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Hand Luggage Beauty

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I feel like I really got it right with my carry-on make-up bag on our recent trip to the States. My skin suffers on a longer flight and rather than spend the first few days of my holiday battling with parched skin, I decided to try a few in-flight treatments that meant I landed feeling fresh and ready to go.

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I used my Birchbox clear plastic bag as it meant I could see everything, it was small (so I couldn’t overpack!) and it met the airport security requirements.

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First up, handcare. I always carry a little bottle of anti-bacterial hand gel and the scented ones from Bath and Body Works are my favourite. To give a little moisture, I am currently loving this Subtle Violet hand cream from L’Occitane.

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In terms of skincare, I didn’t bring any sort of cleanser as we had an early morning flight and I wasn’t wearing any foundation or base product. During the flight, I applied several layers of REN’s Instant Firming Beauty Shot, a great little serum and I had a few blemishes, so used Balance Me’s Congested Skin Serum too. This Vitamin E Face Mist from the Body Shop is a must-have holiday product for me as it is amazing at administering a cooling, refreshing blast in the heat and I like to spritz my face after a few hours on the plane when the air starts to feel a bit stale. I also popped in a travel-sized bottle of Benefit’s Dream Screen so I had some SPF to hand when we landed in the sunshine.

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Finally, some lip products. I applied the Body Shop Lip Butter constantly and brought two lip options for when we landed – a L’Oreal nude lip and a Bourjois statement lip depending on how I felt.

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Beauty Review – June Birchbox

I for one am so happy it’s Friday! It has been a tiring week and I find myself sat on the sofa with a beer watching the Glastonbury highlights as the rain pours outside…the weather is definitely helping my festival jealousy as I’ve done Glasto in torrential rain before!

I received my June Birchbox earlier in the month and was looking forward to its arrival as I was given the option of its design and opted for a chic Parisian nautical style. I really like it when I am contacted by Birchbox prior to delivery to state my preference on a product or design.

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This month’s theme is ‘Step Outdoors’ with a nod to spending more time outside in the sunshine whether that is in the park, at a festival or a BBQ. Birchbox have collaborated with French Sole who do such lovely ballet pumps and subscribers had the opportunity to buy some of these limited edition shoes through the Birchbox website.

Anyway, here is my first look inside the box:

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First of all a French Sole ‘shoe bag’. I can’t say a shoe bag is high on my list of priorities but this is a lovely wipe-clean design that I think makes it a perfect wash bag for a night away.

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A perfume next by high-end fragrance house Penhaligon’s. I received the scent Iris Prima which is inspired by the English National Ballet. This is a grower on me – I wasn’t keen at first but after a few minutes, the strong muskiness fades to a soft, sweet vanilla. A good one for the handbag but I don’t think I would buy a full-sized bottle for £85.

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Who doesn’t like trying out a new mascara?! This one is from ModelCo and looks to be a good black mascara with a chunky brush.

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I hadn’t heard of this next brand, HIP, an all-natural French hair care brand. This shampoo sounds similar to the Sunday Shampoo I love from Bumble and Bumble with the aim to refresh your hair and scalp.

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A decent-sized product next from one of my favourite beauty brands, Balance Me. I received their Super Moisturising Body Wash which smells amazing. This is a creamy shower gel which feels really moisturising – great if you’re in a rush in the mornings and don’t have time to moisturise!

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I love REN products but haven’t tried this particular one. The Instant Firming Beauty Shot, sounds a great boost for skin that’s looking a bit tired – it is actually described as ‘an espresso shot for the face’ which I am definitely in need of some days!

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The final item is a fun summery one. I really like these metallic tattoos from STYLondon – I’m going out in Bath on Saturday night so if I remember, I may wear one!

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No amazing stand-out products but a decent box this month. I think I am most looking forward to trying out the REN face serum although I have been hoarding all these samples for the past few months ready for my travel bag when we go to America so have lots to get through! x

Kilver Court

Last week, my parents and I fancied a little day out and there was somewhere I had been wanting to go for a while. Kilver Court is about 40 minutes away from us, nestled right next to Shepton Mallet , and is an outlet centre specialising in luxe brands. It’s not huge, located in an old factory, but has a cool ranger of brands, including LK Bennet, REN skincare, Toast, Joseph, French Sole and Jack Wills – the Mulberry shop is also a next door.

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It was lovely to browse and pick up a few items. I am trying to save before our trip to the States so just treated myself (and my Mum) to a mini Ren facial kit as I love their stuff.

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There is also a lovely homeware store and café where we spent some time. I love a good kitchen shop and this one was gorgeous. I picked up these ‘tap water’ glasses:

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There was amazing selection of local produce from Bath Gin and local beers to chocolates, jams and crackers. I bought some flavoured oil and balsamic, both of which were delicious with some crusty French stick dipped in!

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Finally, we finished our visits with flat whites and a slice of Victoria Sponge from the café…all in all, a great little day out if you find yourself nearby.

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Beauty Review – February Birchbox

I hope you had a great Pancake Day whatever fillings graced your pancakes! We opted for pesto, bacon and goats cheese for our main course and good old golden syrup for pudding and they were delicious.

I woke up very excited today – Ian and I are off to a boutique country house hotel in Buckinghamshire for a couple of days. We will be enjoying a taster menu at the hotel one night and a meal at Heston’s pub, The Hind’s Head, on the other night as well as exploring the local villages (and pubs!) together…I can’t wait!

Onto this month’s Birchbox now. After being slightly disappointed by last month’s offering, I was hoping that this month’s box would be better and at first glance, I was impressed:

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There was a Valentines theme this month full of much-loved products. Again, slightly tenuous but definitely seasonal.

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The first item I grabbed was this packet of Oats and Chia by The Chia Co. I received the mixed berry flavour and as a fan of flavoured porridge sachets, I cannot wait to try this much healthier version. Packed with wholegrain oats, chia, fruit and virgin coconut oil, this pack is ticking all the ‘trendy healthy food’ boxes!

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A Bontanical Shine Shampoo from Liz Earle next, a brand I love. This is already packed for our mini break and smells amazing – I’m looking forward to trying this out.

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I’m a bit miffed at this next product as I already received it in a previous Birchbox! I think this is really poor admin on the part of Birchbox to receive a second tube of Stainiac by theBalm. This is akin to Benetint; a cheek and lip stain that gives a good pop of colour. As I said, I already own this and don’t use it that often so this will probably be passed on to my Mum.

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A shower gel next by T London. How much can you say about a shower gel?! It smells lovely, does the job and it was a good sample size.

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I was really pleased with the next item; a Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask by one of my favourite skincare brands, REN. This is another item I am packing for our mini-break to enjoy whilst having a deep bubble bath!

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The final item is a full-sized product worth £21 from Wild About Beauty. I have to admit that I have only tried a cream eyeshadow from the brand before and wasn’t overly impressed by it but I am willing to trial this Golden Skin Glow with an open mind. This is designed to be applied either alone or before foundation to give your skin a boost and a golden glow – very handy in these winter months when we are all feeling a bit pale and interesting!

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I think it is fair to say that Birchbox has redeemed itself this month with a really good selection of products…time to start testing them all out! x

Latest Purchases #67 – A Space.NK Haul

Well I don’t know about you but I’ve had a pretty lovely Saturday. Despite it being freezing, we headed into Bath bright and early where I had my roots done, bought some new foundation, a lipstick and cookbook, went for burgers with Ian then went to the cinema to drink coffees, eat sweets and enjoy American Sniper…all in all a great start to the weekend, especially as tomorrow will mainly be spent finishing my marking for school!

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This evening, we are too stuffed for a big dinner so plan on just chilling on the sofa with some cheese and biscuits to nibble on.

For today’s post I wanted to share my recent treats from Space.NK. This is a store that I browse frequently but it definitely isn’t the cheapest place to go on a spree so it is in ‘treat’ territory for me. However, they have some great sales so when I spotted some goodies in their January sale, my online basket soon began to fill up!

Here is what I picked up:

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Firstly, a large and small bottle of their Milk Soak. I love a heavily scented bath but I’m not a huge fan of bubbles, I don’t like the film that oils leave behind and although they look and smell amazing some of Lush’s bath bombs leave so much residue in the bath that they can be more hassle than they are worth! Enter these milk soaks…

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They leave your skin feeling so soft afterwards and have a lovely, fresh, almost powdery scent to them. I bought a large one for myself and smaller one as a present for my Mum.

One of my favourite skincare brands next, REN. These particular products were in the sale simple because they are rebranding and changing the word ‘Mayblossom’ to ‘Clarimatte’. Personally, I think the previous title sounds better but it’s the formula that really matters and this looks to be a great purifying cleanser.

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As well as the full-size cleanser, I also bought a travel set which included the same cleanser alongside a day cream and a detox mask which I will be packing the next time I go away.

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A little present for Ian next from super-cool New York brand Kiehl’s. This included a moisturiser, exfoliating face scrub and a toning spray (which I keep telling him is not too girly to use!)

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I may have saved the best for last here with this beautiful new palette from Laura Mercier. It is their Artist’s Palette for Eyes and Cheeks and it is lovely! Encased in a black and brown zebra-print case with a satisfying metallic lock, this palette contains a blusher and 8 eyeshadows.

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In the centre the blusher in shade Rosegold Shimmer is a lovely golden peach which I will use as both blusher and highlighter, although I am loathe to use it too much as I love the embossed signature on it!

The eyeshadows are a great variety and very different to the other eyeshadow palette I use all the time, the Urban Decay Naked 3. These eight shades have 5 mattes and 3 shimmers which can be mixed and matched to create different looks. Whilst I am getting into matte eyeshadows more recently, my early favourites are Topaz and Crystal Beige and I can’t wait to have a play around with them all, especially the navy shade Deep Night.

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I think all of these products combined took me just over the £60 I needed to qualify for free delivery which is a real bargain for such high-end brands and makes me feel slightly less guilty too! x