Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Sharing The Blog Love This September

Sharing The Blog Love

It's that time of the month again where I share some of my favourite blog posts from the month that has passed and here they are today;

Disney World Packing And Prepping: My Florida Holiday Essentials - This time last year I was a week into my Orlando, Florida holiday and Gemma's excitement for her Florida vacation really does come through in this post by her and talk about some incredible Disney bits and pieces! I'm also in love with her amazing Quay sunglasses. It's great to see a realistic packing list too which includes all of the essentials.

Florida Haul - Can you tell that I'm counting down the days until I visit Orlando again once more in twelve months time? Hehe. Gemma's haul really is on a whole different level and features products and pieces that I would definitely be bringing back with me; Bath & Body Works, Hershey's, Michael Kors, eos and Disney galore. And to hear that you can get 4 large Yankee Candle jars for just $44, especially when they are £21.99 each over here in the UK, has me dreaming up my Yankee wishlist for next year already. But I would have been utterly devastated if my Chip mug had smashed during it's trip back to the UK though. 

TK Maxx Lifestyle Haul - Whilst I much prefer TJ Maxx, particularly when I'm talking about shopping in America, TK Maxx is still a real treasure trove especially when it comes to lifestyle pieces as highlighted in Katie's blog post this month. I definitely recommend taking a trip to their home department, with the stationery section being my all-time favourite spot in the shop. I love what Katie managed to pick up and it has certainly inspired me to take a trip to my local TK Maxx asap.

Tips & Tricks: What I Use When Editing My Photos - Charissa's blog has long been one of my very favourites. I've been reading it for years now and one thing that has always blown me away about her blog is the beautiful photography. Well if like me you're always looking to improve your photography and in particular your editing processes, then this is the post for you. It's also great to read a photography tips and tricks post that doesn't just cater to Photoshop users (it's all about PicMonkey for me)!

Summer To Autumn Nail Polish'More nail polish?!' I hear you say but Kristina's brilliant photography immediately had me clicking to read more on this particular post. It's definitely well and truly Autumn here in Scotland (it's even starting to feel like Winter now), meaning that it's surely the right time to make the seasonal transitions when it comes to my clothing, accessories and beauty choices. Right? Oh and I surely need more nail polish for Autumn/Winter now don't I? If you saw my Nail Polish Collection post at the start of the year then you know the answer is most certainly no.

What blogs and blog posts have you really enjoyed reading this month? Are there any blogs that you've discovered recently that you would like to share? And what blog posts do you have planned for the upcoming month/months?


Sunday, 27 September 2015

Fashion Your Fringe With New Look (Plus An Autumn/Winter Wishlist)

New Look Fringed Backpack

I'm currently absolutely obsessed with anything fringed when it comes to fashion and you can expect another post very soon featuring two more fringed items but today it's all about this incredible fringed tassel backpack from New Look. And the fact that this was in backpack form won me over even more. All I could think about, as soon as I saw it, was 'how perfect will this be for Autumn/Winter?'

What I really adore about this bag is just how much it adds to any kind of outfit and it's deceptively roomy too which is great as I always tend to carry 101 things around with me in the colder months (I'm talking about an umbrella, tissues, cold remedies, etc.; essentially what you need to survive winter in Scotland really). The gold detailing is also a massive hit with me too and it definitely looks far more expensive than the £22.99 price tag.

Fringed Bag

And whilst I'm talking about one of my favourite recent purchases for this season, I thought that I would also share a few more pieces from New Look that you should definitely check out. I've practically been glued to their site ever since they first launched a few of their Autumn/Winter pieces a couple of weeks ago. Is it just me who far prefers Autumn/Winter fashion to Spring/Summer?

New Look Autumn Winter 2015

Now how great would the fringed backpack look with all of these pieces? I think I'm basically just asking for someone's permission other than my own to buy a whole new wardrobe of Autumn/Winter-ware. Hehe. You can certainly style the fringed backpack up for a night out just as easily as you can wear it during the day. And when I say that I can't wait to style this up for Autumn/Winter I have to admit, I'm already looking forward to using this when the weather gets a little bit warmer next year too. How strange is it to say next year in relation to any semblance of sunshine and warmth hitting our shores again? I'll definitely be taking this with me on my travels to Orlando, Florida next year as well as it's just such a perfect size and adds something incredibly special to even the most basic of outfits.

So what do you think of my new backpack? And more generally the fringed/tasseled trend that seems to sweeping the High Street? What Autumn/Winter trend will you be wearing this year?


Friday, 25 September 2015

My Orlando, Florida Travel Tips: Planning The Holiday From The Very Beginning

Planning A US Holiday From The Beginning

Instead of focusing on a particular park or place this month, I thought that I would put together a bit of a guide to planning a holiday to Orlando, Florida from the very beginning. This is only a basic guide but I am more than happy to expand on this in further blog posts or as I always say, via email, Twitter or Instagram. If you have any questions or queries at all, however big or small, just send them my way and I will do my very best to answer them. And again, like quite a few of my Orlando, Florida Travel Tips posts, these hints and tips don't just apply to Florida exclusively but should work just as well for any other US State or trip. So let's get started with the best and most economic ways of getting there.


Over the years I have flown to Orlando with several different airlines, sometimes via different destinations and there really are so many options depending on your budget and when you are flying off. My first visit to Orlando was in 2001 and back then there was no option of flying directly from my nearest airport, Glasgow International to our Floridian airport of choice; Orlando International (MCO). It was all about flying indirect via another country or city back then and we flew both with Icelandair (via Rekjavik) and Continental, who are now United Airlines (via Newark). Flying indirect definitely has it's drawbacks; it's two, or more, flights often with several hours of your holiday being spent waiting at a gate in another airport. Don't get me wrong it's not the worst of flying experiences but when you've been counting down the days to your holiday for months, if not years, you just want to get there as soon as you possibly can to start enjoying your vacation instead of delaying the process. For the past five years or so, it has actually been cheaper to fly directly with Virgin Atlantic than it has been to make several stops so we haven't had to even really consider the indirect route in recent years.

Another option of flying direct if maybe not quite as direct as arriving in MCO, which can be a cheaper alternative, is to fly to Orlando Sanford International Airport. If you're planning on booking with an airline like Thomson, Thomas Cook or Monarch this will most probably be the airport that you will arrive via. Sanford is located about 45-60 minutes away from Orlando, depending on traffic, whereas MCO is right in the heart of Orlando and much closer to Disney and the tourist areas such as I-Drive. It all depends on your budget and your preferences but what's so great is the fact that there are so many options that there should be at least one, if not many, to cater to you and your party.


I am thinking about dedicating an entire blog post to accomodation and the pros and cons of staying either at a hotel, on Disney/Universal property, at a private villa or another alternative so I won't go into an overwhelming amount of detail in today's post regarding this topic but again, there are so many options that really will suit every budget.

If you're travelling in a large party my biggest tip would be to book a villa. Not only do you have a whole lot more privacy and space than at the alternatives but the price can be so much cheaper than you would ever have imagined when you start to break it down. For example, if there are ten of you staying at a 5 bed villa that costs £400 a week this works out at just £40 per person for a week. Now where could you find accomodation for that price per person in Orlando otherwise? Plus most villas come with that added bonus of a private pool, something that really does make your stay that much more special but then you really would have to rent a car so there are definite pros and cons to each choice depending on what you want from your holiday. We've always stayed at villas, most of which have been located about 10 minutes from Disney and I don't think we would ever do it differently to be honest, even though I'd love to experience staying on Disney property at least once in my life.

Staying on site at Disney/Universal has definite perks too (extended theme park hours, complimentary transportation and dining and of course the whole experience of staying at Disney or Universal, complete with characters and theming) and if you only plan on using your accomodation as a place to rest your head/shower then a room at a hotel could possibly be the best for you there but there are drawbacks to each too. I think I definitely need to do a whole post on this now as I just have so much that I want to say on this topic. Hehe.

Car Hire/Rental

If you're planning on driving in the US finding a car to hire is obviously of the upmost importance. Again (how many times have I said that word already? hehe), you are spoiled for choice when it comes to car rental options and if you're flying to MCO you don't even have to leave the airport terminal to pick up your car. 

Directly across from the main terminal at MCO is the car rental building which houses basically all of the large car rental operators. I'm talking Alamo, National, Thrifty, Budget, Hertz and our personal favourite; Dollar. Several of the car hire companies do have bases outwith the airport, which means taking a taxi or shuttle to said base which is definitely a bit of an added inconvenience, trust me! And this is why we always, without fail, now pick up our car from MCO instead. It means if you have any issues or problems then you can easily head back into the airport, where all of the companies have their desks to seek help/advice. Having an issue at one of the outside bases, which happened to us on two separate occasions is not as easy to deal with in our experience. 

I also have a little 'before I leave for the holiday' travel document checklist of sorts which should come in handy as there are a couple of pieces of paperwork/essentials that you do need to have sorted before you even think about leaving for the airport.

Travel Document Checklist

- An ESTA - Quite frankly this is the most important piece of documentation and without it don't even think about turning up to the airport for your international flight. The US Visa Waiver Programme and your ESTA allow you to travel to the US and stay for up to 90 days. It is valid for 2 years and must be applied for at least 72 hours before you travel. We tend to apply for ours a few weeks beforehand just to make sure that everything goes smoothly and to avoid any last minute rushing around too. You will tend to receive a response within seconds but for some it may take up to 72 hours. You can apply for an ESTA with US Homeland Security at a cost of $14 per person before you go.
- Medical Insurance - No matter where you go on holiday you really should secure travel and medical insurance before you jet off but nowhere is it as important than the U S of A. If you have any pre-existing medical issues that could cause you problems on your vacation then be sure to declare these. The last thing you would want to happen is to need to visit the hospital whilst over there and then have to worry about what I would imagine would be pretty staggering medical bills.
- A Travel Money Card or Travel Credit Card - In addition to the next item on my checklist, I now always take one of these for all my shopping sprees as well. On my past few visits I have used the Post Office Travel Money Card but for next year's trip I am looking into travel specific credit cards. There's an added protection in using one of these on your trip and you also know exactly how much you have spent/are spending whilst over there too.
- Dollars - I have a feeling that if you've booked or are in the process of booking your holiday to the US that you will be watching the exchange rates like a hawk and all I can say is always buy your currency before arriving at the airport. There are several comparison sites which make this a real breeze. Oh and if you see the $ climbing make sure to pounce as it normally drops thereafter for a good few weeks.
- Your Passport - And of course it goes without saying, a valid passport is an absolute necessity. Your passport must also be valid for at least six months beyond the period of your intended stay in the USA.

Have you visited Orlando, Florida or the US before? How did your holiday planning go? Would you like more posts like this with some more detail on each of the individual topics? Or what would you like me to discuss next?

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Look Fantastic Birthday Beauty Box (September 2015)

Look Fantastic Beauty Box September 2015

This month marks the first birthday of Look Fantastic's #LFBeautyBox and to celebrate they've released a bumper edition of their usual monthly beauty box. And when I say bumper edition what I really mean is, have you ever seen this many beauty samples in one beauty box and for £15 at that? And that's not even taking into consideration the bonus discount vouchers which I will go on to discuss further down.

Out of all the beauty boxes that I've had the pleasure of putting to the test over the past year or so on Ellis Tuesday, Look Fantastic's really has been my favourite. I think the fact that you're not tied into a subscription has a lot to do with it as well as the fantastic variety of products that appear in their boxes. And as you can see, Look Fantastic have certainly not disappointed when it comes to their celebratory first birthday box.

Look Fantastic Birthday Beauty Box

Unlike other beauty boxes, including past #LFBeautyBoxes, there isn't one or several full size products but instead there are a whole host of sample sized products from some pretty impressive brands. The first product that instantly caught my eye was the Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash. Bliss are a brand that I have wanted to dabble with for a while now and after trying this face wash, I definitely need to try out some more from the Bliss brand soon. Then I turned my attention to the Caudalie Vinosource duo. Caudalie are a brand that I have only ever tried through them appearing in beauty boxes but they are always make a welcome appearance for me. The Moisturizing Sorbet in particular feels absolutely wonderful on the skin and has improved a little dry patch that I had on my forehead which appeared just before I started using the Sorbet. It's also great that both a moisturising product and a serum have been included in the same box.

Sebastian were another brand that I was incredibly happy to see included in this month's Look Fantastic Beauty Box. I'm actually going to try and keep these to be used the next time I'm travelling so expect a full review of them when I do try them out. I've not yet put the MONU Tanworx Tan Maintainer to the test either, mainly because I don't have a tan to maintain but knowing that it is from MONU, a brand that I've always been pleasantly surprised with, makes me think that it will be equally as good. 

Then there are two brands and products which I hadn't heard a great deal about before seeing them appear in this month's box. Phyto's Phytokeratine Extreme is a leave-in conditioning product of sorts. It claims to protect hair against breakage, split ends, humidity and heat, which makes it a product that I'm certainly excited to try out. And last but not least Codage Paris' Scrubbing Cream. This is without a doubt the priciest of the products included in the September box with this 25ml tube retailing at £18. It's incredibly rich and suitable for a variety of skin types, including those of us with sensitive skin which is always a welcome sign in regards to facial exfoliants.

Look Fantastic Beauty Box Birthday

In addition to all of the great beauty samples in this box there are also £50 worth of vouchers for retailers including ghd, All Sole, MyProtein, MyBag and Coggles. What a great bonus, especially when you consider the fact that this entire box is only £15 to purchase. You also get an exclusive sneak peek of the Look Fantastic Advent Calendar and this has definitely got me very, very excited about all things Christmas related. Who else is already thinking about starting their Christmas shopping, opening Advent Calendar doors and watching Home Alone and Love Actually?

So what do you think of the Birthday #LFBeautyBox? Have you tried any of the products included in the September box? And which beauty box is your favourite out of the several that are on the market? 


Sunday, 20 September 2015

My Partylite Halloween Candle Giveaway

Partylite Halloween Candles

It's been a little while since I last hosted or ran a giveaway on Ellis Tuesday but as soon as Partylite asked me if I would like to host a giveaway to celebrate all things Halloween I was instantly on board. 

You might remember that I reviewed two of Partylite's fantastic candles last month (here's the link to that post just in case you didn't see it) and their Halloween collection has taken my love for all things Partylite to a whole new level.

Inspired by Mexico's Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos, the lucky winner of this giveaway will win everything included in today's post so I may as well give you my first impressions on the pieces that make up the Halloween candle bundle*. 

First up is a large jar candle in the scent Hocus Pocus. Not only does the candle itself look spectacularly spooky yet simultaneously stylised and fun but the fragrance itself is simply gorgeous. This candle has a burn time of between 50-60 hours which is absolutely unbelievable and makes a candle-lover, like myself, very happy. And if you love the Hocus Pocus fragrance, which I do, then you will be happy to see even more tea lights in that scent too. Each tealight lasts for around 4-5 hours which I think you will agree is incredibly impressive, especially considering the fact that most other tealights that I've tried in the past lasted an hour or two at the most.

Then we have the Autumn Glow votive candles. These candles essentially smell like Autumn/Winter in candle form. Think cinnamon, spice and apples and pears. Basically as soon as I smelt these I was instantly transported back to my many visits to America when I've visited at this time of year and in the run up to Halloween. Almost every store, mall and place that you visit smells exactly like this candle, which immediately conjured up great memories of previous holidays. And to house these brilliant votive candles, which last between 8-11 hours, there are two votive jars which fit in brilliantly with the large jar's design. Oh and that light up disc in the middle of the photograph, well that's a colour changing candle base. Now how amazing is that and how great will it look on those dark nights when you're all wrapped up watching a great horror movie (which is basically how I spend most of the colder months)?

Partylite Halloween Giveaway

So what do you need to do to be in with a chance of winning this fantastic Halloween bundle from Partylite? Well it's as easy as filling in the Rafflecopter entry form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And here are the rules:
This giveaway is open to UK residents only.
There will be one winner.
There are three mandatory entries: you must be following Ellis Tuesday on Bloglovin' (link here), visit Partylite on Facebook (link here) and leave a comment.
For additional entries you can follow me on Twitter (link here), follow me on Instagram (link here), follow Partylite on Instagram, follow me on Pinterest (link here), follow Partylite on Pinterest (link here) and tweet about the giveaway.
The giveaway will run for exactly four weeks, so it will end on Sunday 18th of October at midnight.
The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter. The winner will then have 48 hours to send me over their details or I will pick another winner. The prize will then be issued by Partylite.

Best of luck to everyone who is planning on entering! What do you think of the Halloween range that Partylite have to offer this year? What candle or scent sounds like it could be right up your street? And are you excited about Halloween yet?


Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The Soap & Glory Body Spray Collection

Soap & Glory Body Spray Collection Review

As you might be well aware, if you have been reading Ellis Tuesday for a while now, I'm quite the Soap & Glory Soaperfan and what I mean by that is the fact that I honestly don't have a bad word to say about them or their fantastic products. All it takes is a look through my Product Directory and you will see my thoughts exactly.

One of my first reviews, all the way back in January of 2014, was on Soap & Glory's body butters (review here - please forgive me for the rather rubbish photographs) and whilst I was absolutely besotted with the way in which the body butters moisturised my dehydrated and sensitive skin, what really won me over were the incredibly unique scents. And that's what brings me to today's review.

If you've ever fallen in love with a Soap & Glory scent and who hasn't to be honest, then their brand new body sprays will surely be ones that you need to check out. Comprising of five (yes five!) of their signature scents, the Soap & Glory body sprays are quite the drugstore discovery and at just £4 each (don't forget that Boots regularly run 3 for 2 deals, meaning you'd essentially be getting 3 for £8 plus Advantage Card points of course), you might find yourself with the whole collection sooner rather than later. And what I really adore is the fact that there really is a scent (or five) for everyone!

Soap and Glory Body Sprays

Original Pink 
Soap & Glory products with the same scent: The Righteous Butter, Clean On Me & Hand Food
Okay, so this was always going to be my favourite out of the five and that has a lot to do with the fact that the first product that I ever tried from Soap & Glory was The Righteous Butter. For a full blog post on what makes that product just so special (click here). I also religiously use Hand Food (again, I just mentioned it in my last blog post here) and Clean On Me and the Original Pink body spray means I can get that wonderful scent on the go.

Soap & Glory products with the same scent: the Orangeasm range
Orangeasm is another great scent and it's not just as simple as saying 'well this smells like oranges', like the name implies. There's a brilliant mix of green mandarin, bergamot, lemon and mint which leaves you with a scent unlike any other on the market or on the shelves of your local drugstore. If you like your citrus scents then you might want to get yourself down to your local Boots to give this spray and the entire Orangeasm range a good sniff.

Soap & Glory products with the same scent: Pulp Friction Body Scrub, Foam Call & Butter Yourself
For me Fruitigo is the strongest and most unique of the Soap & Glory fragrances and for that reason a little truly does go a long way with this. If you're obsessed with Pulp Friction and Butter Yourself, in particular, then this would definitely be your go-to body spray and the blend of yuzu fruit and wild fig makes for a wonderfully exotic smelling fragrance.

Sugar Crush
Soap & Glory products with the same scent: the Sugar Crush range
You might remember that I reviewed the Sugar Crush Body Spray along with the Sugar Crush 3-in-1 Body Lotion back when both first launched in June (review here) and I'm still loving the sweet lime and vanilla musk scent, so much so that my little bottle of Sugar Crush body spray has been a permanent fixture in my handbag ever since. This is definitely an iconic Soap & Glory scent that you really do need to smell to believe. Plus it doesn't hurt that it instantly reminds me of some great cocktail scents.

Mist You Madly
Soap & Glory products with the same scent: Scrub 'em & Leave 'em, Clean Girls & The Daily Smooth
When it comes to Soap & Glory body sprays really this is the true original as it was the one and only Soap & Glory body spray available until recently. Again, I'm a big fan of this classic Soap & Glory scent and for me the vanilla and mix of floral fragrances such as freesias and cassis make this particular body spray perfect for day-to-day wear whilst still being such an incredibly special scent.

Soap & Glory Body Sprays

What's your favourite Soap & Glory scent? And what do you think of the sound of these brand new body sprays? Will you be making a trip to your local Boots store to check these out anytime soon?


Sunday, 13 September 2015

My Bedtime Beauty Essentials & Routine

Bedtime Beauty Essentials

As it's been a little over a year since I last shared my bedtime essentials (here is that original post), I thought that I would rectify that today by sharing the products that have recently made their way onto my bedside cabinet and I have a feeling that most of them will be there to stay for quite some time.

When it comes to the first step in my bedtime beauty routine it's all about the La Roche-Posay Make-Up Remover Micellar Water Gel*. Admittedly, it did take a while for me to jump onto the micellar water bandwagon but as soon as I tried this soothing and hydrating gel I knew that I wouldn't be going back to using cleansing wipes ever again (okay so I do still use them occasionally when I'm realllly tired but at least I don't use them every night anymore). The gel is just so gentle on the skin and like every other La Roche-Posay (LRP) product that I've tried in the past, it has completely blown me away. 

Next up in my routine is a brand new addition and that's the Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Creme*. Having heard a lot of great things about the Ole Henriksen brand, without having tried any of their products before, I was really excited to see what this product would do for my skin and boy, has it impressed me. It's such a wonderfully rich cream which really has worked wonders for me and my skin whilst I'm catching my forty winks. It does take about fifteen minutes for it to fully sink into the skin but once it does it doesn't leave the skin feeling sticky or tacky in the slightest. Every morning when I wake up now all I can do is remark (to myself mostly) at the improvement in my skin since I started using this. I'm currently stroking my face, which is honestly the smoothest it has ever been, as I write this very paragraph. It's just too soft not to. 

I then follow this up with a little dab of Clinique's All About Eyes De-Puffing Eye Massage. I'm coming to the end of this little mini of the eye cream, which I got as part of the Clinique Moisture Favourites Set last year (review here), and I have a feeling that I will definitely need to invest in the full size of this product when it does inevitably run out.

Then I turn my attention to two areas of my body which tend to cause me a little bit of bother, especially in the colder months and they are my lips and my hands. When it comes to keeping my lips moisturised and crack-free, I've been loving the Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Lip Serum. Plus it doesn't hurt that it leaves my lips smelling of coconut. After that I slather on some of Soap & Glory's Hand Food. I've certainly mentioned on more than a few occasions now just how much I adore Soap & Glory and in particular their fantastic Hand Food and for that reason it will probably always be the one hand cream that I can rely on to keep my hands feeling and smelling absolutely beautiful.

And when I've switched off my television and put my phone well out of reach (well as out of reach as I can let myself put it, am I right?) I spritz some of Neom's Perfect Night's Sleep Pillow Mist* on my pillow and begin to let myself get cosy. This stuff just instantly puts me in the mood to sleep and the blend of lavender, basil and jasmine has such a relaxing quality on me, one which I honestly didn't expect would work but it almost feels like it's telling me and my body, 'right it's time to go to sleep.' And this can only be a good thing for someone who struggles to drift off most nights.

Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Creme Soap & Glory Hand Food La Roche-Posay Make-Up Remover Micellar Water Gel Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Lip Serum Clinique All About Eyes Serum Neom Perfect Night's Sleep Pillow Mist

Have you tried any of the products that make up my bedtime beauty routine? If so, what are your thoughts on them? And what is your beauty routine like before going to sleep?


Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Elegant Touch Nail Apothecary

Elegant Touch Nail Apothecary

As you might have seen if you read last month's Brand New Nailcare From GOSH post, I've been trying my best to look after my nails and thanks to a handful of fantastic products my nails have never looked better. Following on from that initial nailcare post, I have another exciting brand new range of products that you will definitely want to check out if you're looking to look after your nails, particularly as the cold weather starts to roll in.

I've been putting the Elegant Touch Nail Apothecary range to the test since the collection first launched and there are definitely some real winners that you'll want to add to your nail care routine sooner rather than later.

Elegant Touch Nail Care

01. Cuticle Elixir* - If, like me, your cuticles definitely look like they have seen better days (I'm talking dry and slightly hard cuticles that just make your hands and nails look a little unsightly), then this might be the holy grail product for you. I honestly can't believe the difference that it has made and what I really like about it is the fact that it isn't greasy or slimy in the slightest, when so many other cuticle products are. It absorbs into the skin and cuticles in a matter of seconds and feels really nourishing on the nails too.

02. Cuticle Eliminator* - Whilst I'm not one for completely removing all traces of my cuticles, I know that many are and if so, well then this is the product for you. The solution feels almost like a gel on the skin, which wasn't exactly what I was expecting but it does do exactly what it says on the bottle; it eliminates cuticles. And when I say eliminate what I actually mean is that it softens the cuticles, allowing for them to be pushed back and/or removed. Out of the two cuticle related products mentioned in today's post I'm definitely more of a Cuticle Elixir kind of girl but that really is just personal preference.

03. 24Kt Gold Ridge Filler* - Now this product is a bit of a game changer for me as it combines two nail care related products in one. Not only does it help to fill in the little ridges that I have on my nails but it also works as a fantastic base coat which helps to prolong any colour applied thereafter. I don't have the worst ridges when it comes to my digits but on my thumbnails it's a bit of a different story and I can actually see and feel a big difference after applying this.

Elegant Touch Nails

04. Toughflex Base Coat* - If all you're looking for is a base coat that does everything that you could ever wish it to then it's time to pick up Toughflex. I have a feeling that this will be a lifesaver for anyone who's nails are prone to splitting or breaking and then you get the added bonus of it being a base coat which will prevent staining, especially now we'll be starting to grab the darker, vampier Autumn/Winter shades to adorn our nails with. Like all of the Nail Apothecary products it dries incredibly quickly too.

05. Super-matte Top Coat* - Now I've been meaning to pick up a matte top coat for months and months yet whenever I find myself at a nail polish stand I end up adding more colours to my already overflowing nail polish collection. And my collection now feels like it has had a second lease of life since as soon as you apply this top coat it completely transforms every one of your existing polishes. I can't wait to try it out on some of my glitters this party season!

06. Gel-effect Top Coat* - In a similar vein to the gel top coat that GOSH have just brought out (which I reviewed here), this polish adds a new texture to your nails and gives them that glossy yet gel-like finish. Basically if you're looking for the effect of gel nails without any of the hassle or without having to go out and buy a gel formulation of your favourite shade then this is the one product for you.

So what do you think of the Nail Apothecary collection? Have any of the six products caught your eye? And what are your top tips for keeping your nails in tip top condition?


Friday, 4 September 2015

Degustabox: August Box (With Exclusive Discount Code)

Degustabox August 2015 Review

Believe it or not but it has actually been a whole year since I first started trying and reviewing Degustabox. This time last year I was getting ready for my holiday to Florida and I remember how fun it was to write about my first Degustabox experience whilst attempting to try everything before I flew off to the Sunshine State. I remember how impressed I was with the brands and products that were enclosed in that first box and that same feeling is echoed in the box that I am reviewing today.

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 DHIXQ when you register. 

So what exactly does the August box comprise of, well let's see;

Degustabox Food Box 2015

From left to right: Williamson Tea Ginger Grove - Pick Up! Dark Chocolate Biscuits - Choco Leibniz White - Walkers Assorted Shortbreads

Barilla Arrabbiata Pasta

From left to right: Barilla Arrabbiata - Barilla Penne Rigate

Ryvita Crispbread Review

Ryvita Cracked Black Pepper Crispbread - Ryvita Sesame Crispbread

Degustabox Drinks Review

From left to right: Little Miracles Organic Energy Drink - Life Tonics Coconut And Mint Coconut Water - Scheckter's Organic Energy Lite

Degustabox August Box 2015

From left to right: Dr Oetker Lemon Mug Cake - Dr Oetker Chocolate Chip Mug Cake - Delicious Alchemy Chocolate Brownie Mix - Dr Oetker Rich Chocolate Mug Cake - Fru Snax Peach Slices With Vanilla Yogurt Melts

After a couple of months of Degustaboxes that didn't do anything for me personally but that the rest of my family absolutely adored, this box has reignited my love for Degustabox. Any Degustabox that includes pasta, chocolate, cakes and shortbread was always going to be a winner for me. I certainly appreciate boxes like this where there is a real mix of slightly healthier options and those that are definitely more indulgent.

First of all, the Barilla pasta and sauce duo made for an incredible dinner. And I have a feeling that you might be as excited as I was to see that Mug Cakes are a thing. Not only that but they can be made in the microwave in a matter of seconds! How amazing?! I'm planning on making one tomorrow and to be honest, I have no idea how I have resisted popping one in the microwave until now. The same level of restraint cannot be said for some of the other sweet treats in the August box. Living in Scotland, we are all big big fans of shortbread (I even made my own Disney Marie Shortbread Biscuits at the start of the year), so the four little packets of Walkers shortbreads were devoured almost instantaneously. The Pick Up! biscuits also disappeared from our biscuit cupboard in a matter of hours as did the Choco Leibniz and all I can say is yum! The Db discovery for this month's box is the Chocolate Brownie Mix which we're planning on making for my dad's birthday next week so I will be sure to let you know how those turn out either on Instagram or Twitter (or both). But the fact that it is Gluten and Dairy free sounds fantastic and really intriguing.

Now onto the slightly healthier products. My mum is a real Ryvita fan so she was over the moon to find two fantastic Ryvita flavours in this month's box. She also can't stop raving about the Fru Snax snack. My brother, who I always preface with 'the healthiest member of our family' loved the Life Tonics Coconut and Mint Water, as well as the Williamson Tea. So it has been thumbs up all round for the new products in this month's box.

My only slight issue with the August Degustabox is the fact that two of the products are ones that I have sampled before in previous boxes. Little Miracles Organic Energy Drinks appeared in January's Healthy Box (review here) and Scheckter's Organic Energy drink appeared in April's International Box (review here). However, saying that, this box really is packed full to the brim with products so I can't really complain too much.

So what do you think of this month's box? Have you tried any of the products featured in August's box before? And are you as excited as I am about the concept of mug cakes?

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