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Sunday, 18 September 2016

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate Review

For many years I'd been looking for one thing and one thing only. I'd been searching for that single product that would totally transform my skin and change it from the oily mess it had been since I was 13 to something much more tolerable. I'd tried many different things, most of them being different primers or powders, and then one day I did something I don't normally do; I gave into the hype. 

Normally I am one to wait for new releases to settle down in the blogging scene before deciding whether to buy it or not. If a product still gets major attention 6 months after launch then I will look into whether it would suit my skin type/tone or not before, most probably, purchasing. I don't know what it was about The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate that made me act so out of character (maybe it was the word 'youth' or my oh so desperate attempt to not get wrinkles as I approach my 30's) but for some reason I picked this up not long after launching. 

I wasn't expecting this Concentrate to have any effect on my oily skin, but little did I know, this one product would change my skin type for the better. But more on that later. 

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Review - best moisturiser for oily skin

Firstly let's get into a little run down of what this product is and what it claims to do. What's probably most important to note is that this Concentrate is organic which means now nasty surprises in the ingredient's that could irritate your skin.  

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate is designed to, in the words of The Body Shop, enhance your surface skin condition, leaving it looking smoother, fresher and healthier and I can confirm it does all this. The Concentrate sinks into the skin straight away and leaves it feeling fully hydrated in a matter of seconds. A little goes a long way with this one and you only need a drop or two to moisturise the whole face and neck. 

Although amazing for hydration and keeping my skin looking and feeling soft and healthy, this little miracle in a bottle has totally transformed my skin. It was not something that I had expected from this product as I wasn't looking to it as a tool to improve my skin type, but this little bottle has made my oily skin soooo much less shinny then it has ever been before. Gone are the days of constant blotting, powdering or screaming bloody murder at my, can't even be passed off as very dewy, skin. Sometimes, if I've forgotten to put this on before bed, I can even look at my skin in the day and think it looks a little dry. This is not something I ever thought I would say.

Now I do have to be honest with you. I've been using The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate for almost nine months now and my skin has started to ever so slightly slip back to its oily ways, but a huge emphasis on the slightly. Maybe my skin has just got used to the product and I could do with having a break from it for a while or maybe it's because I'm doing long commutes and once I settle in Manchester my skin will calm down. Either way my skin is nowhere near as bad it was a year ago. Yes I have to occasionally powder or blot my face but it's only once or twice a day; not every time I go to the ladies like before. 

As far as I'm aware this Concentrate is helping my skin stay youthful and no fine lines have appeared since using, but at the ripe old age of *coughs* 27, I won't find out if this is really working for a few years I guess. My skin does look healthier and much more hydrated than before and most of all...much less shiny. 

Basically, if you're looking for a quick run down, I would highly recommend his Concentrate to anyone who wants a great moisturiser that quickly impacts the skin without a huge price tag (£32 for a 50ml bottle). But most of all, The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate is an absolute must for you oily skin people out there who are desperate to reduce that shine. 

Have you tried The Body Shop Drops of Youth range? Are you as much of a fan as I am? What's your moisturiser of choice if not and, to anyone with oily skin, what products do you use to keep the shine at bay?

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx 
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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Kat Von D hits the UK

If you haven't been living under a rock over the last week you will have heard the news which is like music to any beauty bloggers ears. You'll know that Kat Von D beauty is now, fiiiinally, available in the UK thanks to Debenhams online. 

If you didn't already know, Kat Von D make up has a super cult following in the US due to its high pigmentation, amazing longevity and great coverage. The fact we can now pick it up in the UK makes me happier than words could ever describe. 

I am very lucky to have been able to pick up some Kat Von D make up when I visited New York last year and here are the products that I recommend you defiantly pick up now we don't have to pay crazy delivery charges from Sephora. 

Kat Von D Beauty hits the UK

If you only pick up one thing then you need to get the Shade and Light Eye Contour palette. I haven't seen any other palette that has such lovely shades where each one is actually wearable. Not only are they amazing quality but truly last all day. The range of colours go from neutrals to rusts to your standard smokey eye shades. To me, this palette has all the crucial shades you need to make any amazing eye look. They blend amazingly, have a lovely soft buttery feel and have no fall down when applying. Even better, they're laid out in a style that makes it easy to pick shades that go well together. Also, just a little note, all shades are matte which is an absolute must for me. 

Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Shadow Palette Review

My next recommendation would be that you pick up any of the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks. Although these aren't as long lasting as the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain, the longevity of the Kat Von D Everlastig Liquid Lipstick is incredible. They don't dry the lips out at all and have never creased or cracked on me. The shade range is amazing too. You've probably heard all the buzz about the shades Lolita and Lolita II and if you want my honest opinion, if you were only going to pick one, I'd go for the Lolita II because it's a much more flattering shade - for all skin tones. I also have Beloved, a lovely pinky/orangey shade, which I'd definitely recommend. 

Kat Von D long Everlasting lipstick review

You've also probably heard all the hype about the Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour palette and yes it is incredible, but...if I was very honest with myself I could have probably lived without picking it up. Don't get me wrong, I use Subconscious and Shadowplay (the two lightest matte contour shades) all the time and totally love them, but Sombre is way too dark for me. I do try and use the highlighter shades and, although I'm not one for adding shimmer to my already shiny face, I do occasionally like to add a bit of extra glow. These highlighters are super matte and I think they don't really seem to do what they are meant to. I don't really notice when I'm wearing them and can't see the difference from when I am compared to when I'm not. Lyric is great for setting concealer as is almost like a banana powder, but if Subconscious and Shadowplay were sold separately I would be much happier with just having those two shades. Obviously if you are an MUA or hugely into contouring then you would 100% benefit from having the Shade and Light Contour palette in your kit. 

Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour Palette Review

Finally, the Kat Von D Lock It Creme Concealer is a great one for those who have dark circles and want their concealer to last all day. This concealer blends into the skin lovely and doesn't cease at all. Like with all of Kat Von D's make up it's known for being extremely long lasting and very high coverage. It really is a great concealer but features at the bottom of my recommendations as I am a huge concealer addict and although I love this one, I do have others I prefer as my dark circles are beyond extreme. Saying that I do use this everyday with other concealers, you know, to really build that coverage. 

Kat Von D Lock It In Creme Concealer Review

So that's it, my top picks for what you should be buying now we have access to the wonder that is Kat Von D Beauty. I have just order some of the foundation, fingers crossed I picked the right shade, so I will have to let you know my thoughts on that. Update from when I drafted this post this morning, it turns out there was an issue on the website and the pictures didn't match the actual shade so I'm getting it for free, plus the shade I actually want - that's amazing customer service if you ask me. 


Have you tried any Kat Von D make up? What are you favourite products and shades? Have you ordered anything from Debenhams today or will you be making an order soon? Let me know below. 


Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx
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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo Review

You know something is really working when it leaves your skin tingling in a good way and that is certainly the case when it comes to Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo.

Sadly I appeared to develop a dry scalp over the last year or so, and for months I wasn't able to figure out what was causing it. I'd annoyingly tried everything, using less products, washing my hair more, washing my hair less, but nothing was helping so I really needed to rethink my hair care situation. After getting nowhere fast with this, it was eventually a trip to the hair dresses where I found my hair knight in shinning armour. I was recommended the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo and, so far, it's doing a pretty decent job.

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo Review

This shampoo is designed to invigorate your scalp and wake up your hair but I've found it's been great for my dry scalp. It recommends you only use a pea size amount to wash your whole hair but I find that for thick hair like mine a small amount doesn't lather up enough to wash from root to tip. Because of this, and the fact it is a tad on the expensive side, (£11.55 - way more then I'd normally spend on shampoo) I use that pea sized amount and only wash my problem area, the roots and scalp. Of course I then wash the rest of my hair with some normal, cheaper shampoo!

I leave it on the roots for a few minutes and it really starts to work its magic by getting the scalp tingling. Not only does it smell amazing and fill you're whole bathroom with a refreshing tea tree scent, when I use it in the morning I find the tea tree smell really helps to wake me up.

Since using the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree shampoo I've noted a real improvement with my dry scalp; to the point where the problem actually isn't there anymore. I started off using the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo every time I washed but quickly reduced the use down to once a week, and my dry scalp doesn't seem to be coming back. I've being using it for a good 3 months and have barely made it half way down the bottle so, despite the price tag, it's actually worth the money.

I've seen others compare this to the Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo for the reason that they both claim to detox the hair. However, I have to say they are totally different. The Sunday Shampoo helps get rid of any build up from products such as gels, sprays and creams, and although using these products could be the cause of some peoples dry scalps, the Sunday Shampoo doesn't sooth or calm the scalp like the Paul Mitchell shampoo does.

All in all this shampoo is a must for anyone who is having scalp issues, and actually, it would be great for those that aren't too. It's made my hair shinier, healthier and I even think it's made my hair cleaner for longer. I couldn't recommend it enough. 

Have you guys tried this shampoo? If so what are you thoughts? Or do you use any other shampoo's to nourish, strengthen or help repair your hair. Let me know below.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx 
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Sunday, 4 September 2016

Why I Can't Wait for Autumn

For those of you living in England I think we can safely say that we are not going to be having a summer at all this year. Although it hasn't been the wettest we've seen in recent years, and although we have had some sunny weeks, I think I can count the amount of boiling hot day's we've had on one hand. And although I'm not complaining (too much), for someone who hasn't had a summer holiday this year, I have missed the sun and heat dearly. 

Sadly, as the nights are starting to draw in and I am less and less likely to see a nice bright sun on my weather forecaster in the morning, I have come to the conclusion that it's time to just forget about the sun and move onto the next phase of the year...Autumn.

Although I love summer and am rather resentful that my skin hasn't felt sun-kissed all year, I think Autumn is my favourite season of all.  Here are 10 reasons why I just can't wait for Autumn to fully kick in.


1. Hot drinks in takeaway cups. I think nothing beats strolling around with your favourite tea, coffee or hot chocolate in hand at the weekend, especially if you're heading off on a nice country walk...which leads me nicely to my second point.

2. Long country walks! Especially at the beginning of Autumn where it is still fairly warm and you only need a light jacket and a woolly hat to keep you at the perfect temperature. For me, you can't get better then walking down paths full of crunchy orange and red leaves.

3. The colours. Autumn brings out the most beautiful shades which can only be described as 'deep', 'burnt' or 'golden.' The whole country turns this lovely shade of dark orange and I totally love it. 


4. Woolly everything! I love that we get to wrap up warm in woolly jumpers, hats, scarfs, blankets...the list goes on. I just love being wrapped up warm in general to be honest, to be fair I am always cold so Autumn means I no longer get funny looks when I say I'm freezing!

5. It's an excuse to stay in, cuddle under a blanket and watch a good DVD. I don't know if I am the only one to do this but the amount of films and DVD's I watch during Autumn and Winter is pretty impressive. Autumn is a great excuse to get cosy on the sofa and binge watch as much Disney as I possibly can. 

6. Warm hearty foods. Although I am not one to enjoy the typical flavours of Autumn (I'm talking pumpkin, cinnamon and spices) I do love how the chilly air invites soups, stews and, most importantly, Sunday roasts to keep my belly satisfied. Noting beats gravy on every meal, and sadly you just can't do that in Summer.

 7. The Autumn wardrobe. I'm not just talking woollen tops and knitted jumpers, I'm talking the aubergine, mustard and chestnut colours that start to fill your wardrobe. Oh and layering, don't even get me started on layering all my clothes. 

8. Everything just looks prettier...there isn't much more I can say on this, it's rather self-explanatory, everything just looks beautiful in Autumn. 


9. We move from beer gardens to cosy country pubs. Any pub with a fire to sit in front of and a wooden, cosy interior becomes my new favourite hangout spot. Sitting for the whole of a Saturday evening in a warm, homely pub with a good oaky glass of wine is just my idea of heaven. 

10. Finally, my absolute favourite thing about Autumn is the scents. Any excuse to pull out a fig candle or a musk room scent and I'm one happy bunny. Not only do I get to fill my home with lovely smells, the outside because a big natural amazing place to discover with your nose. Trees after a big rain storm or crisp mornings are just some of the scents I can't wait to have get over the next few weeks.

So that's it, just some of the things that I love about the colder months and just some things that help with the change from Summer to Autumn. To me they're all things to get very excited about and I can't wait for Autumn to get started.

What is your favourite thing about Autumn and what are you looking forward to the most as the seasons start to change again? Let me know below.

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx

All pictures came from the amazing photographers that upload to Unsplash so big thank you to them.


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Sunday, 19 June 2016

The Cosmetic Company Store High End Beauty Bargains

It really is amazing what a designer outlet centre can do to you when you're trying to save money! It was all going so well until heading to Bicester Village was suggested as one of our weekend activities. "Sure, it's all high end and designer brands," I thought to myself "I won't be able to afford anything anyway so I can just look at some pretty clothes...I'll be fine." Turns out I wasn't! 

Walking past Reiss, Armarni, Mulberry and Gucci, I was doing very well. Yes these amazing brands were heavily discounted but they were still well in the three figure price tags; not something my purse could justify. But then something bad happened, then I hit The Cosmetics Company Store!

I've not heard of this shop before, and maybe it is just specialised to Bicester Village but wow was it amazing. There were numerous high end make up brands with very heavy discounts and a great range of things to choose from. With brands such as Jo Malone, Mac, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and Bumble and Estée Lauder (just to name a few) I knew I'd be spending some of that money I'd transferred to my savings account in an instant. 

I have to quickly mention that although the brand range was incredible (I missed Clinique, Smashbox and Origins from my first list) the over all selection of products and colour range wasn't too overwhelming; however if you dug deep enough you could find some real gems. So what did I treat myself to? 

The Cosmetic Company Store High End Beauty Bargains

First and foremost I couldn't walk past the Mac stand without picking up a lipstick. There weren't many shade that stood out to me because the majority of them were satin finishes (I'm more of a matte girl to be honest) however when I saw the much talked about Morange I just couldn't leave without it. The Morange Mac Lipstick I picked up came from one the limited ranges so came in beautiful limited packaging (however it is a permanent shade) and although it is a bit of a bolder shade then what I usually go for, I had to pick one up as I'd heard great things about it. With the £5 off price tag it was a no brainer to take it home with me as an adventurous addition to my lipstick collection. 

Then came the Bobbi Brown stand. If you read my last post all about how amazing the Bobbi Brown blush in Pretty Coral is, you'll know exactly why I couldn't leave without another shade. I went for Pastel Pink which is, well, exactly what it says on the tin; a lovely pastel pink. Just like with Pretty Coral, the colour pay off is amazing and the longevity is incredible and with £5.50 off, it brought the cost down from high end (which it is totally worth by the way) to a very reasonable one. The Bobbi Brown Pastel Pink blush is definitely a very beautiful shade, that's for sure.

I also couldn't leave the Bobbi stand without putting one of her much loved face masks into my basket. I went for the Bobbi Brown Instant Detox mask as my skin is a bit all over the place at the moment. I've moved to a new office and new surroundings, heating systems and commutes always throw my skin into a tantrum; a detox is definitely in order - plus the packaging is oh so very Instagramable. This was also the biggest bargain out of my beauty purchases (yes I bought some homeware too...disappointed face emoji) with a lovely £8.25 saving!

Finally I couldn't go past the Origins stand without picking up the cult favourite Super Spot Remover now could I? I've heard great things about this but wasn't prepared to folk out nearly £15 for it, however with almost a £5 discount; how could I refuse? I've already had to use the Origins Super Spot Remover once since getting it and so far it's worked miracles; definitely worth the hype. 

I'm sure I will be doing reviews on all of these products soon but I just had to get a post up to tell you all about the amazing collections they have at The Cosmetic Company Store. Anyone living near or visiting Oxfordshire should definitely pop in and get themselves some bargains. I made an amazing saving of £23.50 on these four products!

Have any of you tried any of these products? What do you think of them? Or have any of you visited The Cosmetic Company Store before? If not, do you know where else we can get amazing beauty discounts?

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx
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Sunday, 5 June 2016

Bobbi Brown Blush in Pretty Coral Review and Swatches

If you are a regular follower of A Day In The Life of a Northern Girl you will be very aware from my posts and Instagram that I am a little obsessed with blusher. I went though a phase where I went totally blusher crazy and had to rein it in a little bit for a while...that was until I had my birthday!

Each year, as I get a little older, I like to make myself feel better by buying a new highend make up product. This product has to be something I couldn't justify buying on a regular basis (or more specifically without that extra birthday money) and I usually like to go for a brand that I haven't had many products from or I've never bought from before. This year that brand was Bobbi Brown.

I finally settled on getting myself a new blush (as I suppose it had been a while since I banned myself from getting more) and with the help of one of the lovely assistants in the Covent Garden store; I chose Pretty Coral. Now, I wouldn't say that this blush is a true coral tone so I'm not sure just how accurate that name is, in fact it's actually verging on a deep pink shade. However, that aside, this is one of the best blushes I have ever had.

Pretty Coral is a new shade that has been added to Bobbi's matte range (shimmer's and cream's are available) however don't let that put you off if you like a glow to the cheeks as this Bobbi Brown blush does leave the skin with a little highlight. There are no flakes of glitter or shimmer in this blush (which is perfect for me) but it certainly doesn't leave the skin looking dull or flat like some matte products can.

Bobbi Brown Blush in Pretty Coral Review

So why exactly am I so in love with this blush? For starters the consistency of the Bobbi Brown Blush in Pretty Coral is amazing. It's a finely pressed power that has the consistency of a cream blush once rubbed into the skin. It's not the most buttery of consistencies, noting beats Mac when it comes to cream like powder blushes, but the texture of this blush is lovely and silky.

The colour pay off is also amazing. Sadly it didn't quite pick up as strong on the skin as it does in real life when I tried to take pictures, but it really does pack a punch. You only need a couple of taps to your cheeks when applying to get a natural pop of colour. It is very easy to go too heavy with this blush so I recommend starting off with a small amount and building up the product until your happy with the colour.  I've had a lot of lovely comments from people since I started wearing this blush, with the lads at work even noticing "you have some of that stuff on your cheeks...it looks nice" - men have such a way with words!

The point I am trying to make with this is just how nice and noticeable the Bobbi Brown Pretty Coral blush is. I wear blusher everyday for work but it was only when I started wearing Pretty Coral that people started to notice. I also really love how this shade looks on my face and I think it would work for any skin tone too. I'm not pale but I'm not olive toned either; I'm sort of smack bang in between and this colour gives a really nice natural flush to my face. 

Bobbi Brown Blush Pretty Coral Swatch

Finally, my absolute favourite thing about this blusher is its longevity. Ok it's not as prominent at the end of the day as it is when I first apply it, but it is still there when I get home after work; which can't be said for any of the other blushes in my collection (including Mac, Topshop or Sephora). When Bobbi says it is long-lasting she's really not lying!

All in all this is definitely the best blusher I have ever had for 1) colour pay off 2) a natural looking shade and 3) staying put on my face. I couldn't recommend the Bobbi Brown Pretty Coral blush enough. No, seriously, for only £19.50 you need to go out and buy it now!

Have you tried Bobbi Brown blushes? What's your favourite shade? Are there any other blusher brands I should be adding to my collection? Let me know below.

Thanks for reading
Hannah
xxx
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Monday, 30 May 2016

Why I'm So Over London

It seems like everyone and their dog have moved to London over the last few years and yes, I may be one of those people, but my time with this city is finally come to an end and although I'm sad about it;   part of me just can't bloody wait to get out. 

Rewind 6 years and you'll hear me uttering the words "I absolutely hate London, I'll never live there in a million years!" 3 years later and there I was, driving down to East London with a van full of my worldly possessions, eating humble pie. It was a trip to visit a friend in Balham which finally changed my mind and little did I know I'd later spend two and a half years living in that exact area of South West London. Although the fact that most of my friends, along with the majority of my cousins, had all started flogging to the big smoke; it was the challenge of seeing if I could actually cope with the crazy busy lifestyle of the capital that finally drew me too it. Coming from Sheffield I always have, and always will, be a city girl. However London was a whole new level of city life that I wasn't sure I could cope with; but I sure as hell was up for the challenge. 

Now this post isn't set out to slag off London in the slightest as I have, in the majority, loved every moment. Sure it's had its ups and downs (some extremely down I must tell you) but all in all London has been amazing and there is no other place quite like it. I think everyone should live here at some point in their lives however, here are just 3 reasons as to why I'm totally over London.

Why I'm So Over London

First and foremost, and probably the main reason I'm moving back up North is because of how much it bloody costs to live here. It's no shock that living in London is stupidly expensive, in fact it seems to be all over the news right now, and I don't as much have a problem with the amount of money I've had to part with to live here as a whole; rather it's stuff we have to put up with for that cost that I have a problem with. 

Recently I read about the #rantyourrent that was spreading across the Internet. This hashtag summed up the utter crap people had to put up with whilst spending hundreds for the privilege. No surprise, the majority of people posting to this hashtag were people living in London. 

People were commenting about the poor conditions of their living arrangements along with how much they were spending. These things included, living with damp infested rooms, evil landlords and little tiny housemates that weren't on the tenancy agreement. Whilst reading the article and seeing these photos I was sad to be able to say I could relate to every outrageous point being made; and all for the cost of £1200 a month. 

Before moving to London I'd never heard of anyone just accepting the fact that their house/flat/studio came with rodents, or even worse; cockroaches. It turns out in London this is just a given. I think I know more people that have had nice then those that haven't. And before you think the quality of these flat must be awful; they're not! Although our flat in Balham wasn't the most modern, it also wasn't a horrible flat either. Sadly people in London are now just accepting that they have to pay lots for very average conditions...and mice. My flat in Sheffield was in three times better conditions, two times the size and half the price. 

3 reason's why London drives me mad

Secondly I miss being nice to strangers. When I tell work colleges who have lived in London all their lives that you are practically best friends with the stranger you sat next to in the bus by the time you're home, they just can't grasp the concept. In not asking for much just to be able to make small talk with someone on the tube without being considered a crazy person. Now, not everyone in London is rude/grumpy/miserable or all the above! In fact 99% of the people here are lovely however it is becoming increasingly common that once a person is thrown into an environment where they're on their own, surrounded by strangers, it's like all manners go out the window. On my daily commute I see so many grown adults act like stroppy huffy teenagers; it gets a little embarrassing. And what's even more embarrassing? I find myself sinking to their level!

If someone takes more than one second to get out of my way; their the idiot. If someone stops on the tube stairs to figure out which direction they need to go in; their a 'bloody tourist'. If someone doesn't move down the carriage on the train to fill all the gaps; their the most selfish person ever. What have I become?! I can't figure out which is worse, the fact that London is full of rude people or the fact I've turned into one of them.

And finally, this is more of a simple thing, and that's the food shop. Not wanting to sound like an old woman here, I miss being able to do a weekly shop and just put it in the car and take it home. In London such a easy task is made 10 times harder when a) having a car in London is almost as expensive as living here so the car remains up north b) you're forced to carry more than your weight in food, almost cutting off the blood circulation to your arm on the journey home and c) you have to dodge the whole of South London on the way back. The whole shopping task is so harder just because I live in the big city! I also just want to add that you can't even walk in a straight line in London anymore due to the amount of people you have to maneuver around...but that's a whole new rant.

Annnnd I think that is where I'll leave it, purely because I could go on forever listing off why I'm so very ready to move back up north and I don't want to bore you all. However I can't help but note, as I'm sat here in my Christmas onsie in the hotel I've been living in for the past five weeks (turns out my tenancy agreement and work notice did not run out at the same time), how I actually really have loved living in London along with the experiences and fun I've had here and how much I've grown since I made the big leap in relocating.

But, for now London, we're done.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah 
xxx
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Saturday, 21 May 2016

Jo Malone's Fragrance Combining Experience Review

As I've got older I've found it harder and harder to think of gifts to get my Mum. Over my 27 years I have bought her everything under the sun that you could possibly get a mother; from candles to perfume and a couple of pairs of slippers thrown in between. When both my parents reached a milestone birthday last year, I wanted to get them something a little extra special. For my Dad it was simple, something sentimental and something guitar related; which both went down a storm. For my Mum it was a little more difficult.

As my Mum is a HUGE lover of Jo Malone (I can't remember a Birthday/Christmas/Mother's Day gone by where she hasn't received something Jo Malone related) I wanted to get her something she hadn't had from the brand before. Through doing a little bit of research I soon learnt I could not only physically get her something she hadn't had before (a nice new shinny perfume, among other things), I could also get her something she hadn't done before. I could treat her to a whole Jo Malone experience that she'd never had...and all for no cost!

Jo Malone's Fragrance Combining Review

Jo Malone offer a number of experiences that you can do in store (or at any department counter) and they're all completely free. These experiences help customers try out a number of products allowing us to figure out which scents are best for us. For my Mum (who has been stuck on the same scent since she first fell in love with Jo Malone) I chose the Hand and Arm Massage with a Fragrance Combining consultation in order to help her pick a new fragrance that would not only smell amazing on it's own, but would also work well when mixed with her favorite sent, letting her to create a whole new scent of her own. Not only do you get to discuss and test your preferred notes with one of the lovely and extremely knowledgeable Jo Malone ladies, they also throw in a free hand and arm massage in for good measure.

The experience starts with discussing which notes and scents you prefer, along with getting help figuring out which scents would work well with the perfume you already have waiting for you at home (my Mum went for the fruity Grapefruit to complement the citrusy Lime, Basil and Mandarin). You then get to sample a number of Jo Malone fragrances that the consultant matches to your suggestions. Once you've picked your favourite, then comes the most relaxing and calming hand and arm massage you'll every have, using all the products from your chosen range.

The massage starts with the Jo Malone consultant using the Body and Hand Wash to cleanse your hands and arms, this is then gently wiped off using a Lime, Basil and Mandarin infused warm towel. Next comes a lovely hand and arm massage using the Body Cremes; which was truly needed in my case, I didn't realise how much a hand and arm massage can really help to relax you and relieve stress! Finally, you are left with a generous spritz of perfume to leave you smelling divine for the rest of the day.

I really can't recommend the Fragrance Combining experience enough. Not only was the experience as a whole a lovely, relaxing and luxurious event, the Fragrance consultant was so friendly, tentative and knowledgeable. Sadly I forgot to take note of the lovely girl's name who helped me and my Mum but she worked at the Jo Malone counter in House of Fraser at Meadowhall and I'd go back to her every time either of us want a new fragrance, that's for sure.

You can book this experience, along with a 'Scent your Wedding,' 'Scent your Home' or 'The Scent for you' experience by calling up your local Jo Malone counter, or by booking online at one of the four Jo Malone Boutiques. And don't worry guys, Jo Malone isn't leaving you out, there is also an 'Essentials for Men' experience to help you find your signature scent too. And don't forget, they are all completely complimentary.

Have any of you had any of these experiences? Is it something you would love to do as a Jo Malone fan? I think it's a great way to choose the best scent for you and, as Jo Malone has so many fragrances to choose from, it's great for customers old and new to help them find their favourite scent.

I'd like to give a huge thank you to Jo Malone at Meadowhall for making mine and my mum's day and for helping me give her the birthday treat she deserves.

As always, thanks for reading.

Hannah xxx
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Monday, 16 May 2016

Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation Review

It's not very common that I make it to the end of a foundation without wanting to go out and try something new, or that my skin has completely started to reject the product it once knew and loved. Saying that, it's not very common that I actually reach the end of a foundation at all, let alone go out and repurchase it. But I think this is all because I had never used the Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation before.

Gone are the days of constantly researching a better foundation for oily skin. Gone are the days where I'm reaching for one of my many half empty bottles that I have in my collection and gone are the days where I'm looking for the next foundation that will hopefully be THE foundation. And I have Vichy to thank for that!

Now, casting my mind way back to almost 2 years ago, I went to Vichy's launch of several new products to their Dermablend range (see that post here because there really are some amazing products in this range) and this is when the Fluid Corrective Foundation caught my eye. If you don't know much about Vichy's Dermablend range then here's the most important thing; Vichy takes pride in making this make up for even the most sensitive of skin types to use and love, and thus the healthy make up was born.

Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation Review

 So, now on to why I just love this stuff and why I haven't touched another foundation for a least a year. First of all the coverage is amazing. Now I'm not someone that has particularly bad skin but I do have a very uneven skin tone and when I do get a pesky little blemish, my God does that little thing scar my face up. It takes months for the remnants of each blemish to disappear from my face, but the Dermanblend Fluid Correction Foundation really does cover my skin flawlessly. To top it off, and help support my amazing coverage claim, it's well known that make up artists use this foundation to cover tattoos and acne...now you can't argue with that.

Next comes the formula. For a medium to thick liquid foundation the Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation feels so ridiculously light on the skin. Ok, yes if you are trying to blend a 5p sized amount onto your face you are going to feel it, but the point with this foundation is that you really don't need much to go a long way. I only use a pea's size amount on my brush then dot that round my face and this covers and blends perfectly and feels like I have nothing on my skin. One little negative about this foundation is that it can transfer if you're wearing too much, so if you're wanting a really thick layer and heavy foundation look than I definitely recommend setting it with some powder or using a setting spray.

Then we come to the 16 hours this foundation claims to stay on the skin for. Well I have to say that I don't think there has been a time where I have needed to wear this foundation for 16 hours but I know for a fact that my skin still looks great when I'm washing it off at 10pm after it's been applied at 8am. It never needs topping up throughout the day and certainly lasts a full day after suffering the morning London commute and awful office air con without being affected. Not only does it last a long time on the face, it also last's a long time in your make up collection. Due to only needing a small amount to cover my whole face, a little really does go a really long way with this foundation, it has lasted me months without even a hint of running out or needing to repurchase. 

And finally, the finish of this foundation is definitly matte so it works perfectly for oily skin types. However, if you add a little bit of highlight to the skin, or mix the foundation with a brightening moisturiser, you can certainly get a glowy look. It is hard to say anything bad about this product but sadly here comes another small negative. Unfortunately, like most foundations found in the drugstore or on the high street, the colour range isn't the best. I use Opal (number 15) which is the second lightest shade they have and I'd consider myself to have a medium skin tone. Saying that, it looks like they have added a few more shades since I first purchased it so I wouldn't let this stop you for checking to see if you can find a shade to match.

In summary:
Coverage = Flawless
Longevity = Over 14 hours
Formula = Medium but buildable
Finish = Matte
Price = £18 for 30ml

All in all I really can't say a bad thing against this foundation. For something that covers so well, lasts so long on the skin and blends so well when applying, the few minor negatives that come with it are easily forgotten. This foundation is a must for anyone with bad skin or for those that just like a decent coverage with minimal effort. It's also a great one for us shiny faced gal's.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

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Sunday, 17 April 2016

Ray-Ban Brown Classic Round Fleck Sunglasses Review

Imagine my joy when I get a sneaky little text from my mum when she is off on her jollies in South Africa saying "Ray-Ban's are really cheap out here, would you like me to pick you up a pair?" Well there was only one answer to that question and that was "erm..hell bloody yes!" So skip forward a few weeks and I am now the proud owner of my forth and favourite pair of Ray-Ban's; the Round Fleck Sunglasses in Classic Brown.


I love the Ray-Ban Brown Classic Round Fleck glasses not only for the tortoiseshell styled rims (I am a sucker for a bit of tortoiseshell) but also for the feminine touch they give to the whole 'round sunnies' trend that's happening at the moment. I do have a similar pair to these (the Ray-Ban 2180's) but they have plastic around the whole frame; including the bridge and arm. As you can see with the Round Fleck Sunglasses, these two sections are made of gold metal; which again really adds that feminine touch

Ray-Ban Classic Round Fleck Sunglasses styled with hair down

When it comes to buying sunglasses I always like to see what they look like with both my hair up and down as I think my hair style can change the shape of my face and therefore my whole look that day. As you can see the glasses suit both styles but I think they suit me better when my hair is up. I'm not sure if it is just in my head, or if it is an actual fact, but I think these glasses look softer on me when my hair is in a pony compared to loose.

Ray-Ban Classic Round Fleck Sunglasses styled with hair up

So whilst everyone is going crazy for the Dior 'So Real' frames, I just can't seem to stray away from my beloved Ray-Ban's. I'm really not one to buy expensive branded handbags or clothes as I feel they can be a waste of money (that I just can't justify) however when it comes to sunglasses; Ray-Ban is a brand that I will always love and will always stick with. They're like Pokemon...I've just got to catch them all!!!

Let me know what your favourite brand of sunglasses is, and if your's is Ray-Ban, then which style is your favourite? Also let me know if you prefer them with my hair up or down cause I'd love your thoughts.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx
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