear too much) but one swipe with B. Pure Micellar Water and it was gone completely. I only had to use a miniscule amount to cleanse all of my face and neck and from that second I was sold. I've used Soap&Glory Peaches and Clean for ages now but I've never really got on board with creamy cleansers, I've always felt like they clogged my pores long after I've rinsed them off. No such problem here. My skin felt super fresh and hydrated, especially with a bit of moisturiser on top. 

- It's super cheap, I swiped it at only £3.50!
- Doesn't dry out skin or leave it oily. 
- Cruelty free!

The Body Shop Beautifying Oil (Pink Grapefruit)
I loooove The Body Shop's pink grapefruit scent. It's really light and fresh and fruity without ring overpowering. Their beautifying oil is another new love of my life. I use it after a shower on damp skin to lock in moisture (I sound like a commercial) but you can use it on dry skin and on your split ends! 

It smells heavenly and at £9 won't break the bank! You only have to use a tiny bit so it will last for ages. 

Ladies, make Superdrug and The Body Shop your next stops!

Louise xo

Fashion and Beauty 'Will Do's

This year I'm making a concerted effort to change up my fashion and beauty regime, since I've been stuck in a rather monotone rut for the last few years. It's time for change! Here's my list for the year:

- Wear more colour, less black and grey. Neons and pastels are slowly creeping into my wardrobe.
- Grow my hair. Stop getting frustrated with it and hacking it all off.
- Leave my hair colour alone for a while. Not sure I can stick to this one, but my hair would like me to!
- Show more leg. I live in jeans and leggings, and it's time my legs saw some sun! Dresses and skirts and shorts, oh my!
- Wear more maxi dresses. So what if I'm 5'2" and look miniature sized? Who cares?
- Branch out in the shoe department, and invest in good quality shoes. I used to buy expensive shoes and they lasted years; now I dip into Primark and wonder why they only last a few months. I only have about 3 pairs that I wear regularly, so it's time to expand the shoe horizons with a few pairs of staple heels and some cute flats. (Must have a look in River Island when I'm next in town, their shoes are lovely.)
- Learn more hairstyles. Currently I've mastered the sock bun, the messy pony, and the 90s topknot and want to add more to that portfolio.
- Learn to plait! OK so I can plait the front section of my hair, but anything beyond that is impossible. I'm eternally jealous when someone walks in with a perfect fishtail that they did themselves.
- Nails, nails, nails. I have gel nails on, and have started having funky colours and stiletto nails rather than plain colours or French and I love it. I once read that when your hands look and feel nice that you feel more confident... seems true!
- Fix that damn tattoo. I have a tattoo that's unfinished that I hate, and it's been sitting untouched for too long now. Time to sort it out.

That'll do for now! What's on your 2014 fashion and beauty list?

Louise xo

Photo from Pinterest

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A Few Scenic Snaps...

I wanted to share a few holiday snaps with you all. We took close to 500 photos, so I'll only share my very favourites! Taken in Seattle/Portland/Medford/Crater Lake/Union Creek.

Now I'm all holiday-bluesy and want to go back!

Louise xo

New This Week!

The start of every month always brings a fresh feeling, and I think a lot of us heave a sigh of relief when our bank accounts are refilled and we can relax for a few weeks and have fun with our money.

I went shopping for a variety of things including birthday cakes, hen party decorations, car tax discs and a lot of other not-so-fun things, but these pretty things were certainly fun to buy:

Body Shop Lipstick and Monsoon necklace. A snip at £10 each!

Baby shower gifts! And a very naughty purchase of some neon orange River Island heels...

I've been dying to try this tea, and finally gave in and ordered it! 
And finally, some books to add to my self-help/happiness/journalling shelf! I can't wait to get stuck into Keri Smith's book and will probably buy a load more in the future. 

Coming soon, a February favourites post!

Louise xo

Tuesday, 25 February 2014


I'm doing the 100 Happy Days challenge on Instagram, and thought I'd share my first 3 days! You can read more about the challenge here...

Day 1: Curing my jet lag on the sofa with candles, fairy lights and Buffy.
Day 2: Unwinding at the spa.
Day 3: Seeing my beautiful kitty cat and remembering how teeny he was as a kitten!

Louise xo

Monday, 24 February 2014

Mini Beauty Buy

The Body Shop | LUSH

A little trip to town today saw me come home with a pile of goodies from LUSH and two gorgeous lipsticks from The Body Shop. 

Brazened Honey is my favourite face mask ever. It smells delicious and is so cooling when it goes on (you have to keep it in the fridge so duh). And it leaves my skin soft, supple and happy in a way that no other face mask has ever done. A close second would be the thermal clay mask from The Body Shop, but as always LUSH takes first prize. 

In the lipstick love department, Body Shop have just won my heart. I got a delicious pale chocolate colour and a baby pinky-red shade that I'm dying to try out. They are more moisturising than the Topshop lipsticks that I adore and while the colour range isn't exceptional it's definitely enough to keep me coming back. 

Louise xo

10 Things I Want To Do

I'm incredibly jet-lagged following my 12 day trip to the United States and don't have a clue where to start when telling people about it. So instead of talking about my holiday, I wanted to list a few things I want to do more in my life now that in back. Some might seem trivial, but they say the best things come in small packages!

1) Drink more water. I don't drink enough water, and tell myself habitually that tea and coffee are assimilated into the body as water so it totally counts. Time to stop that nonsense and actually pick up a bottle of water (or three) every day and start using our water filter. Adding fruit is a good way to spice it up!

2) Read more. I read 8 books during our 18-hour flights and thousands of miles in the car, and have really got the book bug. My kindle has barely left my hand since we landed back on British soil. 

3) On that note, stop buying books I have no intention of reading just because they "look good" or make me look smart. Just read the books you love and love the books you read. 

4) Work out. I always say this when I get back from holiday but this time I'm serious. Armed with my new neon Nike Free Runs and a Seattle Seahawks shirt I'm ready to hit the gym. 1-3 times a week should do it to start. 

5) Restart a yoga class. I loved yoga, but the class I was taking wasn't for me. The instructor was a bit too hands-off and rarely went around correcting postures or offering tips, and that's what I need from a class to make sure I'm doing it right! My best friend and I have found one to start in Leeds, so next week it's on!

6) Deep breathing. This seems silly, but my anxiety, insomnia and depression are under control and I want to keep it that way. Taking five minutes to breathe deeply every few hours is hugely calming and good for the mind and soul!

7) Do more for charity. I give whenever I can, but I want to do and give more to te charities I feel passionately about. If I can afford a new pair of pastel orange River Island courts then I can afford to donate to a good cause. 

8) Write more fiction. My goal is 1,000 words a week to kickstart me back into regular writing instead of sporadic manic episodes. 

9) Lifestyle focus! No meat or fish, limited dairy, plenty of superfoods and it's time to invest in a smoothie maker. Limit beauty product consumption to ethical, vegan where possible, and don't buy excess amounts of crap that I will use once then ditch. 

10) Me-time. Make time for regular pamper nights every week, and try not to be disturbed. Turn off all phones, laptops and TVs and relax with no distractions. 

Louise xo

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Au Revoir, England!

And tomorrow, hello Seattle and the United States! Words can't express how excited I am!!

Outfit for the plane: muscle tee from Topshop, leggings ASOS, bag Primark. 

Louise xo

Saturday, 8 February 2014


A few photos I'm enjoying this evening. Now, go and have a wonderful night.
Louise xo

Lush's Love Locket

You simply cannot go wrong with LUSH bath products, but they have really excelled themselves this time. (Excuse the shades, from a shopping haul on Friday - oops.)

I've never used a locket bath bomb before, so the funky-looking girl behind the counter was happy to explain it to me. Rather like a real locket, if you open it up there's a treat inside. You break it apart (rather like smashing open a chocolate orange) and inside is a smaller heart-shaped bath bomb and a ton of heart confetti! 

It made the bath hot pink with a subtle bit of glitter, and my skin felt lovey and moisturised afterwards. The smell is sweet but not too sugary (a la Snow Fairy); more like a sherbert kind of scent. 

Delicious! And you get 3 baths out of it too, if you open it carefully!

Louise xo

Saturday, 1 February 2014

OOTD: Glam Grunge

My Saturday outfit of the day (OOTD) combined heavy metal necklaces, purple lips and leather leggings with polished nails and sleek hair. I did an ASOS haul the other day, and these leggings are even nicer in person than they looked online! I can't wait to showcase the other purchases on my Seattle trip!

Friday, 31 January 2014

Nails, Nails, Nails

I've wanted to try stiletto nails forEVER, and finally went for it today. I normally get acrylic or gel with nail varnish designs, but with my impending holiday I wanted something really great. The finished result (I think the tips look like upside down lack hearts <3):

These are some of my favourites, found on Tumblr:

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Travel Bug

I've been lucky enough to travel to some weird and wonderful places during my semi-short life on the planet so far. The list includes the Caribbean, Egypt, New York City, Ibiza, Turkey, Cyprus and a handful of European countries. Next on the list, in two short weeks, is the West Coast of the USA landing in Seattle and exploring from there on. I'm prepared for cold, wind, rain, but also the trip of a lifetime. We might head very far South to Las Vegas or San Diego, but at the moment our itinerary is carefully blank (with a few exceptions made for meeting some lovely old friends).

Without a doubt, my favourite place so far to revisit time and time again has been Turkey. The people are fantastic, the food is great and they have a wide range of vegetarian options, and the weather is (kind of) guaranteed to be awesome. If your version of awesome is blistering sunshine, that is, and mine certainly is.

New York City comes a close second - how can anyone not love the city that never sleeps? I desperately want to visit there with my other half: since I've been twice I've managed to seek out some great places to go and things to do and can't wait to share those experiences with him.

My favourite holidays really mix the relaxation with the exploration. I love historical sites and museums, but also enjoy relaxing by the pool with a drink and some music. A good hotel is important (and by good I don't mean expensive, I mean lively, local, and comfortable) and access to a nice restaurant is something paramount on my list. I love trying local cuisine, so anywhere from street carts up has me pleased. I find you can gain the best holiday experiences from eating in local restaurants and chatting to the owners - they always have great stories to tell and tips about where to go next! I'm happy to rough it, but also love a bit of luxury.

Mountains, beaches, cities, countryside, who cares? Get me on a plane with a good book and limitless time to spend exploring and you have a very happy woman.

My travel bucket list (ever expanding):

  • Goa
  • Shanghai
  • Tokyo and Mt Fuji
  • Nepal
  • Athens
  • Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and most of Thailand
  • New Delhi
  • Easter Island
  • Kenya
  • Fiji
  • Marrakech
  • Changuu Island
  • Tanzania
  • .... I could go on forever...
Where's on your bucket list?

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Beauty Wishlist

One thing I plan on doing in Seattle is, naturally, shopping for beauty products! You guys have so many things that either I struggle to find or are significantly more expensive over here so I'm going to be stocking up. I better take an empty suitcase, thinking about it...

1. Of course, Naked3.

2. Philosophy everything.

3. Anastasia Beverly Hills eyebrow kits. 

4. Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse

Flight Reading

A little light reading for my holiday to the States next month! Well, for the 18-hour plane journey to be exact. I'm a quick reader, so I'll probably wind up buying four more books over there to flick through on the return (or I'll just sleep after 10 days of constant excitement).

I love mixing my holiday reading between fun and serious, and Tolkien definitely provides the serious. I haven't read The Silmarillion or The Children of Hurin, and I'm having to sit on my hands not to pick them both up at once. No, Louise, wait for the airport.

Mini Shopaholic I've read before, but it was just to adorable and funny to pass up. (Although I hope my child won't ever turn out like Minnie...) And even though I've seen the films many, many times I'm ashamed to say I never got around to reading the Bridget Jones novels. And now that Mad About The Boy is out, I feel it's time to pop the BJ Novels cherry and enjoy. I've actually started this one, so chances are I'll be picking out something else at Manchester airport with a guilty face at how much I've spent on 'holiday prep' - I needed those clothes and that new bag, OK?!

What should I read on the way back?

Monday, 20 January 2014

Lemon and Ginger Baked Cheesecake

I love to cook and bake, and recently I've had limited time to do either but on my day off last week I decided to finally bake that lemon and ginger cheesecake that has been in the back of my mind for weeks and made a trip to the shop for supplies.

I used a BBC Good Food recipe which I'm not linking to because, well, it wasn't very good. The quantities were all wrong and the method isn't one I would use again. I've made many baked cheesecakes in the past and will be using tried and trusted recipes next time!

For the base: ginger biscuits and digestive biscuits, mixed with melted butter and mashed to a pulp, then pressed into a greased circular cake tin with a loose bottom. For the cheesecake filling: cream cheese (I tend to use the cheaper stuff from the supermarket as it tastes fine and saves your ££ for more expensive ginger! Add mascarpone cheese then the juice of two lemons and the zest of three. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes on gas mark 4, and then garnish however you choose! I used a dusting of cinnamon and it worked so well!

NYX Review

When it comes to make-up, I've always been loyal to a few brands and never ventured much further. MAC, Topshop, and Benefit tend to get most of my money with the occasional visit to Maybelline for their awesome Baby Lips and Baby Skin products. But I've heard a lot about NYX and have been in need of a couple of lip liners for a while so I thought I'd give them a shot.

I ordered a gorgeous inky, glittery purple eyeshadow, a slim black eye pencil and two lip liners and now I am a NYX convert! The eyeliner goes on super easy, is pretty smudge-proof and is fine enough to do a cat eye but can also be blended into smokey lines if desired. The eyeshadow goes on well and is highly pigmented so you don't need to use a lot to get the intended effect. And both lip liners are smear-proof and the colours are great! I got  Deep Purple and Cabaret, both awesome! A hot pink is next on my list.

I also got two free nail polishes, one which I put on my toes that evening, and I love it! It goes on well and doesn't gloop or streak and so far it's pretty chip-resistant.

Verdict: NYX, you have a new regular customer!! I can't wait for payday!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Boots Haul

I have no money at all after an expensive Christmas, and should be saving for my upcoming trip to the USA next month but I accidentally wandered into Boots and shopping ensued. I shouldn't be allowed out without a minder.

In order, these are my new favourite products by a light year:

1. The Greatest Scrub of All by Soap and Glory. Great face scrub, one you can use daily.
2. Popcorn Lip Scrub by LUSH - delish!
3. Super Facialist Vitamin C Micro Polish Face Wash by Una Brennan.
4. Super Facialist Vitamin C Glow Boost Serum by Una Brennan.
5. Kabuki brush by Topshop - super soft!
6. New hair brush by Denman, now I understand the hype about these brushes. Go and get one!
7. Foundation brush by Topshop, again this is super soft!
8. L'Oreal Paris Studio Line #TXT Matte texture spray for people who like BIG HAIR.
9. L'Oreal Paris Studio Line Hot & Smooth heat serum.
10. My favourite faithful hair product, a Tangle Teezer!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Inspiration for the Year

Make 2014 your year of action, of activism, of standing up for what you believe in. Care for others. Care for yourself. Adopt an animal or, if you can’t, foster. Donate to charity. Start a charity. Fundraise. Sign a petition, sign a thousand, make a banner, go to a protest or a sit-in. Travel. Get that tattoo you’ve always wanted, and that piercing you’ve been thinking about. Write. Write a poem, write a book, write a movie, write a blog. Run. Use your body, explore it’s limits. Paint a picture, take a picture, be in as many as you can. Make memories. Leave your phone at home, go somewhere removed from technology. Grow plants, grow food, live off the grid. Build a treehouse, a birdhouse, even build a house of your own. Laugh. Love every minute, even the hard ones, they teach you how to enjoy the simple ones. Sing. Dance every time you can. Tip your head back and smile at the sky. Because if you don’t, then who will?

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Welcome, 2014!

So Christmas and New Year didn't go off quite as I'd hoped! I had an excellent time, and I'm the biggest believer that Christmas should be a time for family and that presents should come secondary, so seeing my family and James's family together for the day was wonderful. But Christmas Day Eve I met with some form of nasty virus that I haven't been able to shake off since. New Year's Eve saw me in bed by 11pm and fast asleep when the ball dropped. New Year's Day? Spent on the sofa with my laptop (revived after six months of it in its grave) and Lord of the Rings on TV.

I have two resolutions for 2014. I rarely make them because I know I'm the worst person at sticking to them, but these two should be pretty simple:

  1. Give up coffee. (Exceptions may apply.) I drink far too much, and it's bad for me. Every time I want a cuppa, I'm going to replace it with tea or chai tea and try to detox. Wish me luck!
  2. Start a YouTube channel. I spent most of 2013 meaning to do this and recording a few demo videos, so 2014 is the time to suck it up and post them.

I did get some really lovely gifts and treats over Christmas, including lots of gorgeous candles, a ton of chocolate, and lots of beauty products to use in our newly-redone bathroom. Here are a few of my favourites:
The main theme in my living room is country chic, and I have plenty of hearts and candles littered around. This silver vase and candle holder are sitting in pride of place on the windowsill keeping the room warm on a night!

I LOVE these geek shoes from Topshop. Silver, shiny, comfy, cute... they tick every box.

Skull money box and My Little Pony from Urban Outfitters! Both in our office where the overwhelming colour is white. 

Happy New Year, everyone. I hope 2014 is safe, fun, prosperous and happy for each and every one of you! <3 <3