Sunday, 31 May 2015

Style On Sunday

London Retro Keaton Glasses

As I've mentioned a couple of times, both on here and over on social media, I'm aiming to add a lot more variety to my blog which hopefully you will enjoy reading. Instead of focusing solely on beauty, as I did when I first started blogging, there should now be more of a mix of beauty, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment on Ellis Tuesday and as a result I've been stepping out of my blogging comfort zone and trying new things. 

Since it has been relatively sunny this week, if you disregard the odd hailstorm here in Glasgow, I took advantage of the bright weather to take a few snaps for today's outfit post. Or should I say, my dad very kindly offered to take a couple of snaps for today's post whilst we were out driving yesterday. 

Blog Outfit Of The Day

This is the kind of post that I certainly want to start doing more of on Ellis Tuesday as it's an outfit post but not your traditional kind and that's what I really like about it. What do you think? Please let me know in the comments below. But now onto the outfit itself.

Astrid & Miyu Shiny Wishbone Necklace

London Retro Keaton Sunglasses* £125 - Astrid & Miyu Shiny Wishbone Necklace in Rose Gold* £29 - Marc by Marc Jacobs Watch - Topshop Khaki Tee

As the sun has definitely been making more of a regular appearance recently, even up here in Scotland, I began my annual sunglasses search only to be completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount and selection on the High Street. It was then that Glasses Direct asked if I would like to review a pair of designer glasses and within a matter of a minutes I had found the perfect pair for me. I was instantly attracted to the uniqueness and sleekness of the Keaton frames and the fact that they weren't too large or outlandish either.

And what I love about Glasses Direct is the fact that you can select a pair of frames and then add the lens of your choice, so you could even get these made with your prescription in them. You also get the use of a free home trial to make sure that you are 100% happy with the shape and how they look and feel on. As soon as I tried my pair on I couldn't believe how incredibly lightweight and comfortable they were and I was instantly tempted to treat myself to the dark brown pair too.

Then there's my new rose gold wishbone necklace from Astrid & Miyu. It's honestly the prettiest and daintiest piece of jewellery that I own and yet it adds so much to any outfit or ensemble that I pair it with. It's easy to see why so many of us, myself included, are absolutely besotted with anything rose gold or copper toned at the moment when there are pieces like this available. And if you're more of a gold or silver fan then you will be happy to know that you can also get this beautiful wishbone necklace, as well as many more stunning pieces from Astrid & Miyu, on Jewelstreet.

Mango Skinny Noa Jeans

Mango Skinny Noa Jeans* £29.99 - Old Navy Leopard Print Slip Ons

Stepping out of my comfort zone hasn't just been confined to blog related endeavours as I've also been trying to change things up a bit fashion wise. That's meant stepping away from my trusty high-waisted black jeans and the vast array of jeggings in my wardrobe. When I saw this pair from Mango something about them immediately caught my eye. Shopping for jeans is normally one of the most soul destroying experiences that there is so you could imagine my shock and surprise when this pair fit perfectly, despite never trying their jeans before or trying them on in store. I wasn't expecting to be this impressed, especially as I've never heard anyone rave about the Mango jean selection but now I know where I'll be buying my jeans from from now on. These are honestly the softest skinny jeans that I've ever tried and they also have a great amount of stretch to them without being made of that strange fabric that isn't really jeans, if you know what I mean. I'm already planning my next trip to House Of Fraser to stock up on my new favourite skinny jeans in a few different colours.

Car Windscreen Photography

So what do you think of the items featured in today's post? Have you started to integrate more summer and sunshine friendly pieces into your wardrobe? And what do you think of this type of post featuring more often on Ellis Tuesday?


Friday, 29 May 2015

What I've Been Watching In: May

Cuban Fury (2014)
Starring: Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, Chris O'Dowd, Kayvan Novak
I've been meaning to watch this movie for quite some time now, so when it just so happened to be showing on Film 4 I made a point of finally sitting down and watching it this month. The premise is; when Nick Frost's character Bruce finds out that his new boss, played by Rashida Jones, takes salsa classes he decides to step back into his dancing shoes in an attempt to impress her. And since he used to be a teenage salsa champion you'd think he'd be a natural at it, well think again and that's what I really liked about Cuban Fury, you got to see the character of Bruce getting back into dancing with the help of a bevy of great characters. Bruce is also battling for the affection of Rashida Jones' character against Chris O'Dowd's, who let's face it is a major douche in this movie but that's what he's meant to be, so I'll let him off. Even though he'll always be Roy from The IT Crowd for me.
It's a fun frolic of a movie really and that's even if you're not a huge fan of dancing or movies where it's focused around that topic or even shows like Strictly Come Dancing for that matter. And despite him only being a supporting character, the one that I was the most excited to see on screen was that of Bejan played by Kayvan Novak. His performance was just fantastic.

Community (2009-)

Starring: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie
This month I made the decision to start Community again from the very beginning. This could be seen as a wise or unwise decision, depending on your way of thinking, as I've quickly become addicted to binge watching this show and there are 96 episodes of it for me to get through. When I first stumbled across the show, all those years ago when season two was airing here in the UK, it was such a breath of fresh air and a genuinely funny TV comedy. But for some reason or another it became more and more difficult to find it on UK television. Then they never seemed to repeat season one either so there were some serious gaps in my Community viewing but that's where Netflix has once again, come to the rescue. If you haven't seen Community before and have access to Netflix, then I cannot recommend it highly enough, especially the early seasons of it. I hear that things might have gone a bit downhill in the later seasons but I've yet to reach those episodes. It might not be to everyone's tastes, depending on your sense of humour and what you find funny but for me, it's honestly brilliant.

Starring: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Chris Pine
As a big fan of the first Horrible Bosses movie, I was really intrigued to see where they would take the storyline and the characters next. Having enjoyed the first one as much as I did, it did make me a little nervous when I heard that they are making a sequel. Just think how many comedies have went on to make sub-par if not terrible sequels, so I pressed play on Horrible Bosses 2 with a bit of trepidation. I was happy to see that they hadn't done a Hangover and simply replicated the storyline of the first movie. It was also fantastic to see Christoph Waltz appear in this and you should have seen my smile when Jonathan Banks (aka. Mike from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul) appeared on my screen. But the biggest revelation of Horrible Bosses 2 was Chris Pine. He's never been an actor that I've paid a great deal of attention to and that's despite him being in Just My Luck and Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement (two movies I watched more times than I would like you to know about in my teens) and This Means War but of course he was never going to truly capture my attention that much in a movie opposite Tom Hardy. Well it's safe to say that I'm now well and truly on board the Chris Pine bandwagon as a result of watching this movie.
Okay, so it wasn't necessarily as funny as the first movie but I think that when it comes to sequels like these it sometimes takes me a couple of viewings before I can really appreciate it. That's certainly what happened with Anchorman 2 (review here) so I have a feeling that Horrible Bosses 2 might be a bit of a grower too and I was relatively impressed with it on that first viewing.

Sex Tape (2014)
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper
When I first saw the trailer for Sex Tape I had a feeling that it wasn't exactly going to be a cinematic masterpiece but it was on Sky Anytime and I was looking for a movie that didn't require too much of my attention, to be put on in the background whilst I blogged. 
Now I very rarely say this but this is honestly one of the worst movies that I have ever seen and I've seen some absolutely rotten movies in my time. I don't know about you but when I sit down to watch a comedy I at least expect to laugh a couple of times or even have a smile on my face for the majority of it. Well that was not the case with Sex Tape. I think the only time I smiled was when the credits were rolling as I knew that it was finally over. Even with gross-out comedies and frankly stupid movies, there tends to be at least one big laugh but this had nothing even slightly redeeming about it. This movie really is garbage and what hurts the most is the fact that I expected so much more from Jason Segel. I've always been a big fan of his (I think it has something to do with his role as Nick Andopolis in Freaks & Geeks), so it's really pretty upsetting to see him in a movie like this. And what's even more upsetting is seeing him look so thin. All I could keep thinking was, 'he doesn't look well at all.' The storyline is weak, as is the whole concept to be fair, so save yourself the time and disappointment of watching Sex Tape and stick on Forgetting Sarah Marshall or I Love You Man instead. Both of which are fantastically funny comedies starring Segel.

Fed Up (2014)
Starring: Katie Couric (as narrator)
I have to say it, I'm becoming a little bit obsessed with watching documentaries on Netflix. I worry that it might be becoming a bit of a problem. Hehe. I've not included any documentaries thus far in my What I've Been Watching series (let me know if it is something that you would like to see more of in the future) for a couple of different reasons, especially as I seem to gravitate towards the slightly controversial ones. But Fed Up is about a topic I have a feeling that we will all have an opinion on and I imagine that our opinions will be vaguely similar. Fed Up comments on the issue of childhood obesity in America. And there are some pretty eye-opening facts that really did shock me in this documentary, especially when they start detailing the facts about sugar, now that really was a scary revelation. Like did you know that a jar of tomato pasta sauce has around double the amount of sugar as a bag of American candy? How is that even possible?! The way that the American school system deals with their school lunches, on the whole, truly shocked me. They had some of the biggest fast food companies in America serving food on specific days and whilst this might have sounded like the dream to a pre-teen/teenage me (I remember being devastated when they took french fries off the menu when I was in my second year of secondary school), I can only imagine the weight that I would have been. And what's so concerning is the fact that these fast food retailers and the system that allows them to operate are essentially making kids, from a really young age, to be life long fast food consumers. I'd definitely give Fed Up a watch as it does make for some interesting viewing whilst driving home the message about the almost out of control nature of childhood obesity in the United States.

Sex and the City (2008)
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon
Since there was news, albeit with not much truth in it at all at least yet, that there might be the possibility of a third Sex and the City movie on the horizon, I took that as a bit of a call to action to watch the first Sex and the City movie again for what must be at least the fiftieth time. Honestly, no exaggerations there my friends. As a die hard Sex and the City fan (I seem to watch the six seasons on a constant loop most of the time), I absolutely adore spending a couple of hours watching this movie and it's the kind that I can happily watch no matter how I'm feeling.
I've also been spending far too much time pinning images of Carrie and Big (and Carrie and Aidan, of course) to my Favourite Fictional Couples board on Pinterest (link here). Didn't I tell you that I was a bit of a Sex and the City superfan? Hehe.

What have you been watching this month? Do you have any recommendations? Have you seen any of these? If so, what did you think of them?


Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Free Your Mind With Birchbox

Birchbox May 2015 UK

Birchbox (May 2015)* £10 (Plus P&P - Get free shipping this month with the code FREEMIND)

As you might have noticed, if you're an avid reader of Ellis Tuesday, despite blogging predominantly about beauty I have only ever reviewed one beauty box (link here). Well this month, if you're a fan of reading about the latest and greatest beauty boxes on the market, then you are in for a treat as I will be reviewing not one but two beauty boxes, starting with the May Birchbox.

When I was the given the opportunity to try out and review this month's Birchbox, little did I know that it would combine beauty (as you would expect) and one of the biggest crazes of the moment; adult colouring/art therapy.

Birchbox Free Your Mind Box

Before I even opened the box to unveil it's contents, I was immediately won over by the colour-it-yourself design. With the success of adult colouring books and art therapy it's no surprise that brands and companies are beginning to take notice and I could not be happier that Birchbox came up with this fantastic idea and design for their May box, especially with it being the first box that I've had the pleasure of putting to the test. It's also made me incredibly excited about re-purposing this box to hold my collection of Sharpies, which seems to be growing steadily month on month. And the fact that Birchbox have provided a dinky little box of colouring in pencils really is a nice touch, particularly for those of us out there who don't have an out of control colouring in stash like myself.

What do you think of my take on the Birchbox design? It's been so lovely to sit and colour it in bit by bit and it really has taken me back to the days when I would spend every evening after school drawing, painting and creating. But back to the products themselves. 

Birchbox UK Beauty Sample 2015

From left to right: WAH London Press On Nails £9 - PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Moisturising Sea Salt Spray (Full Size £17) - N.4 (Number 4) Lumiere d'Hiver Reconstructing Masque (Full Size £36)

The May Birchbox contains one full sized product, the WAH London Press On Nails and five sample sized products. I was actually surprised to count six beauty samples instead of the five that were promised on the Birchbox site. But it appears that the N.4 (Number 4) Lumiere d'Hiver Reconstructing Masque was added as a little bonus this month which I certainly appreciate. My first thought when I looked at the collection of samples together was the fact that I only recognised two of the brands looking back at me. These two brands, Caudalie and WAH London, are ones that I have wanted to try out for quite some time now and the others exude pure luxury. I do like the idea of being able to try out slightly more luxurious brands without having to purchase a full size product or investing fully. I was also very intrigued to find that one of the brands, PARLOR, is exclusive to Birchbox.

I've had a little play around with the samples included in this month's box and I've been really impressed thus far. My favourite product has to be the Caudalie Vinoperfect Tinted Moisturiser. It's surprisingly hydrating and gives my skin such a lovely glow. Perfect for the summer really. Another summer beauty staple; the PARLOR Sea Salt Spray. This is nothing like the crispy sea salt sprays that I've done my best to steer clear of over the years and I've also been very impressed by the RMK Make Up Remover. And then the Mirenesse Lip Rouge is just such a gorgeous shade. Oh and WAH London, how cool are your press on nails? The only product that I've not yet put to the test is the N.4 (Number 4) Reconstructing Masque but I will be sure to update you on that over on social media at some point.

Birchbox May 2015 Review UK

From left to right: Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Tinted Moisturiser in 01 Light (Full Size £27) - Mirenesse Mattfinity Lip Rouge (Full Size £21) RMK Point Make Up Remover (Full Size £20)

Unlike many of the other beauty boxes on the market, Birchbox tailor your products to your Beauty Profile (which you fill in when joining) to give you a personalised service. However, depending on your way of thinking, this could be seen as a pro or a con since not every single Birchbox subscriber will receive the same samples in their box. I don't know about you but I would be a little bit miffed if I received a product that I wasn't that impressed with only to see someone else receive my dream product in their box but I guess that is something that you would need to consider if you're prone to a bit of jealous Ellis thinking like myself. Hehe. Birchbox also have a points programme which means you can earn Birchbox points to spend on full size products on their site which is a definite added bonus of being a Birchbox subscriber.

So what do you think of May's Birchbox? Have you tried any of the products enclosed in this month's box before? And what do you think of the colour-it-yourself design? Have you jumped on the adult colouring bandwagon yet? And are you subscribed to any beauty boxes?


Sunday, 24 May 2015

A Little Zara Shoe Splurge

Zara Shoe Splurge

Zara Block Heel Sandals With Metallic Detail £19.99 

Every so often there is an item in Zara that I just have to have. Most of the time I talk myself out of it, normally because the price is a little eye-watering or I have a feeling that I might be able to get something similar elsewhere, but with these it was one of those rare occurences when all I could think to myself was "Treat Yo' Self!" I was further propelled to add these to my basket quicker than you could say "these are less than £20 in Zara?!" by the fact that a similar pair, again from Zara, slipped through my fingers last summer and I wasn't going to allow that to happen to me two summers in a row by any means.

Zara Summer 2015 Sandals

I've wanted a pair of tan sandals with a slight heel for quite some time now but I've never seen a pair that wowed me quite like these did. And as soon as they arrived on my doorstep I knew that I had made the right decision to treat myself to them. Just how gorgeous does the metallic band look? I can't wait for the weather to improve a little bit (as I've been sitting writing this post today it's been sunny, pitch black, raining, ridiculously windy and a little muggy; typical Glasgow weather really) and I have a feeling that I'll certainly get my wear out of them when that sunnier weather returns. Fingers crossed that that is sooner rather than later.

So what do you think of them? And can you believe that they were less than £20 in Zara?! Have you treated yourself to anything recently? If so, what did you buy?


Friday, 22 May 2015

Arran Aromatics Summer Scents

Arran Aromatics Summer Scents

Since the sun has been making more of a regular appearance recently, even up here in Scotland, I've been getting increasingly excited about trying out some new summer beauty bits, make-up and fragrances and that is why Arran Aromatics summer scents have quickly become my go-to scents for the warmer weather.

As you might have seen if you happened to read my Arran Aromatics Blogger Breakfast post (link here), I was very kindly invited along to find out more about their summer scents and I've been putting them to the test ever since that morning. There are three scents to choose from, or why not sample all three and I have a feeling that there will be at least one, if not more, that is your perfect summer scent.

Arran Aromatics Eydis

Arran Aromatics Eydis Hand Soother* £12 - Arran Aromatics Eydis Eau De Toilette* £27.50

Eydis, which stands for Island Goddess in Norse, was the first of the three summer scents that I had a cheeky sniff of before we were told more about each of the scents by Arran Aromatics brand director at the Bloggers Breakfast. As soon as I first sprayed it it really was love at first sniff. I had a feeling that this would be my favourite out of the three (that was before I smelled Velvet Isle but it is still a very close second) as it's very rare these days that I spray a fragrance, one that I haven't sampled before, and feel the urge to spritz it multiple times. Normally when I'm browsing the fragrance department at my local department store, one spritz is more than enough as I'm rarely intrigued to smell it again but with Eydis it was a whole different story.
There is a beautiful blend of lime, mandarin and bergamot with Eydis that I really adore. So it does certainly have a citrus-y feel without being an in your face citrus scent, if you know what I mean. But talking of citrus, this leads me on perfectly to the next of the three summer scents; Citrus Shores.

Arran Aromatics Citrus Shores

Arran Aromatics Citrus Shores Eau De Toilette* £27.50 - Arran Aromatics Citrus Shores Hand Wash* £12

Citrus Shores really is exactly what you'd expect it to be. It's fresh, zingy and zesty without being too overpowering or sweet. It's the kind of scent that immediately awakens the senses and grabs your attention. There's a fantastic blend of bergamot, lemons, grapefruit, cassis and green leaf in Citrus Shores that makes this scent unlike any other fragrance that I've had the pleasure of smelling before. If you're the kind of individual who loves their awakening and uplifting scents then this is the one for you.
I absolutely love the burst of fragrance that I get when using the hand wash and I've really enjoyed injecting Citrus Shores into my day periodically, when I'm washing my hands. I've never owned a hand wash based on a fragrance range like this before but it really does make me wonder why more fragrance companies and brands don't offer such an option with their scents. I would definitely have a ridiculously extensive hand wash collection if that was the case.

Arran Aromatics Velvet Isle

Arran Aromatics Velvet Isle Bath & Shower Gel* £12 - Arran Aromatics Velvet Isle Eau De Toilette* £27.50

And finally, we arrive at my absolute favourite of the three; Velvet Isle. And for me, this really is my perfect summer scent, especially as it is billed as 'capturing the warmth of summer sunsets'. The mix of fragrance notes (fresh figs, honeyed fruit and coconut) are ones that I would never have imagined gravitating towards or falling head over heels in love with but they work so well together to create an incredibly luxurious yet unique and inviting scent. I've carried the Velvet Isle scent right through my day by integrating it into my bath and shower routine and then spritzing it on as and when I need to throughout the day. What I love about Velvet Isle the most is that it works perfectly for day and night. It's the kind of scent that makes me want to book a holiday to a remote, tropical island and spend all day and night at the beach.
And much like Eydis and Citrus Shores, the fragrance is sweet but not sickly sweet in the slightest. It was also a definite favourite amongst us bloggers with practically every one of us exclaiming it as the one we loved the most.

Arran Aromatics Eau De Toilette

So what do you think of the sounds of the summer scents from Arran Aromatics? Does one jump out to you as being a fragrance that you would love to try out? And have you tried anything from Arran Aromatics before? If so, do you have a favourite fragrance collection or product?


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

My Orlando, Florida Travel Tips: Shopping (10 Must Visit Stores That We Don't Have In The UK)

Orlando Florida Shopping Travel Tips

As a self declared shopaholic it was only a matter of time until my next Travel Tips post returned to one of my favourite pastimes; shopping. And trust me, it's certainly not the last Travel Tips post centred around shopping either. 

If you've not yet read my post on the best malls to visit in the Orlando area then be sure to (click here) to find out more. I also have two more shopping related Travel Tips posts in the works as we speak, one entirely dedicated to shopping at Sephora and the other on my favourite American department stores, both of which will go live in the next couple of months. But back to today's Orlando, Florida Travel Tips post. Here are the top ten stores, in my opinion, that you need to visit whilst you're in Orlando or the US more generally, that we don't have in the UK;

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Bourjois Nude Sensation Blur Effect Foundation

Bourjois Nude Sensation Swatch

Bourjois Nude Sensation Blur Effect Foundation* £9.99

Okay, so I'm about to start this post with quite a big statement but it is so incredibly rare that I find a base product that actually matches my skin tone that I feel like I need to shout it from the rooftops when I do. And I can honestly say that I have never (ever) been this impressed with a foundation before. 

As I'm not the biggest fan of high coverage bases I tend to normally lean towards lighter coverage bases such as BB and CC creams but this foundation bridges the gap between those kinds of products and traditional foundations perfectly. 

What I have to say is, don't be be deceived by the shade in the pot. As you might be able to tell from the image above, I am incredibly incredibly pale and yet it matches me so well. On the left of my hand is a swatch in the shade 41 Nude Clair and the rest of my hand has the colour blended and as you can see, it blends in seamlessly.  

Bourjois Nude Sensation Blur Effect Foundation

And as if it wasn't exciting enough to find a drugstore foundation that actually matches my skin colour, the Nude Sensation Blur Effect Foundation has even more to offer. It's so incredibly lightweight on the skin and just has the loveliest texture to it, one which is a little hard to explain, I have to admit. It's not quite a mousse yet it's not a traditional foundation texture either. I would definitely recommend giving it a try when you are next at the drugstore to see what I mean. It's silky, soft and blends with ease to give your skin an almost soft-focus look, one that I've not seen many other brands, particularly at this price range, even attempt. I've found that it's faired incredibly well in terms of longevity and just gives my skin this lovely glow.

Another bonus, depending on how you like to apply your make-up, is the fact that it can be applied quickly and on the go. So if you're the type of individual who has no time in the morning to apply a full face of make-up before leaving the house, you could easily grab this and apply it on your commute. It also invites you to use your fingers instead of make-up brushes which could be seen as positive or a negative. I personally don't mind having to dip my fingers into the pot and that's solely because the product is that good that I couldn't care less about the container, bottle or pot that it's housed in.

So what do you think of the sound of this new addition to the foundation market? Does it sound like the kind of foundation that you might like? And do you often struggle to find a shade to match your skintone too?

Bourjois Nude Sensation


Friday, 15 May 2015

Degustabox: April's International Box (With Exclusive Discount Code)

Degustabox 2015 Discount

I'm back again with my monthly Degustabox review (I swear that the months are flying by even faster than ever before) and this month's box is of an international flavour. With products from Italy, India, Portugal, Germany, Ireland, South Africa and the US, you really are spoiled for choice with the variety of brands and products included in this month's box.

As with every Degustabox review that I do, I have a fantastic and exclusive discount code for you to use to take £3 off the £12.99 price tag. All you have to do is enter the code 00ZK4 when you register. 

So what exactly does the International Box comprise of, well let's see;

Degustabox Drinks 2015

From left to right: Scheckter's OrganicEnergy - IdrinQ Original - Kingfisher Premium Lager Beer - IdrinQ Original - Wonjo Hibiscus Drink

Degustabox International Box

From left to right: Top Row: Schwartz Balti Recipe Mix - Veetee Peri Peri Rice - Cirio Supercirio Double Concentrated Tomato Puree
Bottom Row: Cirio Tomato Fillets - Schwartz Korma Recipe Mix - Veetee Spicy Mexican Style Rice

Degustabox April 2015

From left to right: Nando's Peri-Peri Grooves Spicy Chicken Potato Chips - Nando's Peri-Peri Grooves Sizzling Hot Potato Chips - Nando's Peri-Peri Grooves Peri-Salted Potato Chips

Degustabox Food Box

From left to right: DeBeukelaer Cookies Bakery Creamy Cookies - Barry's Tea

Degustabox Treats 2015

From left to right: Kinder Choco-Bons - Kinder Chocolate With Cereals Mini

I know I say it every month and I must be starting to sound a bit like a broken record but each and every Degustabox that I receive outdoes the last. And when the last box was better than the one before that and that one was better than the one before that and so on, I get so excited when I begin to think what will be in next month's box. For me, any delivery that includes Kinder chocolate, ooey gooey individually wrapped cookies, Nando's potato chips, the components of a great curry and a beer, is an absolute winner. The only products from this month's box that I'm not entirely sold on are the energy drinks but that's just because I'm not a huge fan of energy type drink products in general. Again, like most Degustaboxes, you can choose between the alcohol box and the alcohol free box when ordering. So you you would either receive the Kingfisher beer or the Wonjo hibiscus drink depending on which box you have selected.

What do you think of the international theme to this month's box? And what do you think of the April box more generally? Have you tried any of the products featured in this month's box before? 


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Arran Aromatics Blogger Breakfast

Arran Aromatics Blogger Breakfast

Last Thursday I was very kindly invited along to Cafe Zique in the West End of Glasgow for the Arran Aromatics Blogger Breakfast. 

Arran Aromatics Blog Event

I was the first of the bloggers to arrive and was warmly greeted by both the Arran Aromatics team and Becky and Caron from Becky White PR. As you might remember if you've been reading my blog since the start of the year or happen to follow me on social media, I interned at Becky White PR during the first three months of this year, so it was great to see Becky and Caron again.

Arran Aromatics Blogger Event

I took my seat, at the head of the table, since I was the first to arrive, and had a quick natter with Caron before the rest of the attendees started to appear. How gorgeous are the flowers that Caron picked out? They really do match the three distinct colours featured on the Eau De Toilette boxes perfectly. 

Once we had all arrived and taken our seats we were given a really interesting talk by Arran Aromatics' brand director, Andrew. It was great to hear how the brand had evolved into what we know today. And of course, it was also fantastic to finally be able to smell the summer fragrance range.

Arran Aromatics Eau De Toilettes

Just look at how stunning the bottles are. I love how sleek and clean the bottles look and that was before I had even given the scents a quick spritz. I will be reviewing the three fragrances in the next couple of weeks, so be sure to check back for a full and in depth review of each of the scents very soon. Eydis has notes of mandarin, pear, rose and the buzzword of the morning; gorse. Does anyone happen to know what gorse is? I know I certainly didn't. Citrus Shores is incredibly fresh and combines lemon, bergamot and grapefruit. And then there's Velvet Isle. I think that every single one of us in attendance picked this out as our favourite and I completely understand why. It's warm yet tropical and definitely more of an evening choice. 

Arran Aromatics Blogger Breakfast

In addition to the three aforementioned summer scents, we were also given the incredible opportunity to be the first individuals, outside of the company, to smell two brand new fragrances that are currently under development. Both smelled like real winners already. The names at this stage being Citrus Rock and Delightly, so be sure to keep an eye out for new fragrances in the future.

Arran Aromatics New Launch

And if that hadn't all been exciting enough, we were then treated to a spectacular breakfast. I would definitely recommend paying a visit to Cafe Zique if you are in or around Glasgow and are looking for somewhere that has a delectably comprehensive breakfast menu. Every single one of our breakfasts looked and smelled absolutely incredible.

Cafe Zique Breakfast Review

A huge thank you to Arran 
Aromatics and Becky White PR for having me and for such a wonderful morning. It was also so nice to finally meet the bloggers in attendance, most of which I have been following for quite some time now.

Have you ever tried anything from Arran Aromatics before? If so, what is your favourite scent or product? And if you live in or around Glasgow, have you ever been to Cafe Zique?


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Magnitone Lucid Cleansing Brush (With Exclusive 20% Off Discount Code)

Magnitone Lucid Review

Magnitone Lucid - Dazzling Blue* £69.99 (Or £56 With My Discount Code Below)

Despite being exceptionally intrigued by the whole cleansing brush phenomenon when it first took off a few years ago, it has been one piece of kit that has eluded me and my skincare routine, until now. I have to say, the whole reason that I'd put off investing in a cleansing brush was the fact that many had commented on the drastic difference between the quality and performance of the higher end brushes and the drugstore alternatives. So I was a bit unsure which one to go for, high end or drugstore, but that's where Magnitone really did come to the rescue. At £69.99 this isn't necessarily an impulse purchase but it does fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to pricing. And then when you add into the equation my exclusive 20% off discount code (find below), which takes it down to £56, it certainly makes the decision that much easier to make.

Magnitone Discount Code

First of all, there are four colours to choose from when it comes to the Magnitone Lucid; Aqua Green, Dazzling Blue, Plush Pink and Sunshine Yellow. I went for Dazzling Blue as it stood out immediately to me and it also looked like it would blend in perfectly with my skincare stash, the majority of which is from La Roche-Posay. Is it just me or is not almost the exact same shade of blue as the LRP blue? I was also incredibly tempted to go for the Aqua Green Lucid as it basically matches the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish packaging to a tee too. Whoever thought up the shades for the Lucid really did a brilliant job, especially as there seems to be a shade to suit everyone's tastes and skincare collections.

Magnitone Lucid Dazzling Blue

Once you've selected the right colour of Lucid for you, you might be asking yourself, 'just what does the Magnitone Lucid do, in terms of cleaning my face?' Well hopefully I can shed some light on that for you. First of all, I just want to start by saying that my skin is pretty sensitive at the best of times and I do suffer from a little bit of rosacea occasionally too. As someone with particularly sensitive skin I try to be as cautious as possible when it comes to my skincare choices and I have to admit, I was a little worried that this might be a bit too abrasive for my skin but after a couple of seconds I knew that I had nothing to worry about with the Magnitone Lucid. And what I really adore about the Lucid is a setting that not all facial cleansing brushes offer; two modes, a deep clean and a sensitive one. And on top of that, the bristles themselves are incredibly gentle on the skin. I've done my best to try and capture the motion of the bristles on deep clean mode.

Magnitone Lucid Cleansing Brush

Having briefly mentioned one of my favourite cleansers above, the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, well I've been able to do some of my daily skincare routine in the shower of all places, with absolutely no fear of the Lucid not cooperating. The fact that it's completely waterproof makes using it in the bathroom, the shower or even the bath, a real breeze. Oh and did I mention that the Lucid also comes with a wireless travel charger? And even better, each charge lasts approximately two weeks, making the Magnitone Lucid the ideal travel companion.

I can't wait to put some of my other cleansers to the test in conjunction with the Magnitone Lucid in the upcoming weeks and months too. I may even do a bit of a skincare routine on here or potentially on my YouTube channel. Oh yeah, I'm seriously thinking about starting a YouTube channel after years of umming and ahhing about it. What do you think? Is it something that you would actually want to see?

Magnitone Lucid Discount

You can find the Magnitone Lucid at both Boots and Superdrug, as well as on Feel Unique, Look Fantastic, The Hut and on the Magnitone website itself. And if you're thinking of treating yourself to the Magnitone Lucid then I have a very exciting and exclusive discount code to share with you. To receive 20% off your Magnitone Lucid, all you have to do is (click here) and enter the discount code; 

So what do you think of the facial cleansing brush idea? Have you ever tried one? If so, what one or ones do you use? And what do you think of the Magnitone Lucid?


Friday, 8 May 2015

My Thoughts On Mindful Eating

As the warmer weather starts to hopefully make more of an appearance here in UK, I find myself changing my eating habits quite considerably. When it's particularly warm, which is a bit of a rare occurrence here in Scotland, I have to admit, I just don't feel like eating a heavy or indulgent meal. Sometimes I'm not even a fan of eating a roasting hot dish in that kind of weather either, so as a result I tend to make healthier choices without even realising it. That's not to say that I don't have the odd side of fries with my dinner or a cheeky takeaway at the weekend but I definitely find myself gravitating more towards salads, wraps and sandwiches instead of a big indulgent meal. And it got me thinking, why don't I try to make more of a conscious decision as to what I'm eating and why, all the way through the year, instead of constantly snacking, overindulging and eating just for the sake of it. And that's where the whole idea of mindful eating really caught my eye. Unlike fad diets and completely avoiding certain food groups, which I've never partaken in, it's about following some pretty common sense advice that can make a big difference to the way you think about food and in turn could improve your overall health as a result.

It's about putting a couple of rules into practice, all of which, as I said above are sensible common sense ways of thinking. And here they are;

  • Really savour your food - Instead of just wolfing down what you're eating, take the time to truly savour it. I know myself that a lot of the time I start eating my dinner when it's that hot that I can't truly taste or appreciate the flavour of it. That's also when I normally end up burning my mouth but that's another story. So take your time and enjoy your food, instead of just racing to finish it.
  • Chew your food well - By taking your time and chewing your food well it will result in you taking a longer time to eat your meal. And as it can often take our brains about twenty minutes to send a signal to our stomach to say 'I'm full', by chewing our food well and taking our time, less food is consumed in that twenty minute window.
  • Listen to your body - Again, most of the time I know for a fact that I'm eating a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar solely because I'm bored and not in fact hungry. Or I'm desperate to have lunch or dinner hours before I really should do, most probably because I'm thirsty instead of hungry. Which leads me onto the next point.
  • Don't eat for the sake of eating - I have a feeling that we are all probably guilty of this from time to time. I know that I am but instead of having a biscuit with every cup of tea or coffee just because it's habit, why not try to limit it to once a day or even just as a treat on a day when you've worked particularly hard. 
  • Don't constrain yourself to three scheduled meals a day - Whilst it's important to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner there's no rule to say that you need to eat three large meals instead of smaller bites throughout the day. I'm not talking about snacking here. What I mean is that instead of having a huge three course dinner, why not split up how much you're eating throughout the day and that way it's not as much to digest at one time and won't leave you feeling like you need a nap afterwards, which happens to me far too often to be honest.

To find out more about mindful eating, LV have also written a blog post which goes into a bit more detail. And thank you to LV who sent me out a spiralizer to put to the test. Expect a blog post dedicated to my summer spiralizing in the upcoming month or so.

So what do you think of the concept of mindful eating? Do you find that you tend to eat a little better in the warmer months too? And do you have any top tips for resisting temptation and snacks?


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Rene Furterer Lissea Haircare

Rene Furterer Haircare Lissea

I'm always one for trying out new haircare products, especially when it comes to the styling side of things, so when Escentual got in touch to see if I would like to put one of their newly acquired brands to the test I couldn't wait to find out more. Launching exclusively on Escentual, French Pharmacy favourite Rene Furterer is now available to us in the UK, without having to book a trip across the Channel to get your French Pharmacy fix. The Lissea range comprises of four products, a shampoo and the three products that I will be featuring today and is a haircare range best suited to those of us with unruly hair. 

I've been putting the three Lissea products in question, through their paces over the past month or so and I've been rather excited to share my thoughts on them with you, especially as I hadn't heard a great deal about the Rene Furterer brand before having the pleasure of trying them.

Rene Furterer Lissea Leave-In Smoothing Fluid

Rene Furterer Lissea Leave-In Smoothing Fluid* £17

First up is the Leave-In Smoothing Fluid. Unlike other smoothing balms, lotions and potions, this product is so lightweight. I hate nothing more, when it comes to my hair anyway, than applying a product that instantly makes my hair feel saturated or greasy. It's especially frustrating when you've just washed it moments before and then a bad product makes you feel like washing it straight away all over again. There's none of that with this Leave-In Fluid. Oh and expect some serious shine to be re-introduced back into your hair, as well as a whole lot of smoothness, as a result of using this.
You can either apply two pumps of the product to towel dried hair before blow drying, making sure to avoid the roots as you would with most styling products, or you can apply a drop through the ends of your hair once you've styled it. I really enjoy using it to smooth away fly-away hairs and talk about working wonders when you wake up with some untameable bed head.

Rene Furterer Lissea Thermal Protecting Smoothing Spray

Rene Furterer Lissea Thermal Protecting Smoothing Spray* £18

The next product in the Lissea line is the Thermal Protecting Smoothing Spray and I have to admit, I can often get a little lazy when it comes to heat protection. The fact that this product and the entire Lissea range smell absolutely amazing really does ensure that I remember to apply it. Who wouldn't want their hair to smell like winter cherry? I've actually just went and grabbed the bottle to have a little sniff whilst writing this. Is that strange? Hehe.
This spray protects your hair up to the temperature of 220°C and again, much like the Smoothing Fluid above, is unbelievably lightweight. I certainly appreciate the fact that these three products in the Lissea line all share some fantastic attributes and that there isn't that one product that I think doesn't quite fit with the rest of the range. Don't you hate it when you find a shampoo that you love, for example, only to find that the rest of the range doesn't quite live up it?

Rene Furterer Lissea Thermal Protecting Smoothing Conditioner

Rene Furterer Lissea Smoothing Conditioner* £15

And last but not least, the Smoothing Conditioner. For me, conditioner is more of considered purchase than shampoo, simply for the fact that I get through about ten bottles of shampoo whilst still using the exact same bottle or tube of conditioner. So I definitely do a bit more research when it comes to my choice of conditioner and for me, this one ticks all of the boxes. Not only is it humidity-reactive (say goodbye to Monica from Friends style hair), making a significant difference to the amount of frizz that you have to put up with but it also leaves your hair feeling so incredibly soft. It really does feel like your hair has just had an intensive treatment at a hair salon instead of the reality, which for me is applying this for a few minutes in the shower whilst I belt out some Katy Perry hits. Hehe. Rene Furterer also recommend using this product on more of a casual basis, which is what I already do when it comes to conditioner to be fair, so I can imagine this tube lasting quite some time.

Rene Furterer Lissea

As I mentioned briefly above, Escentual are the exclusive stockists of the Rene Furterer range here in the UK and they carry several other Rene Furterer haircare collections, in addition to the Lissea range (link here).

Have you heard of Rene Furterer haircare before? What do you think of the Lissea range? And does it sound like something that you would like to try when it comes to your unruly hair?

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