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Category Archives: lipstick

Beauty Review – March and April Birchboxes

I’m not sure how I managed to miss a month’s review but I thought I would do a condensed double-whammy of beauty products that I received over the past two months plus an extra purchase I made.

March’s Box

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This box was rather plain and uninspiring when I opened it but there were some gems hidden inside.

First up is the Batiste 2-in-1 Dry Shampoo and Conditioner. This seems like a great idea but I just don’t use dry shampoos. I will however pass this onto my husband who does.

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I was surprised to see an inclusion from Bobbi Brown. Although the product sizes are quite tiny, it is still quite a high-end brand and I am really looking forward to trying out these three mini face masks.

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Next, a Balance Me Instant Lift Primer which I was pleased with as I love the brand and am always keen on testing out new primers. This smells nice and isn’t too silicone-y upon first use.

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Given that summer is fast-approaching, it was good to include a tanning lotion. This one from Vita Liberata is their Ten Minute Tan and I will use this as soon as it gets warm enough to contemplate getting my bare legs out!

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Finally, from Benefit I received a Double The Lip in the shade Pink Thrills. This is a lipstick and lipliner in one and although I can see the idea behind it, I just don’t think it quite works. Firstly, the two colours don’t really complement each other – I just wouldn’t use a dark purple lip liner with a bright pink lipstick! Secondly, it doesn’t really blend out very well and is quite a dry formula. With enough priming and blending I can just about make this work for me but for a product that was created to speed up application, it seems to have done the opposite!

April’s Box

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This was a much prettier offering in collaboration with Boden who included a £10 voucher.

The first item I received was a Baïja Paris body lotion in Fleur De Tiaré. I know some people moan that these products are ‘filler’ but I take these mini moisturisers with me whenever I go away and this one will be coming with me to Croatia in June.

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I also received Polaar’s face scrub with Arctic Cotton – an ingredient I don’t think I have used before. It’s meant to be moisturising but I’m usually quite wary of scrubs being too harsh on my skin.

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Next, a bronzer and highlighter duo from Manna Kadar Cosmetics. I haven’t heard of this brand before and on first impressions, the packaging feels very cheap and flimsy. However, the formula of the products aren’t bad. The bronzer is too dark for my skin tone so I will probably try using this as an eyeshadow but the highlighter is a nice peachy colour and looks quite natural.

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I think ModelCo are quite an underrated brand and I have really liked everything I’ve tried from them and use their brow gel and bronzer on a daily basis. This black eyeliner is another great product. My only niggle would be that it feels like I’ve received quite a few black eyeliners from Birchbox now so a different colour would have been nice.

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Finally, a Keratin conditioner from Luseta Beauty. This looks right up my street and will be going straight in my travel make-up bag to use on holiday.

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If you are a Birchbox customer, you will know they are making a few changes to their membership (free delivery, money off your orders, more opportunities to personalise your monthly box) and I realised some of my Birchbox points were about to expire so I put in an emergency order so I didn’t lose them!

An old faithful, Seche Vite, which I use on a weekly basis to give that gel finish to a manicure.

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My absolute favourite foaming shower gel from Rituals. This is quite expensive compared to what I would normally pay for a shower gel but it really is amazing stuff.

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I also bought a mini nail varnish remover pot from Ciate which is chocolate orange scented. These are so handy for removing nail varnish and I was in need of a new one too.

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Phew – that was a mammoth post but it has left me feeling really excited about testing out all these new products!

Beauty Review – Burt’s Bees Box

It’s a beautiful sunny day today and I have already been to the gym, done two loads of washing and am in a very productive mood. This doesn’t strike me too often so I am making the most of it and blitzing the house!

Today’s post is all about this fab little box Ian bought me. I have a huge drawer full of skincare and beauty products so it has taken me a little while to get around to unpacking and testing these out. I always think of Burt’s Bees as being a very ‘natural’ brand and have previously used (and loved!) their cuticle cream and lip balms. This box had a little bit of everything in it…

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This Coconut Foot Cream is a little love/hate. The texture is very greasy, more like an ointment than a cream, akin to the Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream. Although I’m not too sure about the texture, I cannot deny that it smells amazing and it really does work! I tend to apply liberally then pop on a pair of socks until it has all been absorbed and it has left my feet feeling so smooth that I think I can get used to the formulation.

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I also got a Peach and Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub. I’ve started to move away from really harsh scrubs on my face so I think I will use this as a body scrub instead. It doesn’t contain any plastic microbeads and again smells wonderful.

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I have almost used up this Intense Hydration Day Lotion. It smells glorious but, for me, is too thick and heavy to use as a day cream. I have been applying a generous layer of this at night and have been really impressed with it. It has a nice pump applicator but doesn’t absorb too quickly which is why I think it is better suited as a night cream.

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I am usually loyal to body butters from The Body Shop but this Honey and Shea one smells delicious and feels really thick and moisturising.

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Onto the lip products now which came in a very pretty tin…

This lip crayon in the shade Hawaiian Smoulder is really nicely pigmented and also feels very moisturising on the lips. This is a perfect everyday shade for me.

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I also got a Lip Shimmer in the shade/ flavour Guava. Although it smells lovely, this pale pink frosted effect just isn’t for me so I think I will pass this on.

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I already love the Burt’s Bees lip balms and this Wild Cherry one smells delicious.

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I also got a tinted lip balm which gives a really natural sweep of colour. I got the shade Hibiscus but to be honest, it leaves exactly the same colour as a different shade I have.

Finally, I received a tube of Lip Shine in the shade Spontaneity. I didn’t think I would like this and sadly I was right. Again, it smells lovely but I just really dislike the sticky, shiny lip gloss look so I will be passing this on to someone else.

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I think this is a great selections of products from the brand with some things I already loved plus the chance to discover a few new things. Are there any other Burt’s Bees items you would recommend? x

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Latest Purchases #109 – A Huge Sephora Haul

This is a really long time coming but these are some of my favourite posts to read and watch online so I didn’t want my photos to go to waste.

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This little haul is from October when we went to Boston. I sent Ian back to the hotel and told him I would be some time and spent a lovely hour or so pottering around Sephora, testing things on the back of my hand, blagging some freebies and eventually making a few choice purchases.

First up, a set of the Sephora Cream Lip Stains. These are mini versions of their bestselling matte lip creams and I think you get a really nice selection of shades. I got Always Red, Infinite Rose, Blackberry Sorbet and Cherry Blossom (it’s fairly easy to work out which is which) and I think I have all bases covered from a deep, vampy berry, to a bright red, to a casual nude. I have a few other shades in full size and I really like them. They are slightly drying but the staying power is worth it.

I bought a Sephora Highlight Lowlight Face Contour Duo which is a chunky crayon, in the shade Light. I know contouring seems to have had its day now but, done with a light hand, is a great way to bring some subtle definition to your face…no crazy Kim K sculpting going on here. These shades really suit my skin tone too.

I really wanted to try the CC Cream from IT Cosmetics but they didn’t have my colour. I did however pick up the Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination, a brightening concealer for the under eye area.

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I am yet to try anything by Sunday Riley (it may have something to do with the price of some of the products!) but I picked up a miniature of Martian Mattifying Melting After-Gel Toner. This is an ‘essence’, a product currently taking the beauty world by storm, and looks a great post-cleansing boost which prepares your skin for foundation.

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I was relatively restrained with nail varnish and just picked up one bottle from Formula X. This monochrome nail topper in Chaotic is similar to a L’Oreal one I have almost used up and looks great over a variety of bases.

I bought a set from one of my favourite brands: First Aid Beauty. I have tried all three products inside this set and loved them all. The Ultra Repair Cream is wonderfully hydrating, the Face Cleanser is gentle yet effective in removing make-up and the Facial Radiance Pads tone and brighten with a wash of glycolic acid.

My two final products are both from the ‘Sephora Favourites’ set which I get really excited about! These are boxes filled with a collection of themed products and allow you to try a variety of brands and items for a really good price.

The first box I picked up was called Beauty Sleep and all the products were designed to be applied before bed and left to work their magic overnight. Inside was: Blue Moon Cleansing Balm from Sunday Riley, Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm from Farmacy, Splash Absolute Hydration Replenishing Sleeping Mask from Algenist, a Sephora Pearl Sleeping Mask, Cell Renewal Night Cream from Caudalie, a Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial by Korres and an Anti-aging Power Eye CreamAnti-aging Power Eye Cream from Origins. Phew!

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I am really excited to try the Sunday Riley balm as well as working my way through the various night creams and masks. Bought individually, these items would cost almost $120 but this box was just $30 which I think is excellent value.

Finally, I bought the Trending: Beauty’s Most Coveted box which contains all the products currently being raved about on beauty blogs and websites. A lot of these products are quite high-end and expensive so this was a great way to try them out for a fraction of the price.

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I received: a nude BeautyBlender, Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in the shade Moonstone, Ka-Brow from Benefit, a Luna Play from Foreo (a facial cleansing brush in case you were wondering!), an Urban Decay lipstick in the shade 714, a GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment, a NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in the shade Custard, a bottle of Tarte’s Rainforest of the Seas Marine Boosting 4-in-1 Mist, The Edgiest Kohl Shadowstick in Black Viper by The Estee Edit, another of the Kat Von D Tattoo Liners in Trooper, a Cover FX highlighter stick in the shade Bubbly, and a pot of Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder (plus  powder puff).

The sample sizes are really good and I can’t describe how excited I am to try some of these products! I have been wanting to try the Becca highlighter, the NARS concealer and the Laura Mercier powder for such a long time but never seemed to get around to buying them.

I had no idea what the Luna Play was beforehand but am intrigued to give that a go too as well as trying out the GlamGlow mask which I have only heard amazing things about.

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The only downside to one of these sets is the colour selection. Both the Benefit brow product and the NARS concealer are a touch too dark for me. I can still use them both (maybe with a tan!) but they wouldn’t be my first choice of shades.

So, I did get a bit spend-happy but I am so pleased with everything I bought, especially the two ‘Sephora Favourites’ boxes. Now to start trying everything out and hopefully finding a few new favourites!

Beauty Review – Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balms

One of my biggest regrets this Christmas is not being able to rock a statement lip colour. I love a deep berry shade or a bright festive red but the state of my lips has meant I have been reaching for lip balms instead.

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I have a pretty decent collection of lip balms but when my lips are sore and chapped I reach for the Rêve de Miel balms from Nuxe. They are bestsellers and I use both the balm and the stick formula.

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The little pot of balm comes in pretty frosted glass packaging and I tend to keep this on my bedside table. I’m not usually a fan of lip balm pots as I don’t think it is overly hygienic to keep dipping fingers in but I use this before bed and it really does work. It is a nice matte texture that doesn’t disappear but equally doesn’t feel sticky or greasy on the lips.

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The lip balm in stick form is much more convenient for when I’m on the go and has the same moisturising qualities. The formula is slightly greasier than the pot of balm but both have the lovely honey and citrus scent.

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The lip balm is about £10 but I bought my most recent pot with my Birchbox points. The stick balms are about half the price and if you buy them from the Nuxe website they are currently doing a buy-one-get-one-free deal plus they always send a load of nice samples.

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The only other high-end lip balm I want to try is the By Terry Baume De Rose but at almost £40 it would need to be pretty amazing stuff! In the meantime, this duo from Nuxe does the job for me.

Latest Purchases #101 – US Drugstore Haul

The pound-dollar exchange rate was pretty poor when we were in Boston (thanks Brexit!) so we didn’t do a whole lot of shopping. I tried to only buy things that we couldn’t get in the UK and one afternoon, I had a browse around our local CVS store and came away with this little pile of goodies.

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First up, the base products. I am always on the hunt for a new foundation and I got these two from the Maybelline ‘Fit Me’ range. I went for the Dewy and Smooth and the Matte and Poreless foundations which cater for dry to oily skin. I have tried both and like them but I don’t like the fact that you have to pour the product out – I would much prefer a pump.

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I also bought this BB Cream from ELF. I liked the fact this had SPF 20 in it and will be great for those days where you just want to wear a light base. This also has a pump in the lid!

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Another ELF face product was this Illuminating Face Primer. This is very golden and definitely needs a light touch! You could actually use this as a highlighter on the cheekbones or, as it recommends, mix a little into your foundation for a bit of extra glow.

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Onto lip products now and with the colder weather, mine are already suffering! I really like the EOS lip balms and I bought the Blackberry Nectar flavour.

I also picked up a bumper pack of Carmex lip balms in Cherry and Winter Mint flavours which should keep my chapped lips at bay.

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I bought a new Maybelline mascara. I have used their Great Lash version for years but haven’t seen the Blackest Black colour before.

I also got an ELF mascara with a regular and waterproof end.

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I broke my spending ban on nail varnish with a new bottle from Essie. Metallic nails seem to be having a moment and I love this shade, Good as Gold…expect a post on Monday!

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I am a fan of the Milani blushers and picked up another one in the colour Berry Amore. This is a dusky pink shade baked with swirls of gold.

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Also from Milani is this Color Statement Lipstick in Teddy Bare. I don’t have a colour like this dark nude and I think it is quite seasonal. I have tried it a few times and it is creamy, well-pigmented and smells like watermelon.

From ELF, I bought a Matte Lip Colour in Tea Rose. It isn’t a drying matte formula and I like the long, thin ‘pen’ it comes in.

I think I was having a bit of a moment by the ELF stand as I also got an eyebrow kit. This is a gel and powder duo which I haven’t used before but will enjoy experimenting with!

Finally, I bought a Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eye shadow in Bad to the Bronze. This is quite a warm, taupe bronze as opposed to an orange-toned one and the pigmentation and staying power is excellent. I wear these eye shadows on their own or as a base colour and they don’t crease like many other cream products.

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I was really happy unpacking this selection of items and now comes the fun bit of testing them all out!

Beauty Review – October Birchbox

Another monthly treat to enjoy in the form of my October Birchbox. It seems they are sticking with the drawer format and I really look forward to seeing the design. This month was focused around star signs and seeing as I am a Leo, a fire sign, I received the FIRE box. It’s another fab design and I thought it was pretty cool that the stars on the box glow in the dark…did anyone else used to have the footprint stickers all over their ceiling that glowed in the dark?!

Onto the contents…

My first item was a Doux Me Spring Water Spray. I’m not joking when I saw that this is just a can of water. Yes, a can of water. I love facial spritzes but this is a joke! I also think the timing is odd…who needs a cooling face spray in October?! Not a great start.

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Another spray now from Oribe. Their Dry Texturizing Spray is well-loved but I don’t use hairspray or dry shampoo in my curls so sadly will have to pass this on.

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Something else for the hair from No4. This hair oil (with a really long name!) is much more up my street. Having coloured hair, I do use treatments to keep it from drying out so this hair oil will be a welcome addition.

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Next, a body cream from Rituals. I love the products from this brand (their foaming shower gel is my favourite!) and the cherry blossom scent sounds divine.

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I also received a matte lip crayon from Lord and Berry. I quite like their make-up and despite being a matte finish, this lip pencil is also quite creamy so doesn’t feel too drying on the lips. The colour is a lovely pinky-brown which I think is a great colour for autumn.

Finally, a very cheap-looking plastic eyebrow brush. I use these very rarely and this one does not scream quality at all.

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Overall I have to say I’m a little disappointed by this month’s box. The eyebrow brush and water spray are some of the worst items I have received in a Birchbox however the hair oil, lip pencil and body lotion are lovely. A friend of mine was so unimpressed with this month’s offerings that she is cancelling her subscription. I’m going to keep the faith for a little longer and hope this was just a poor month.

Despite not being completely enthralled by October’s box, I did discover that I had accumulated enough points to order a Nuxe Rêve de Miel which is a Holy Grail lip balm item that is constantly out of stock.

This will be my last post for a week or so as Ian and I are flying to Boston tomorrow for a week of sightseeing, lobster rolls and my first ever basketball game!

Sunday/ Monday Summary #32

Life

Hello! I’m a day late with this week’s round up but I had such a lovely birthday weekend that I simply couldn’t find the time to blog. I’m home now though after a few days by the seaside celebrating my 31st birthday and our 3rd wedding anniversary with family.

My week started by saying goodbye to one set of friends on Sunday morning then getting things ready for another pair who came to stay with me at the start of the week. It was lovely to see my uni friends again. We went for a wander around Bradford on Avon, ordered a huge Indian takeaway for dinner then had brunch at Bill’s the next day followed by a mooch around Bath, all fuelled by lots of tea and chocolate! It’s funny how you take somewhere for granted and I think it’s only when I see this area through the eyes of visitors that I remind myself how lucky we are to live where we do.

I also went for a midweek Italian meal with my friends from work before we all head off on our summer breaks. I had a lovely seafood risotto which I know I can emulate at home.

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This weekend was really great. My cousin was having a ‘Welcome to the World’ party for her two boys and organised the most wonderful mini-festival at my Uncle and Aunty’s house. We sat in the sun all day drinking Pimms, enjoyed a hog roast, watched the sun set then nibbled on cheese and danced the night away. It was ace although I definitely hit the free bar a little too hard and ended up being sick when we got home…older but not wiser!

Sunday was our three year wedding anniversary and despite feeling ridiculously hungover, we packed up the car and headed to the beach. We spent the day at Croyde and it turned out to be a beautiful day. My parents packed a delicious picnic and after a doze, I was feeling a bit more like myself. We even managed a paddle in the sea before stopping off for fish and chips on the way home.

I have started rewatching Sex and the City this week and have almost finished series one. I used to be obsessed with this show and I was interested to see whether or not it would have stood the test of time. So far, I’m finding this series a little dated if I’m honest: everyone smokes; they keep referring to Mr Big as ‘the next Donald Trump’; the girls all wear glittery eyeshadow and things like tongue rings and gay marriage are seen as quite controversial. I know it reflects the time it was made in but I’m hoping I get a little bit more into again as I start series 2.

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In slightly less exciting news, I have spent this week cleaning out and reorganising my kitchen cupboards. Yes, not the most exciting task but I’m finding it a good excuse for a clear out and I have Sex and the City playing to keep me going!

Food

I had a bit of play around with recipes this week and made a bacon and avocado risotto. I often make an avocado pasta dish and it lent itself well to a creamy risotto too…I will post the recipe later this week.

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One of my highlights of the week was this feast my Dad prepared for us. He made lots of my favourite tapas dishes including patatas bravas, gambas al ajillo and these little smoked salmon and caviar bites…the perks of having a chef for a Dad!

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My birthday breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs – my favourite!

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Beauty

I rediscovered a purple lip when I went out for dinner this week. I’m wearing a Laqa & Co lip pencil in the shade Menatour and it is one of my favourites for a night out.

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I have also been loving the eyebrow pencil I got in July’s Birchbox. I know I said it looked too dark for me but it’s actually a nice match and applies like a dream.

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Fashion

I bought this loose top from Matalan recently and wore it on my birthday. I love the dangly tassels hanging down from it and it keeps you cool yet covered up in the sun.

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A sneak peek of some of my birthday presents now but I love them so much I started wearing them right away! Ian got me this set of tiny mixed gold studs from Accessorize. I saw them on Hannah Gale’s blog and decided they were exactly what I was looking for.

My Mum also got me this gorgeous pair of marble-print leggings which I had been eyeing up for a while. I have them on as I type and they are really comfortable.

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