Wednesday, 28 November 2018

November: A Month In Events

glasgow blogger

When it gets to this time of year, things undoubtedly become much busier, particularly when it comes to my blog and I've been so lucky to be invited along to some absolutely unreal blog events this month. So I thought that I would do a monthly roundup to show what I've been up to this month blog-wise and hopefully it will be something different to read from me other than beauty or travel. I also can't forget the fantastic CCW Blogger Road Trip to St Andrews that took place earlier in the month either.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have already seen some snippets from the events in question but if you don't or you missed some of my Stories, you can always catch up on them just by clicking into the Events tab on my Instagram Stories highlights.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Alex Steinherr x Primark: Why You Should Hunt It Down ASAP!

alex steinherr primark review

Despite spending a large chunk of my time and income in Primark, it's not somewhere that I would ever have thought about buying beauty products from, that was until now. As soon as I heard that the ever glowing former Glamour magazine beauty editor Alex Steinherr would be releasing her own affordable skincare range with Primark, I was immediately on board. I was, however, pretty upset that no Glasgow or even relatively nearby store would be getting the range in-store. I understand why it might not have been possible to make it available in every single Primark store up and down the country but surely a city like Glasgow, which has a higher population and concentration of people than Edinburgh, which did get the range, should have it on the shelves as well.

As a result, I had to rely on the kindness of my friend Lauren who picked up a few of the products for me to try when she was in London and then the Primark beauty team very kindly sent out a few more bits for me to try.

The line has five categories designed for a variety of different skin types and issues and these are; Maximum Moisture, Pore Balance, Pollution Solution, Sleep Spa and Plump & Glow. Obviously you can pick and choose between them, as I've got a feeling that not a single one of us has just one skin issue that they'd like to address.

So let's see what I've managed to try so far;

alex steinherr primark skincare

As someone with really dehydrated and dry skin, even more so in the Winter months, I was the most excited to try out some bits from the Maximum Moisture range of products. Thankfully Lauren managed to nab the Hydration-on-the-go and the Moisture Locking Everyday Moisturiser for me and I have to say, these are very welcome additions to my skincare routine and if my skin is feeling really dry or dull looking, I've immediately been reaching for these two products. They're really lightweight but pack some serious moisture!

The Micellar Cleansing Gel* is nice enough, especially when I haven't been that impressed with micellar products in the past. The consistency of this is definitely what keeps me coming back for more and I will certainly be using this until it's finished, which I haven't done with any of the other micellar makeup removers that I own, all of which are currently cluttering up many different shelves in my house.

alex steinherr primark range

The other product that I was really keen to try was the Sleep Spa Sleeping Face Mask. As part of the Sleep Spa range, these products are all about working overnight and as I've mentioned before, this is exactly the kind of skincare that I gravitate towards, particularly as someone who can be quite lazy when it comes to my skin and bodycare routine on a day-to-day basis. I've loved using this and would love to pick up another one at some point, hopefully soon.

If you saw my What Your Skin Can Go Through In A 24 Hour Period blog post, you will know that I've recently been trying out products that have been designed to deal with external and unavoidable factors like pollution, so I was really intrigued to see several products dedicated solely to pollution protection within the range. The Pollution Solution Oil-free Gel Hydrator* is a great purse friendly option for those looking to dip their feet into the realm of anti pollution skincare without shelling out £££.

Then we have the Plump & Glow range of products. My lips always end up in a bit of a state over the colder months so I was very happy to receive the Plumping Lip Gloss*. I was completely expecting a clear kind of basic plumping gloss when I first heard about this product's inclusion in the range. So you can imagine just how happy I was to be met with this very product. It makes your lips look so luscious and has the nicest tint to it. In combination with my trusty O'Keeffe's Lip Repair, my lips are crack free and I haven't felt an urge to pick at them either (a horrible habit I know but I normally can't stop myself from picking at the little bits of dry skin).

alessandra steinherr primark

And last but certainly not least, we have the Pore Balance range. The older that I become, the more prominent my pores seem to be getting so I was really intrigued by the sound of this specific range of products and in particular, the Super Detox Clay Mousse Face Mask. I thought that it might be a bit of a gimmick but I really do enjoy using this. I've seen a definite difference in the areas where my pores are really noticeable and my skin feels so soft and smooth, after using all of these products really.

The Anti-blackhead Stick* also looks like a super handy product to have on hand. I haven't had any blackheads recently so I haven't put this properly to the test yet but I am excited to do so. Not that excited that I'd happily welcome any blackheads popping up but you get what I mean.

alessandra steinherr primark review

So there's my little round up of what I've tried from the range so far. For the price (everything's priced under £5), you really can't complain about any of these products and there are also some real gems to be found. I was expecting something good from Alex and she has certainly not disappointed. Bringing innovative and visibly different skincare to the High Street and at an affordable price point is something that I'm 100% on board with.

If you can get your hands on the range, I would definitely recommend picking up some bits whilst you can. I've still got my eye on the Sleep Spa Overnight Lip Mask and the Maximum Moisture Supreme Sheet Mask (if anyone sees these, please give me a shout!). I've got my fingers well and truly crossed that the entire range will filter through to some of the Glasgow stores and more stores up and down the UK in the coming months. Because the only thing is, if you do find something that works really well for you, you might have to stock up as I'm not entirely sure how long this range will be on shelves for.

Have you tried any of the Alex Steinherr for Primark skincare range? If so, what do you think of it? Has it made it's way to your store? And who else agrees that Primark really need to get a website that we can actually buy from, sorted at some point soon (I mean, it's almost 2019 after all!)?


Sunday, 18 November 2018

The 2018 Bath & Body Works Haul

bath and body works haul 2018 blog

We've finally made it to the last of my US beauty hauls and this one might just be my very favourite. I've got a feeling that quite a few of you will agree with me in saying that Bath & Body Works is one of those stores that you eagerly look forward to visiting again when you're on holiday in the US or the likes of Canada, Australia or Dubai. So I was beyond excited to shop there again this year.

I was also so happy that I'd signed up for their emails, even if I did feel like unsubscribing once returning to the UK last time solely because of how depressing it is to open up an email knowing full well that you can't shop there anymore. I definitely took advantage of a few different coupons that they sent me via email during my trip, most notably $10 off when you spent $30 and 20% off your entire purchase and these pretty much ran concurrently over the two weeks of my holiday.

So let's see what I bought from Bath & Body Works on this trip;

bath and body works pocketbac review

The first place that I always head to in Bath & Body Works, normally on my very first visit after arriving in the US, is the PocketBac section. With 5 Anti-Bacterial PocketBacs for $6 it's so easy to add five or ten to your basket, which is exactly what happened with me this time. I picked up a few of my all-time favourites and was so excited to try the likes of Confetti Cupcake and I'm Really A Mermaid.

And when it came to my absolute favourite Bath & Body Works fragrance; Ghoul Friend, which is sadly only available in the run up to Halloween, I bought it in bulk on this trip to keep me going for a few years at least. I don't know the next time that I'll be in the US in September/October so I thought that it was better to be safe than be sorry.

bath and body works ghoul friend

And why is it my absolute favourite scent from Bath & Body Works, I hear you ask? Well, I only took one PocketBac with me to New York last year, so every time that I used it either before getting ready to eat something, after riding the Subway or just to feel a bit cleaner in the city that never sleeps, I would get a strong whiff of it and as a result, whenever I now smell it, it instantly takes me back to one of the best weeks in my life.

Now the foaming hand washes are normally 5 for $23 and I always feel like spending $20+ on soap is even a bit too boujee for me, which is why I usually leave the US without picking any up. So when I received an email to say that each and every one of them in the store would be $3 each for one day only, you can bet your bottom dollar that I hotfooted it down to the store nearest to us. Three seemed like a reasonable amount to buy, considering what I'd already bought at that point in the trip and for under $10 I was definitely happy with my purchase.

I also picked up some of the foaming hand sanitizers, which they never had on my last trip to the US. They were $5.50 each so considerably more than the traditional PocketBacs but I was keen to try them out. I've also been making a real effort to carry anti bacterial wipes and hand sanitizers around with me wherever I go, particularly now that cold and flu season is upon us. Speaking of actually carrying my PocketBacs around with me on a daily basis...

bath and body works pocketbac holders

Every year that I visit I mean to pick up a PocketBac holder to stop my PocketBacs from rattling about at the bottom of my bag but normally the holders are a bit too OTT even for me so when I spotted two pretty classic and subdued designs I simply had to have them. I mean, how special do they look without being a bit too much?

bath and body works mousse to oil reviews

On what was essentially our very last full day in Florida, we made one last trip to Bath & Body Works with our fingers crossed that most of the Winter range would now be in store. We knew that we would miss all things Christmas but we had started to see quite a few bits from the Winter range pop up in store. So we were over the moon when we found the incredible mousse to oils in the Winter collection. If you saw my What I Bought At Bath & Body Works haul post from when I went to New York last year, you will remember that I stocked up on the brilliant mousse to oils. Me and my Mum also took advantage of the buy 3 get 2 free deal that was on in-store that day, then using the $10 off $30 coupon to make it a real steal. If you're ever in the US when they have the mousse to oils as part of the range, you simply have to pick some up! They make moisturising so quick and easy to do, especially if you're more than a little bit lazy when it comes to that part of your routine, like I am and as always, they smell absolutely amazing!

bath and body works halloween 2018 blog

On another $10 off $30 shopping trip, I added this adorable cat head band to my basket. At $10.50 it definitely wasn't cheap, which is why I had put off buying it until I ultimately got it for free. But now that I have it, I'm so glad that I did.

So there's what I brought back with me from Bath & Body Works this year. I was tempted by some of the candles but they would have put me way over the weight limit when it came to my suitcase so really it was right decision to leave them behind, this trip anyway.

If you're looking to get your hands on Bath & Body Works products here in the UK (why won't you offer international shipping?!), I recently found out that Notino, who I've worked with before on a couple of blog posts, sell a whole host of Bath & Body Works products on their site. Definitely worth checking out if you need to get your Bath & Body Works fix.

Are you a fan of Bath & Body Works? Do you wish that they would either open up international shipping or *fingers always crossed* eventually open some stores in the UK? Which item or items are your favourites from this trip's haul?


Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The Money Diary: A Week In Orlando, Florida

money diary blog

Whenever I see a money diary style post, be it on Refinery 29 or a blogger's take on it, I'm always so intrigued and instantly click onto it. To be honest, I've been meaning to post one on here for ages but it took paying my credit card bill this month, after last month's trip away to the USA, to finally give me the push to do so. That and the fact that October started on a Monday this year, which made it feel like perfect timing.

So here's what I spent during a week in Orlando, Florida;

where to shop in orlando


10:30am - An early morning trip to the Orlando International Drive Premium Outlets/the best outlet mall that there is. I make a beeline for the Victoria's Secret Outlet store and pick up 3 bras for just $7.99 each. Yes, you read that right, SEVEN DOLLARS! I was so impressed that I managed to find colours and fits that I would actually have paid full price for, with the original tags on each bra showing at least $50, I certainly made some serious savings that morning. Total spent $25 (including tax).

12:30pm - We take the next exit on the Interstate to Mall at Millenia where we head to one of our favourite places for lunch; Johnny Rockets. I have fries and a coke and my parents split a chilli cheese fries and Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. My parents very kindly take care of the bill.

1:00pm - To walk off lunch I hit up some of my favourite shops but nothing really catches my eye until I pop into VS PINK where I see that they have the Coconut Oil body mousses that I'd had my eye on last week for just $7 each plus you get a free sheet mask with each one. I grab two of each and spend $15.

5:00pm - We grab something quick and easy for dinner and this means McDonald's. I get a McChicken (without mayo), a large drink and a large fries for $5. One thing that kind of blew our mind about McDonald's in the US; every drink no matter the size was just $1! Crazy!

Total = $45

mickey's not so scary halloween party reviews


10:15am - We have a lazy morning in the villa as we've got a long night ahead of us at the Magic Kingdom that evening. Pretty much any time not accounted for in this money diary has been spent in or around the pool.

12:10pm - I finally bite the bullet and place an online Sephora order. There are so many online exclusive holiday sets that I have no other option but to order it and have it delivered to the villa maintenance office. I pay with my PayPal as it won't accept my credit card details and in doing so, it doesn't really feel like 'real' money. The total comes to $208.57 exactly, which isn't too bad when I consider what I managed to get and how much everything would have been had it not been this time of year. If you want to see exactly what I bought, head over to my The Big Sephora Holiday Haul post here.

1:20pm - We make lunch in the villa from groceries that we bought in our first week. I have a sandwich and wavy Lays (why don't we have them in the UK?!)

4:05pm - Me and my Mum are dropped off at the Transportation and Ticket Center at Walt Disney World ready to attend Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. We get our tickets from Florida Tix prior to leaving the UK so we don't have to pay anything on the night. Top tip: you can arrive at the Magic Kingdom at 4pm, even though the party doesn't start until 7pm. That's 3 more hours of Disney magic for your money!

11:50pm - We get home from the party just before midnight and have a few of the candies we got from trick or treating around the park (expect a full blog post on my night at the party very soon), before heading to bed.

Total = $208.57

florida holiday blog


11:00am - We make a trip to our local supermarket, Publix, to pick up some essentials. I see that Halo Top ice cream, which I've been really intrigued by over here but not keen to pay at least £5 a tub just to find out that I don't like it, is 2 for $5. I grab a tub of birthday cake and a tub of peanut butter cup.

12:30pm - We take the drive out to Altamonte Springs which is about half an hour outside Orlando. It's much quieter as there are basically no tourists and the last time that we were there we managed to find some hidden gems that we hadn't seen in any of the larger more touristy malls. We decide to grab lunch. I get a bottle of Coca Cola from one of the soda machines for $1.75 and a large original pretzel nuggets from Auntie Anne's for $5. For Better Call Saul fans, the Auntie Anne's at Altamonte is twinned with a Cinnabon which instantly makes me smile and think of Gene. If you watch it you'll get what I mean.

1:00pm - I can't resist the Bath & Body Works PocketBac 5 for $6 deal any longer and end up picking up 10. I also see that they're doing sleeker, less gaudy PocketBac holders so add a tortoiseshell one to my basket. Bath & Body Works sent me a 20% off coupon via email (if you're ever in the US and planning a Bath & Body Works trip, be sure to sign up for their newsletter as they regularly send out incredible coupons!) so everything comes to a little over $15.

3:20pm - We head back to the villa to relax for a bit. I spend an hour or so in the pool and lazing about on the huge duck pool inflatable that lives at the villa.

6:30pm - For dinner we head to another one of our favourites; Longhorn Steakhouse. I pick up the bill. My Mum has a chop steak, mac and cheese and mashed potatoes. My Dad has a Flo's Filet with double fries and I have chicken tenders with double fries along with our soft drinks. We always find it unbelievable that instead of having a salad with your dinner you can opt to substitute it for even more fries! It comes to $80 with tip.

7:40pm - Steps away from Longhorn's is a TJ Maxx and I decide to go for a wander to try and walk off dinner. I spy some incredible beauty steals and end up spending $40 in a matter of minutes. If you'd like to see what I bought at the likes of TJ Maxx, be sure to check out my big US Beauty Haul post, which went live on Sunday.

Total = $146

universal studios orlando travel blog


10:00am - Today is Universal Studios and Islands Of Adventure day. Since we already have our reservation printouts we simply head to Guest Services at the front of the park to exchange them for our tickets and Express passes. I'll be doing a full blog post on how to save time and money when it comes to a holiday in Orlando and the Universal Express Pass are a great example of that.

1:50pm - We take a break from the rides when we see a stall selling ICEE's. It's basically a slush but we are completely sold by the fact that they have a Fanta Orange flavour. I should really have taken a photo to show you as over in the US Fanta, well at least the orange flavour since they have a whole range of them, is radioactive orange. The ICEE is $6 but we share it between us. We also crack into our bags of candy that we've brought along with us to the park to snack on. We don't even really make a dent into our Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween candy haul.

4:15pm - Earlier in the day we meet Hello Kitty, my absolute favourite character, outside her store and I spy a few things that might just need to come home with me. We decide to come back later as we'll be going on water rides and don't want anything to get wet or damaged. Before we leave we pop in and I see the most adorable stuffed toy that will go perfectly on my bed. I go to buy it myself when my Mum asks if I'd like it for my Christmas. She then realises that she only has about $15 in cash on her, enough for food etc. so I pay for it on my card and she promises to pay me back when we get home. It comes to $26.50.

6:05pm - KFC is just unreal in the U.S. of A. I have a popcorn chicken meal which comes with a portion of the dreamiest potato wedges (honestly guys, I have had dreams about them since returning home) and a drink. It's around $6.50 and I am stuffed afterwards.

8:30pm - Despite a big dinner, I decide to crack into my tub of Halo Top ice cream and sadly, I am not impressed at all. Has anyone else tried Halo Top ice cream? For me, it was really powdery and had the strangest of aftertastes. I'm definitely glad that it only cost me a few dollars instead of the £5 a tub that it does back in the UK.

Total = $39

where to shop in orlando for bargains


10:45am - We take another trip back to the International Drive Premium Outlets in the hope that there will be some more bargains to be had. I dig deep in the baskets at the Victoria's Secret Outlet and find two more bras that fit perfectly for just $7.99 each again, taking my total to about $17 with tax.

11:30am - There's a line outside the Kate Spade New York Outlet store, much like there was last week when I managed to nab the last burgundy leather backpack in the store for around $70. Expect a blog post featuring it soon. I decide to get in line and I'm glad that I did. I spot a brown leather belt bag after it stands out right away and end up in the ever growing line in a matter of minutes. It comes to $50 with the 70% off discount and then a further 20% off.

1:00pm - We get ice cream cones from McDonald's for the car ride home. I run in and get two; one for me and one for my parents to share. It comes to $4.

5:00pm - I discover that you can buy food from certain fast food places such as TGI Fridays, Checkers, White Castle and more at supermarkets in the US, which blows my mind a little. I pick up a big bag of Arby's curly fries (I had them when I was in New York and they were SO good!) from Wal-Mart for around $4.50 and have a big plate of them for dinner that night. I'll definitely need to check out more of the frozen food section on my next US trip.

6:35pm - We head out for a wander after dinner and I make my way to Michael's which is easily one of my favourite stores in the US. I see a few different scrapbooking paper pads have 70% off and have a feeling that a lot of the sheets will make for great blog and Insta backgrounds. I pick up a mermaid pad and an astrological pad (keep an eye out for them in future posts). Instead of being $19.99 each, I pay $11.50 for both.

Total = $87

wolfgang puck express review


10:20am - We decide to check out our local strip mall (it's basically a big stretch of land with stores like Target, Best Buy, Michaels, a cinema, Petsmart, etc. all within walking or what is actually driving distance). JCPenney are doing door busters (deals that are only on as the doors open) so we have a look inside. I end up buying a big fluffy back support pillow like one you'd see in Legally Blonde or a college student's dorm in a movie for $8.99. That works out at around £5 for something that would easily be £30 or £40 on Amazon back home.

1:15pm - Another cheap meal for lunch. This time I have two buttermilk chicken tenders (these are just $2 for 2), a large fries and a large drink. It comes to just over $5.

2:55pm - I decide to start packing some of my purchases away into my suitcase solely to see whether or not I can actually fit the JCPenney back pillow into it. It just fits and takes up about a third of the case. Remember that time when I did hand luggage only? Well, that's certainly not happening this time!

5:25pm - We rather foolishly head to Disney Springs on a Saturday night and as can be expected, it's pretty busy. I have a look in World Of Disney, the Christmas store and Sephora but they're all packed with people making it difficult to get a good look around. We vow to go on a week night or earlier in the day next week.

6:20pm - After years of saying that we'll try it, we finally find Wolfgang Puck Express tucked away in a much quieter spot at Disney Springs. As we've never been before we get a selection of things to share. We go for a hand fired pizza, a mac and cheese (my Mum's go-to dish) and two fries between us along with refillable fountain drinks. I put in $10 for my share of the bill.

Total = $23.99

uk travel blogger in orlando florida


9:50am - After a great visit two years ago when we were here, we make the trip out to LEGOLAND Florida. We are very kindly provided with complimentary tickets but parking is $17. My Dad pays this in cash.

10:10am - We head straight for the newest and most exciting ride; The Great LEGO Race Virtual Reality Coaster. Despite getting there for the park opening, the line is 30 minutes long but we decide to wait in it. We drag my Dad, who hates rides onto it, exclaiming that it's obviously made for children since we're at LEGOLAND. Oh how wrong we were! The virtual reality aspect was really cool but because you can't see the track, you have no idea when to brace for a rough turn or a drop. I leave it with what feels like whiplash despite zero warnings of anything like that possibly happening beforehand. And as our car comes down the last straight the whole coaster slams to a halt. After ten minutes or so sat in the blazing hot sun we find out that it's BROKEN DOWN! We actually have to be rescued from our car and taken down to the ground by staff one at a time!

12:40pm - After checking out a few more rides (with a bit of a sore and stiff neck) we decide to call it a day and head for the car.

1:10pm - I spot that there's a TJ Maxx not too far away (I definitely visited pretty much every TJ Maxx within a 50 mile radius of us!) so we head there next whilst we're still out in Winter Haven and I'm so glad that we did. I manage to get a double ended jade roller, an Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick and liquid highlighter, a Too Faced rainbow strobing brush and much more. My total comes to $71 but for what I get, I'm more than happy to pay that. Again, check out my big US beauty haul blog post to see everything in more detail.

1:30pm - My parents won two free snack size McFlurries when we were last at McDonald's (it's the exact same as the Monopoly stickers over here). They redeem them and the snack size in the US is about double the size of our normal ones back here. I get a cone which comes to about $1.75.

2:30pm - Mum buys the most incredible Hello Kitty cake from Wal-Mart to cheer us up after our slightly traumatic day at LEGOLAND. We each have a rather big slice once we get back to the villa.

6:00pm - We take it easy for the rest of the night and have dinner in the house from groceries we picked up at Publix earlier in the week. We watch a few Family Feuds (why don't we have Steve Harvey here in the UK at all?! Netflix, get on it!) and spot that The Haunting is on TV On Demand. Me and my Mum love horror films and have been looking for this one on DVD, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc. for years. It's pretty cheesy but brings back good memories.

Total = $72.75

Weekly total = $622.31 (eek!)

So there's what I spent during a week in Orlando, Florida. Obviously this is nowhere near what I would usually spend at home but I had been saving up for two whole years for this specific trip back to the US. I hope you enjoyed seeing both what I got up to and what I spent whilst I was over there.

Let me know if you'd like for these money diary style posts to be a regular feature, especially as I show a 'normal' week in my life or if you'd like to see a Christmas shopping week version or anything else money or saving related.

Are you as fascinated as I am by reading money diaries like these? Have you ever been to Orlando or would you like to visit in the future? And what do you spend the most on each week (food, shopping, entertainment or the bare necessities)?


Sunday, 11 November 2018

The Big US Beauty Haul

us beauty haul

Despite only originally having a couple of beauty products on my list of things to look for when I got the US, clearly that all went awry, mainly when I got to to TJ Maxx, the American version of TK Maxx.

So let's get straight into it. Here is the big US beauty haul;

the creme shop hello kitty sheet mask

I actually never even thought about checking out the TJ Maxx beauty section until, from afar, I saw Hello Kitty ushering me over. I couldn't resist picking up some of the Hello Kitty for The Creme Shop sheet masks. They were just too adorable to resist. I mean, how cute are these?! Let me know if you'd like to see a stand alone blog post on what I thought of these after I've tried them all.

tj maxx makeup finds

After being ushered over by Hello Kitty and her friends, I had a proper look through the beauty stands for the first time, to ultimately be met with some absolutely unreal finds! My jaw nearly hit the floor when I saw the likes of Anastasia Beverly Hills, Too Faced, Kat Von D, BECCA and so much more all for ridiculously good prices. And after a bit of digging I came away with some real treasures.

I got one of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Glow Highlighters, which were something silly like $7.99 instead of £26 and one of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks in the shade Catnip for the same price. Both were completely brand new and hadn't even been opened!

Then I spotted something really exciting; the Too Faced Life's A Festival palette! I'd seen this collection come out at the start of Summer but couldn't justify buying another palette, that was until I saw that it was $24.99 so basically less than £20 when you do the conversion. The fact that it's still selling on the likes of Cult Beauty and Debenhams for full price back here in the UK just blew my mind and I'm so glad that I did pick it up.

I then started to keep an eye out for more of that collection on future trips but wasn't as lucky to find the Unicorn highlighter or bronzer until I spotted the Unicorn Strobing Brush, which I just had to get. I mean, look at it! And right next to it were some of the Real Technique's Brush Crush brushes. I'd heard a lot of good things about the foundation brush so I grabbed that too for just $5.99 along with a gorgeous Essie polish in the shade Knee-High Life, which was just $3.99.

tj maxx beauty finds

I had a microfibre towel of some sorts for drying my hair on my list of things to buy in America as I had a feeling that I would be able to find one over there. I just so happened to go down the next beauty aisle in TJ Maxx when I saw this turban towel. They had them in a variety of different colours and for just $4.99 I couldn't say no. After photographing my haul for this blog post, I've now put it to the test and it is so much better than using a traditional towel.

I'd also been looking at investing in a jade roller but had been put off by the crazy expensive prices over here so when I saw a double ended one at that, for just $9.99, I simply had to add it to my basket. Then on another trip to a different TJ Maxx (I honestly think I visited every single one within a 50 mile radius of where we were staying) I spotted a rose quartz roller for $12.99, which I pretty much justified primarily because it looked pretty. I then spied this glitter gel mask hanging close by and grabbed this too. Again, at $3.99 it felt like an absolute steal.

TK Maxx have definitely got some serious work to do to catch up with their American counterpart. I mean, why is the makeup section always a used and everything has been opened kind of deal here?! Have you ever found anything in TK Maxx that isn't like that?

sephora haul 2018

Apart from the holiday sets, which you might have already seen in my The Big Sephora Holiday Sets Haul blog post, I only picked up a couple of other things from Sephora that I'd had my eye on for a while and that was the Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner travel kit, a Huda Beauty Lip Strobe and a Sephora brand eye makeup brush set.

I also picked up a few bits from Target namely this Pure Hydration eos, clear Maybelline Great Lash Mascara and e.l.f. Gentle Peeling Exfoliant. I'm definitely excited to give the e.l.f. and eos products a try in the cold Winter months.

victoria's secret beauty haul

A few doors down from Sephora, I popped into PINK where I got really excited as I'd been looking for a mousse moisturiser, as anything to help make moisturising my whole body on the daily quicker and easier would be very much appreciated. They were doing a deal where every body product was just $7 instead of the regular price of $16.50, plus you got a free face mask with each body product. The reason that I only picked up two bottles was the fact that Victoria's Secret and in turn PINK had opened in Glasgow City Centre whilst I was away so I had a feeling that I could always get more back home, even if not for that kind of price. I've already tried the mousse and it is SO good! I'm such a big fan of it. I can't wait to give the two PINK face masks a try too.

And in Victoria's Secret I grabbed this fragranced body lotion that was down to just $4.99 as it's a bit of a tradition of mine to try one of their sale or reduced body bits whilst I'm over there and this one is just divine! It's got a marshmallow base which is easily one of my favourite scents.

So those are just some of the beauty bits that I thankfully managed to fit into my suitcase to bring home with me on this trip. If you haven't already seen my Big Sephora Holiday Sets Haul blog post be sure to check that out as well and there will be another US beauty haul coming your way in the next few weeks and that will be a dedicated Bath & Body Works haul.

Have you been enjoying my US beauty hauls? If so, what's your favourite thing that I managed to pick up? And are there any US stores or brands that you would be sure to visit if you were there?


Friday, 9 November 2018

The Soap & Glory It's In The Calendar! Advent Calendar

soap and glory advent calendar

If you saw my recent blog post on the 2018 Marks & Spencer beauty advent calendar, where you'll also find a giveaway to win your own, you will know how impressed I was, particularly with the value for money and product choice in that specific calendar. I also shared some of my other favourites, which you'll find at the bottom of this blog post and this one from Soap & Glory easily made it onto that list.

Whether you're a Soap & Glory soaperfan or simply looking for an advent calendar that is under the £50 mark, you really can't go wrong with the Soap & Glory It's In The Calendar! advent calendar this year.

soap and glory advent calendar review

So let's see exactly what you get in this year's calendar;

  • Clean On Me™ Creamy Shower Gel Pod x 2
  • Rich & Foamous™ Shower And Bath Body Wash Pod x 2
  • Sugar Crush™ Fresh And Foamy Body Wash Pod x 2
  • Scrub Of Your Life™  Body Buffer 50ml
  • Righteous Butter™ Body Moisturizer 50ml
  • Hand Food™  Non-Greasy Hydrating Hand Cream 50ml
  • Heel Genius™ Amazing Foot Cream Marvel 50ml
  • Original Pink™ Body Spray 45ml
  • Thick & Fast™ High Definition Collagen-Coat™ Mascara 10ml
  • Sexy Mother Pucker™ Lip Gloss In Bare Enough 3ml
  • Sexy Mother Pucker™ Lip Gloss In Stardust 3ml
  • Sexy Mother Pucker™ Lip Gloss In Candy Queen 3ml
  • Crazy Sexy Kohl™ Twist-Up Eyeliner In Smoulder 0.3G
  • Crazy Sexy Kohl™ Twist-Up Eyeliner In What A Night 0.3G
  • Crazy Sexy Kohl™ Twist-Up Eyeliner In Foil In Love 0.3G
  • Crazy Sexy Kohl™ Twist-Up Eyeliner In Grapevine 0.3G
  • Crazy Sexy Kohl™ Twist-Up Eyeliner In Cocoa Bean 0.3G
  • Pillow Plump™ Lip Gloss In Clearvoyant 4ml
  • Pillow Plump™ Lip Gloss In Nude In Town 4ml
  • Pillow Plump™ Lip Gloss In Pinkwell 4ml
  • Tweezers

soap and glory advent calendar 2018

I love the mix of bath, makeup and body products and the fact that you have 24 doors to open instead of just 12, like many of the other drugstore calendars on the market at the moment. I also love the cute little sayings behind each door and it would definitely be one of those calendars that you look forward to opening each morning.

I have seen some people be quite critical of the fact that there are so many single use shower and body wash pods included in this calendar but I actually find them quite handy for overnight trips, holidays and mini breaks, especially when you're staying somewhere that doesn't necessarily provide shower gel or more than one bar of soap.

soap and glory 2018 advent calendar

I'm particularly interested in finally trying some more of the Soap & Glory makeup range, primarily the Crazy Sexy Kohl eyeliners. It's also nice to see a full size of their iconic Thick & Fast Mascara included in this iteration of the advent calendar. Plus, as this is part of the Boots Christmas gifting range, you'll be able to get this in the 3 for 2 mix and match deal. Now that's a winner in my eyes and definitely another reason why it's my favourite drugstore advent calendar this year!

The Soap & Glory It's In The Calendar! advent calendar is available now from Boots for £40 online and in-store.

Here are some more of my top picks;

Are you a fan of beauty advent calendars? If so, have any caught your eye this year? And what do you think of the products included in this years Soap & Glory advent calendar


Wednesday, 7 November 2018

The CCW Blogger Road Trip To St Andrews

st andrews scotland travel guide

Back in May of this year, I attended the best blogging event that I'd ever been to; the CCW blogger road trip to Callander. So I was beyond excited to be invited along on the next blogger road trip, this time to St Andrews.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

The 2018 Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar (+ Giveaway To WIN Your Own!)

marks and spencer beauty advent calendar contents

Every year more and more brands, websites and stores jump on the advent calendar bandwagon and 2018 looks set to be one of the most exciting years yet, when it comes to what is available for a whole range of tastes and budgets. 

Many of the advent calendars are already online and in store, ready for you to pick up in anticipation of December 1st and my favourite beauty advent calendar is now for sale online, where it always sells out at a lightning pace. It should also be available in your local store as well. And that favourite is; the Marks & Spencer beauty advent calendar.

m&s beauty advent calendar 2018

It launched officially on Thursday and I've got to hand it to the Marks & Spencer team, they've hit it out of the park once again. Much like last year, the calendar is £35 when you spend £35 or more on home, clothing or beauty but I have a feeling that you'll have no problem doing just that. If you've got Christmas gifts to buy for friends, colleagues or relatives, you really can't go wrong with Marks & Spencer. They've also really upped their beauty hall game in recent years and I was so happy to see that reflected in this year's advent calendar.

m&s advent calendar 2018 contents

So let's see what you get in the Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar this year;

  • Nuxe Luxurious Body Cream 
  • Diego Dalla Palma Eye Pencil 
  • Eyeko Lash Alert Mascara 
  • Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Overnight Recovery 
  • The Hero Project Hyasoft Instant Moisture Boost 
  • This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray 
  • This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up Mask, Moisturiser and Primer in One 
  • Skyn Iceland Berry Lip Fix with Wintered Red Algae 
  • Phillip Kingsley Pomegranate & Cassis Elasticizer 
  • Leighton Denny High Performance Nail Colour 
  • Living Proof 5-in-1 Styling Treatment 
  • Studio 10 Lip Perfecting Balm Gloss 
  • Pur Afterglow Skin-Perfecting Powder Highlighter 
  • Filorga Time-Filler Eyes 
  • Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner 
  • L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream Advanced Anti-Aging Skincare 
  • L’Occitane Verbena Shower Gel 
  • Autograph Blusher Brush 
  • M&S Formula Absolute Ultimate Sleep Cream 
  • Prai Ageless Throat & Décolletage Crème 
  • Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream 
  • Pixi Rose Tonic 
  • Autograph Luminosity Luxe Multi Bronzer 
  • Ren V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream 
  • Shay & Blue Black Tulip Natura Spray Fragrance

In my opinion, this beauty advent calendar is easily one of the best both in terms of value for money and actual products included. There's a really nice mix of well established beauty brands, ones you might not have tried yet and M&S's own products. I also feel like it appeals to such a wide age range and is one that could easily be shared by mothers and daughters, sisters, friends, colleagues etc. or you could keep it all for yourself. And with a value of £280, can you really resist picking one up?

marks and spencer beauty advent calendar

For a chance to win your very own Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent calendar in time for December 1st, be sure to enter using the Rafflecopter entry form below;

a Rafflecopter giveaway There will be one Rafflecopter winner picked at random - Prize issued by me - Open internationally

I'll be sharing another one of my top beauty advent calendar picks later in the week but until then, here are some of my favourites for Christmas 2018;

Are you a fan of beauty advent calendars? If so, have any caught your eye this year? And what do you think of the brands and products included in this years M&S beauty advent calendar? Have you made sure to enter?

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