The Lazy Girl's Guide To Tanning: 'No Effort Required' Products To Leave You Sunkissed

Pale and pasty skin may be on trend in the winter months, but as soon as the sun comes out to play I want to apply as much fake tan as possible - without it I'm practically transluscent. Although I love the after-effects and would kill for a spray tan every week, truth be told I never actually have the time to dedicate to a thorough tanning routine. I'm more often than not applying fast drying mousse or a wash-off gel as I realise my outfit of the day includes flashing some flesh. Tanning products of years gone by required hours of prepping, the perfect application technique and a night time rolling around in dodgily dyed bedsheets... But no longer. There's a whole portfolio of products now on offer that take the stress out of tanning, allowing you to spend as little effort as possible on your tan while still looking like you've just come back from a weekend in St Tropez. Here are some of my top picks and how they can help you look a little sunkissed this summer.


Product Of The Week: Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield (A Primer, SPF & 'Blurring' Treatment In One)

I instantly know when I'm going to love a product: if it's from a brand I trust, offers up multiple benefits in one formula and feels delightful on the skin, then we're onto a winner. I had a sneaky preview of this much earlier in the year and couldn't wait to put it to the test; now I have, I can honestly say it lived up to all my expectations and more. Murad's new Invisiblur Perfecting Shield is a 5-in-1 multi-benefit product that features invisible SPF technology; if you hate sticky, white, gloopy suncare products then this is definitely for you. The transparent velvety smooth formula glides over skin to provide SPF30 protection and a practically invisible finish to the touch. Simultaneously it also blurs, primes, moisturises and protects against the signs of ageing to reveal a flawless complexion in just one step. Simple, effective and a wise investment in your skin.



The Best Campaign Lush Has Ever Done? #GayIsOK (In Fact, Gay Is More Than OK...)

Millions of men and women across the globe live in fear or abuse, persecution or imprisonment simply because of their sexuality. In 76 countries around the world, it is a crime to be gay. In 10 of those, being gay could cost you your life. In fact, there is no country in the world where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have full equality. Only this weekend was gay marriage officially legalised in all 50 American states, showing how much of a topical issue this remains even in 2015; it's incomprehensible that men and women aren't free to express their sexuality in the way they deem fit, or marry the one they love - regardless of gender. As someone who has grown up surrounded by gay, lesbian and bisexual friends, I've seen the anguish that can surface when coming to terms with ones sexuality; imagine how much harder that is when it's not even legal to love in the way you want to? In celebration of the worldwide Pride festival, Lush have created this beautiful soap bar to tell the world that Gay Is Ok. In my opinion gay is more than ok - gay just is. It's not a choice, not a conscious decision or a lifestyle; it's just as normal as a blonde vs brunette.


How To Grow Your Nails: Top Five Tips For The Perfect Looking Talons

A great manicure can make you feel polished and prepped, ready to face the day; however, chipped varnish, peeling nails and overgrown cuticles can cause us to hide our hands in shame. Although a regular visit to a manicurist is a great idea, the majority of us don't have the time or budget to stretch to superstar treatments on a bi-weekly basis. If you want your talons to look as beautiful as possible, there are simple things you can do to ensure they grow without breaking, chipping, flaking or splitting. After much trial and error, these are my top five tips to help curate the perfect talons...




Our creative industry, like many others, is constantly changing and evolving. The bloggersphere in 2015 is almost unrecogniseable as the bumbled-together-passionate-about-eyeshadow collective of five years ago - but in my opinion that's definitely a good thing. We're pushing boundaries, changing the face of media, helping the beauty industry to evolve quicker and better than ever before, illustrating that every individual has a voice if they which to share it, and proving that the power is firmly back in the hands of consumers. However, there are always issues impacting our creative outlets that are hot topics of discussion - both internally and in the wider media. I've pinpointed the five issues I think are impacting the bloggersphere right now and drilled down what this means for both bloggers and readers...



Embracing The #100Colours Little Colourful Dress Challenge With Dove Invisible Dry: Getting Colour Confident

Summer brings with it the wardrobe updates we cry out for all winter: bright colours, bold patterns, fun styles and accessorising like it's going out of fashion. There's something about slipping into a brightly coloured outfit that puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step, which is why Dove are encouraging women from across the UK to embrace colour by welcoming it into their wardrobe this sunny season. This welcome movement comes after the Dove Colour Confidence Poll revealed a huge two thirds (63%) of British women would choose a LBD for an event because of its reputation as a timeless classic - and the fact that we don't have to think about what matches! Body confidence is cited as the key factor steering women away from wearing colourful clothes, with 79% of UK women saying their skin tone, body shape and not being ‘slimmer’ are what directs them to darker colours. It's time to change!



The New Cream-To-Powder Blushers From Sleek That Are Definitely Better Than NARS

The thought of blusher used to stir up connotations of vintage ladies, English Rose complexions and a matte finish that somewhat aged the wearer. However, a flush of colour on the cheeks can update your look and provide an incredibly modern twist - if you get the texture and tone just right. Although I love premium brands, when it comes to the strength of their colours they sometimes fall a little short; it's often the more affordable names that develop a product to be reckoned with, which is exactly what's happened with Sleek's newest cream-to-powder blush. Available in six bold tones and packaged in the exact same compact as NARS, these £5.99 bargains are definitely top of my list for summer.


Free Beauty Stuff? Top Five Ways To Get Your Hands On Something For Nothing

You may well be counting down the days until payday, but what if you didn't have to splash the cash to get your hands on some fabulous beauty products? I'm all for embracing a serious shopping trip, but sometimes the buzz achieved as a result of a bargain buy or freebie is just as exciting as a new clutch bag. There are lots of ways to get your hands on something for nothing, helping to reduce your expenditure when the holiday season is fast approaching - re-styling our summer wardrobes and changing up our cash into Euros can be somewhat painful on the bank balance. It's just about being thrifty, thinking about things differently and asking politely... Here are my tips on getting yourself some free beauty stuff, so you can save your pennies for a mojito instead.




Large pores are incredibly common in all ages, both sexes and every life cycle. They unfortunately leave our complexions looking a little tired, uneven and lacking the 'bounce' that we associate with youth, so it's no surprise minimising their appearance is such a big beauty concern. With every other skincare product promising to reduce pore size or 'close' them altogether, it seems that we're all on the hunt for a solution that rids us of this annoying issue. Pores are tiny hair follicles in the skin, which take on a larger appearance when they're clogged with dirt or oil. They can become larger due to the increase of dead skin cells that gather at the base of the pore, or if you squeeze them in an attempt to remove the blackheads that often occur. Although it's not possible to 'close' them (pores are *not* doors!) it is possible to reduce their appearance and ensure your complexion looks as flawless as possible; here are four steps to integrate into your routine to ensure those pores are as hidden as possible.



You're #NeverTooOld For Acne: Introducing Avene Cleanance Expert (The Product That's Been Proven To Work)

Pimples, blemishes, breakouts and pustules: an inevitable problem during our teenage years, tackled with brightly coloured medicinally scented potions that often did more harm than good. Although the majority of us grow out of these hormonal purges, adult acne is a concern of thousands of men and women across the UK - affecting roughly 1 in 5. You’re never too old to suffer from confidence draining breakouts and painful pimples, with over 20% of the UK population suffering with some form of adult acne and all its debilitating side effects; not only can it cause embarrassment and drain confidence, but it can make the individual feel like they're totally out of control. Considering such a large proportion of adults are forced to deal with this skin issue, it's incredibly surprising that there's such a taboo around the subject. It's swept under the carpet and rarely spoken about openly and honestly, so French skincare brand Avene are championing a transparent conversation while providing a potential answer for those suffering in silence.


Jo Malone Goes Stripey: Introducing A New Look, Plus The Iconic Nutmeg & Ginger Bath Oil

A brand known for their iconic glass bottles and monochrome colour scheme, Jo Malone London have never fallen too far from the tree when it comes to their design. However, this July they're turning their entire bath and body collection stripey - starting with their iconic first fragrance of Nutmeg & Ginger. The unexpective and slightly additive warm scent is enriched with sweet almond, jojoba seed and avocado oils to soothe and hydrate the skin, while a sublime fragrance fills the air of your bathroom. You just need to run a little underneath a warm tap and release the power of the uplifting and comforting scent. Not only has the glass bottle been replaced with a plastic one (making it much safer from clumsy cleaners like me,) but the container now features frosted stripes for a little bit of added fun.



The Body Shop 'Spa Of The World' Collection (Plus A Sneaky Look A Their New Re-Brand)

Everyone has a long-lasting memory of The Body Shop; it's one of the most loved brands to have ever come out of the UK, with an emotional connection that other names simply can't touch. One of my earliest recollections is of taking my pocket money down to my local store, perusing the peppermint foot lotion aisle and stocking up on novelty soaps that never actually got used. In 2015 they're so much more than White Musk and Dewberry, having launched a huge portfolio of effective skincare products, body butters in every fragrance imaginable and limited edition collections which still tick the box of a fun indulgence. Although I hadn't shopped in the store for years before starting this blog, their quirky packaging and unique fragrances have definitely spiked my interest in recent months. Although they've been experiencing relative success in the last few years, internally it has apparently became clear that they lost their way a little; they started to alienate the customers that had grown up with those tiny plastic bath balls, but no longer wanted something bright purple on their bathroom shelf. In 2015 there are hugely exciting things ahead for this iconic brand, starting with the launch of an indulgent spa collection that's designed to deliver pampering moments from the comfort of your own bathroom. 'Spa Of The World' harnesses the power of effective ingredients from across the globe, providing the first stepping stone into their new approach that will inevitably reignite their position as a beauty brand to be treasured.



Why I'm A Glossybox Convert (Plus A Preview Of Their July & Christmas Boxes)

Four years ago a concept launched into the UK that would change the face of beauty forever. The Glossybox subscription service was heralded as the most innovative idea in years, delivering thousands of monthly teasers and samples to women across the country - all with the aim of encouraging discovery and injecting passion back into beauty. Women signed up in their droves and the copycats soon followed, inevitably leaving disappointment to set in as the boxes soon began to lose their sparkle; all of a sudden Glossybox became somewhat of a dirty word. However, four years down the line they're pushing boundaries and bringing it all back to basics: their focus is very much on creating amazing collaborations, innovative content and providing a platform for women to discover fabulous products and brands that they may never know about otherwise. This July they're definitely doing just that, with the launch of their special edition Vive La France box (illustrated beautifully by LA-based artist Jamie Lee Reardin) which contains seven fabulous products you'll be coveting... But don't worry, no spoilers here!



Five Things I'm Bored Of In Blogging: The Clichés I'd Rather See The Back Of

I love the bloggersphere; it's blooming like never before and absolutely oozes creativity, passion and dedication. There are sites I could spend hours fawning over and Instagram accounts that leave me wondering why I missed the memo on how to arrange a burger; as a community we have the ability to sell snow to the eskimos and make a 99p lipstick look like the most luxurious thing available in Selfridges beauty hall. We've changed the landscape forever and should be incredibly proud of that, but it does make me chuckle when I see certain things pop up on my Bloglovin feed. It seems there are a few blogging clichés that we just can't shake, the same things that pop up time and time again (mostly because everyone thinks that's the secret to success) and I've pinpointed the top five I'd rather see the back of!


Top Ten Tips For Applying & Maintaining The Perfect Tan With Sienna X (PLUS WIN!)

If there's one thing that scared me more than anything as a teenager, it was applying fake tan. Thank goodness things have changed in the last fifteen years, as the portfolio of tanning products now available offer easy-to-use formulas that are highly unlikely to turn skin oompa-loompa orange! As a pale skinned 'English Rose' I do love a bit of tan come the summer months; my limbs look almost transparent without a touch of something, so I'm always on the look out for brands that cater for my needs without making me look like an extra from Georgie Shore. Sienna X not only provide a variety of textures to ensure a seamless application process (lotion, gel, mist or mousse,) but also a multitude of colour options. Encompassing preparation and maintenance products too, there's a Sienna X solution for your every tanning need - from gradual tans and exfoliators, to mists, shimmer sprays and a body balm to help prolong your colour. I'm a big fan of the lightweight mousse which is perfect if you're new to tanning, or are simply a bit nervous about creating a streak-free finish; it glides over the skin effortlessly and dries quickly to leave a natural glow. You don't have to be as precise if you're in a rush, plus it doesn't leave telling marks or an obvious scent behind either! If you're ready to step into tanning season once again, have a read of these top ten tips that I've pulled together with the help of the Sienna X expert tanning team, to ensure you create the perfect finish every time...



Shopping Made Easy With Fashiola: Take The Hassle Out Of Finding That Perfect Item

I'm a big shopper. One of my favourite things to do is grab a coffee and wander around department stores for a touch of inspiration, with no concrete intention of actually buying anything. But typically as soon as I want something specific (a yellow dress, black pumps, a nude clutch...) I can't find it for love nor money. I've wasted so much time marching up and down Oxford Street in the hunt for that perfect outfit, only to give up and spend the evening surfing ASOS instead. The reason I love platforms like ASOS so much is that you can filter down their portfolio to the exact thing you're looking for: if I want a yellow dress, it's a whole lot easier to find that yellow dress. If you've ever had the same dilemma in the run up to a special occasion when your shoes simply *must* match perfectly, then you need to know about my new favourite thing: Fashiola.



Product Of The Week: Kiss Air Candles (The 'Ice Cream Parlour' Collection)

Jo Malone, Diptique and Molton Brown candles may provide a sophisticated scent and act as an elegant mantlepiece ornament, but sometimes you just want something a little more affordable and fun. Kiss Air candles are a 100% handmade British brand that offer hardworking home fragrances with a little sprinkle of something special to set them apart. Although you can choose from a selection of 'standard' scents (that includes almond, coconut, blueberry, lavender and vanilla,) it's the five piece 'ice cream parlour' collection that's left my mouth watering. Including mango sorbet, mint choc chip, rum and raisin, salted caramel and black cherry, the candles smell good enough to eat; even before lighting them up they filled my room with a sweet fragrance that's totally sunshine appropriate. The natural soyabean wax ensures a premium burn without the price tag, providing up to thirty hours of enjoyable sweet scents that are perfect for the BBQ season.


Rediscovering Buying Beauty Online With Feel Unique (Plus WIN £150 To Treat Yourself!)

Buying beauty online used to be somewhat of a foreign concept (scent, texture and the emotional connection all play a huge part in our decision making process,) but as it's predicted that we'll be spending £56.7 billion on the web by 2019 it's no surprise beauty provides an ever growing e-commerce opportunity. Although buying clothing online has become mainstream, there's still an air of caution when it comes to buying beauty from websites rather than high street stores. Admittedly it's much harder to find the perfect shade of foundation or breathe in the scent of a new perfume, but there are some serious advantages to buying your beauty products online. (Read my top reasons why you should give it a go here.) After I caught up with Feel Unique over coffee a couple of weeks ago, my passion for online shopping was rekindled; they offer a plethora of well-known brands, thousands of money-saving deals, exclusive products and cult classics you never knew you needed. What better way to discover new brands and rediscover old favourites than with £150.00 to spend on one of the most popular web shops in the UK? That's what I got to do, and that's what you could be doing too...



The New Temporary Hair Trend: Boosting Colour Without 'Dying' Your Hair

The ritual of adding new tones to my hair has been part of my routine since my University days, when I thought stripey yellow highlights were the epitome of high fashion. I've experimented with all kinds of colourants, shades and formats throughout the last fifteen years: moving from mousey brown to brassy blonde, jet black, bold red and finally settling on a chocolate tone that's probably best suited to my complexion. Experimentation is fun, but can be somewhat scary if you've never really battled with a box of home dye. (I never even knew these hair colour virgins existed until recently; my friends and I have always dabbled in home colourants, 'changing it up' at every given opportunity, so for us it's become the norm.) However, a new category is emerging that provides a subtle result while removing the fear factor completely; boosting hair tones is the new trend, helping to create a 'just stepped out of the salon' shine from the comfort of your own bathroom.


Amazing Scents Delivered To Your Door: Flamingo Candles 'The Melt Crowd' Subscription Service

I love it when the blogging community jumps on a bandwagon and heralds a brand or product as the coolest thing since rose gold. Flamingo Candles certainly have held that position for some time, being used as photography accessories and bedside accompaniments thanks to their simplicity and quirky kitsch jam-jar packaging. This summer they're expanding their home fragrance repertoire with the launch of their very own subscription service: The Melt Crowd. For £10.00 a month (including postage) you can have a selection of beautifully scented wax melts delivered to your door to keep your home smelling amazing; the eight tabs that will arrive on your doorstep with include a combination of old favourites, current scents, yet-to-be launched fragrances and concepts exclusive to The Melt Crowd.



Five Favourite Makeup Dupes That You Can Use Every Single Day

The biggest misconception in beauty is that more expensive means better quality. Although investing a little more can often mean an upgrade in terms of ingredients and packaging, sometimes a more affordable alternative is just as effective. Due to the pure volume of makeup landing on my desk every week, it's easy to spot the products that are 'dupes' for some of my premium favourites and fast track them to my dressing table for a good testing session. To round of #DoItLikeADupe week, I've picked the five best makeup dupes currently residing in my stash that together provide a flawless 'every day' look. Here's a breakdown of why they're a fundamental part of my routine and how you can get the best out of them...



Swap Those Benefit Brow Tools For Something More Affordable: The Best Dupes I've Found!

Unintentionally, this is quickly becoming a week focused on Benefit dupes - but that's because their products form a fundamental part of my makeup routine and just are so ruddy awesome. I adore their brow products, thanks mostly to the fact they were the ones that educated me on filling in my brows and embracing an 'arch' I never knew I had. Although I own and use a multitude of other brands (Mii, L'Oreal, Delilah, Revlon...) to style my brows, I have to admit that the Benefit tools are some of my favourites; they're easy to use, provide a selection of colour options and stay in place all day without flaking. However, they can be a little bit pricey so I tend to use alternatives on days when I know I'm just popping out to Starbucks and the post office. I've discovered two amazing dupes for two of my favourite brow tools ever, so today I'm sharing the love for them in the hope your brows will look fabulous too.



Amazing Foundation Alternatives For Summer Perfect Skin (Inc. Benefit, Nars, L'Oreal & Sleek)

Just like you wouldn't wear a bobble hat in the summer, you don't want to be wearing thick and heavy bases in the warmer months. My portfolio of BB Creams is expansive and perfect for summer days, but when you want to create a look that's more composed and suited to a smokey eye, a lightweight foundation is ideal. I've long been a fan of Benefit's Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow, which helps to brighten skin while providing SPF25, alongside 2015's best premium foundation launch to date: Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. Both of these are perfectly suited for summer as they're featherlight while offering the coverage I need, but if you can't justify £30 for a base then I've got two affordable high street alternatives that do the job just as well.


Two Brands, Two Budgets: Clarins After Sun Shimmer Oil Vs Solait Perfecting Shimmer Oil

As we step into summer and reveal our limbs after a long period of hibernation, a touch of exfoliation and a little self tan isn't the only way to achieve gloriously glowing skin. Whether you're lucky enough to have sunkissed skin, have invested in a safer and 'faker' alternative, or simply want to enhance your natural tone while looking after limbs, a touch of shimmering body oil could be just what you need. Not only do these two bottles offer up a delicate golden glow and subtle shimmer, but they both contain nourishing oils to ensure your legs are well looked after this summer season. Whether you want to opt for the extravagant and elegant Clarins After Sun Shimmering Oil, or choose the budget Solait Perfecting Shimmer Oil instead, these both provide a great holiday glow without the need to venture anywhere near a beach.




One of the biggest beauty concerns, no matter your age, is the presence of under eye bags and dark circles. As soon as they become visible it has a huge impact on the rest of our face, and confidence; unfortunately under eye bags are a natural effect of aging, but they can also be caused by lack of sleep, allergies, water retention and genetics. Our body operates using a 'waste disposal' lymphatic system, which essentially removes toxins and waste from the body using fluid; sometimes this fluid becomes trapped or blocked, lying stagnant under the eyes and causing the darkness we associate with tiredness. It doesn't sound particularly nice, but there are ways in which you can get this area to work effectively again and reduce the signs of under-eye bags. Here are my top five tips for reducing the signs of dark circles...


Fan Of Clinique's Chubby Highlighter? Five Alternatives To Suit Every Budget

If you've ever lusted over that 'model glow' staring back at you from the swimwear pages of a magazine, then it's time to invest in a great highlighter. Applying a shimmering cream to the top of cheekbones really does create radiance; we naturally associate radiance with youth and well-being, so a delicate touch can really make an overwhelming difference to your look. Applying it as the final product (over your base and powder) will ensure it catches the light and blends in with the rest of your makeup; I like to dab a little on the tops of my cheeks from the inner corner and out towards the tops of my ears. (I wrote about my love for highlighters and how you can use them all year round here.) Although powders are great for the colder months, come summer a creamy formula helps to keep the result super natural and radiant - which is why Clinique's Chubby Stick Highlighter (£19.00) has become so popular in the last few months. The easy-to-apply formula and creamy texture make highlighting a doddle - but there are lots of other products that do the job just as well for a more affordable price point. Here are five of my current favourite dupes, just for you... 



Two Brands, Two Budgets: Origins GinZing Vs The Body Shop Vitamin E 'Boosting' Moisturisers

The majority of my youth was spent avoiding moisturisers as much as possible, not fully understanding the benefit they bring to even the oiliest of complexions. Hydrating your skin effectively is the most important thing you can do to ensure a radiant glow, so a daily dose of face cream is definitely an essential part of any routine. (Read why you need to use a face cream in my previous post here) I simply don't feel right without a layer of cream underneath my makeup; my face feels tight and my base just doesn't apply like it should. However, the battle is constant to find products that hydrate my skin without overloading or coating it with a heavy formula that's just going to work against me. Both of these gel-like formulas from Origins and The Body Shop are perfectly suited to the warmer months when you want a much lighter product, applying easily and soaking in to leave skin feeling and looking a little rejuvenated. What's great is that they both offer up a very similar promise for very different price tags...


My Three favourite Premium Primers & Their High Street Alternatives

If you don't own at least one makeup primer, then you're really missing out on the secret to a flawless and long-wearing base. Although we often try to reduce the amount of products we apply, in the constant search for minimal beauty, sometimes adding a an extra touch of something can make the world of difference to your overall routine - and primer is the perfect example. Many people skip this step because they're confused as to how to use a primer, what benefits it can bring or even if it's worth the investment - but it 100% definitely is. (Read up on the five reasons you need to start using a primer here!) I have three favourite premium primers that I've turned to for many years, but it's also great to shake things up and try something a bit more affordable. I've pinpointed three high street dupes that will ensure the same performance, but will set you back half the price...



Two Brands, Two Budgets: Bare Minerals 'Pop Of Passion' Vs MaxFactor 'Intensifying Lip Balm'

Tinted lip balms were one of the best things ever invented; a hint of a tint, partnered with a rich and creamy texture that helps to hydrate lips while adding a touch of shine, is just what I need come the summer season. I probably have more tinted lip balms in my collection than non-tinted formulas, simply because they bridge effortlessly between the need to soothe lips and the need to add a touch of colour. Although there are hundreds of different formulas, textures, tones and packs available on the high street, these two brands have outdone themselves to create a lightweight finish that still packs a punch. Bare Minerals have launched their Pop Of Passion (£16.00) in seven different shades, while MaxFactor Intensifying Lip Balm (£8.99) includes nine different tones of varying intensity within the collection. Considering one is half the price of the other, how did they stand up when they were put head-to-head?


Save Money, Don't Compromise On Quality: Introducing 'Do It Like A Dupe' Week! (Brought To You By Superdrug's 'Swap Shop')

Saving money and nabbing a bargain has definitely become a-la-mode over the last few years. No longer do you have to sneak your cheap and cheerful lipgloss back in your bag, or feel guilty for picking up an own-branded product instead of the more expensive counterpart. The rise of affordable fashion (hello Primark!) and sites such as eBay and Etsy has seen a complete change in the way we buy our wares; we now celebrate the fact we picked up a bargain and show it off to our mates with pride. Dupes and more affordable alternatives are always incredibly popular when I feature them on LBQ, proving there's a demand and thirst for efficient ways to spend your hard-earned cash. As a result, I've teamed up with Superdrug bring you a week long edit of dupes and suitable swaps to celebrate their new Swap Shop campaign! They want you to make the switch to one of their own brands and I'm here to help...



Blogging In 2015 Can Be Lonely, Overwhelming & Harder Than You'd Ever Think

You may have a clear idea in your mind what full-time blogging is like: endless cocktails and canapes, free samples and press trips coming out of your ears, opportunities at every corner and the lifestyle of a minor celeb. Although blogging has opened up a whole new career opportunity for many hundreds of thousands across the globe, very little is spoken about what it's *really* like to work for yourself, and by yourself, within perimeters never before undertaken. I'm not one to complain about this incredible lifestyle I've carved for myself (Let's make one thing clear: nobody handed me this on a plate and I've had to work my backside off for every penny that's landed in my bank account. It's not an 'opportunity I've been given' - it's a career I've developed with nothing other than tenacity and skill.) but I am one to keep it real and be completely honest, often to my detriment. Blogging can be hard, lonely and overwhelming. There, I said it.



Jo Loves Bespoke 'Shot Candle': A True Innovation In Fragrance

Lighting a candle and breathing in the aroma as the sun sets, cup of tea in hand, is the ultimate in relaxation. My love for home fragrances isn't one that goes unnoticed, with candles and burners on every surface of my home ready to create a relaxing or uplifting atmosphere. Since her departure from the iconic self-named brand, Jo Malone has been beavering away creating a new concept in fragrance that takes things back to basics: 'Jo Loves' not only offers incredible perfumes, delicious body lotions and perfect home scents, but a portfolio of beautifully unusual candles that ensures a completely unique experience. The launch of the Jo Loves 'Shot Candles' is a truly unique concept which builds upon the popularity of her candles, combining two fragrances that are handpicked by the creator - you! Available in both her flagship London store and online, these special pots provide a special moment to those that have the pleasure of being the candle maker for one day only.



Going Dotty For It: Kiko Cosmetics Deco Delight Textured Lipstick

Have you ever thought to yourself: "what I really need is a lipstick with polka dots on it!" Even if you haven't, this new collection from Kiko is going to have you justifying another purchase simply because it looks cute. These shiny, wet-look lipsticks are decorated with contrasting polka dots for no purpose other than to make you swoon; they don't add colour, they don't contain any additional benefits, they just look fun and appeal to your inner child. Available in six shades (including Jolly Roger, Frison Rose, Tropical Juice, Passion Daiquiri, Mango Twist and Margarita Dreams,) the formula contains 'the most advanced oils' to ensure the texture melts onto the lips for a soft and shiny look.


Treaclemoon: The Affordable Indulgent Treat That Gives Back, While Making You Feel Good

A little moment for yourself can help kick start your day in the best possible way; standing in the shower surrounded by indulgent scents and a rich lather helps to comfort the senses and uplift the mind. Whether it's a fruity concoction, an invigorating fragrance or a sensation that's reminiscent of happy holidays, treaclemoon provide a really simple and affordable way to say thanks - to yourself. Launched in 2007, treaclemoon is now sold around the world and will produce their 20 millionth bottle next year on the eve of their ninth birthday. Although there are many other brands that capture the imagination and create exciting bathtime concoctions, treaclemoon was the first and the original; they're not afraid to take chances and they don't take themselves too seriously! It's the magical 'something' that refreshingly sets it apart from other brands; treaclemoon delivers a little bit of escapism, with its poetic descriptions, garden gnomes and cats with turquoise whiskers… With prices starting at just £2.99, it's hard to believe that there's such an affordable way to ensure your morning shower is a little bit magical.



Three Great Uplifting & Hardworking Body Exfoliators Currently In My Shower

A little buffing in the shower not only feels great, but can really help your overall skincare and beauty routine. Consistent exfoliation can not only ensure our skin is healthy looking and refreshed, but it also helps to prevent clogged pores, acne, ingrown hairs, scarring, blemishes and all kinds of infections. If you suffer from breakouts or those annoying bumpy bits on your arms or legs, then exfoliation can really help the skin to regenerate and look like new. (Find out why exfoliation can make the world of difference in my post here.) I've always been into regular buffing, so there's undoubtedly at least one body scrub in my shower at any one time - here are three current complementary favourites that have been helping me step into the next season with ease.


Body Confidence: We're A Nation That Doesn't Know How To Feel Beautiful

We all have those days when we roll out of bed, catch sight of ourselves in the mirror and wish we could spend the day hibernating until our skin/hair/insert-body-part-here plays ball. Rough days seem to appear more often than not for me, but I like to think that a decent blowdry and a full face of makeup covers up any amount of sleep deprivation. I know I can pop on a decent outfit, style my hair and apply a slick of lipstick and I fake feeling fabulous even if I'd rather be in my PJs binging on Netflix. I understand my good points as much as my bad points and choose to focus on the former; feeling content and accepting of your body comes more naturally as we get older, especially as we realise slipping into a size ten pair of jeans really isn't the answer to all of our problems. I know I'd like to be thinner, taller, less wrinkly, have thicker hair and get rid of those dark circles under my eyes, but fundamentally I think I look alright. However, it's become increasingly apparent that as a nation we're really struggling with our confidence - it appears we no longer know how to feel beautiful. We've forgotten the most basic of skills and it's having a huge impact not only on us living in the here and now, but on future generations.



Instant Skin Refreshment? The Body Shop's NEW 'Virgin Mojito' Body Collection

The refreshing and energising taste of a zesty sugary mojito is one of my favourite things; when made correctly, the iconic cocktail is definitely the embodiment of summer. Freshly cut lime, crushed mint leaves, ice-cold soda water and a sprinkling of sugar may sound like the perfect beachside beverage, but how about a including it in a rich body butter or uplifting scrub? Not a brand to stick to what you'd expect, The Body Shop have once again pushed the boundaries by creating a line-up of Virgin Mojito body products to help you soak up summer in a whole new way. Including an innovative body splash, body butter, scrub, shower gel and body sorbet, there's a heap of different formulas so you can integrate this incredibly unique fragrance into your routine in whichever way you choose.



Keeping your makeup tools in tip top condition ensures your application is flawless, as well as helping to avoid pesky breakouts or pimples. Every time you use a brush to apply foundation to the skin, eyeshadow to the eyes or highlighter to the cheeks, you transfer not only pigment but bacteria that breeds within these cosy warm environments. One of the biggest causes of problem skin is dirty tools, so cleaning your brushes regularly will minimise the risk of spots popping up, as well as helping to create the makeup look you desire. Although it can be quite time consuming and messy, getting into a regular ritual will ensure continual great performance from your tools - plus there's a quick and easy way you can bridge those 'super cleaning sessions' on a daily basis.



Product Of The Week: Helmies Nail Helmets, Designed To Protect Your Manicure

How often do you apply your current favourite shade of polish, spend an age perfecting the finish so it looks just right, and then smudge it all by texting on your phone/playing with your hair/attempting to drink a cup of tea? For me it's pretty much every time; I have a specific skill set which involves messing up 90% of manicures within a five minute period. If this sounds a little too familiar, then this odd-but-genius brand could be just what the doctor ordered. Helmies are soft and lightweight helmets that fit over each of your manicured nails when they're touch dry, helping to prevent bumps, chips and smudges while allowing you to get on with your day.




If you ask any woman what her least favourite part of her beauty regime is, I guarantee you hair removal will be somewhere in the top three. Although many women choose to embrace their natural state, for millions of us the summer months mean a need to 'up the ante' and ensure we're beach (or skirt) ready at a moments notice. With the sun making an appearance when you least expect it, prepping your pins regularly is the key to removing any last minute worry about leg fuzz. I've always been a shaver (body hair as always been more of an occasional inconvenience rather than a serious issue for me,) but I've recently been rediscovering the wonderful world of Veet. My last dip into the non-shaving water was nearly a decade ago - and how things have changed since then. Veet now offer a portfolio of hair removal solutions that are both easy to use and kind to skin, making the process as metaphorically painless as possible. No longer is hair removal the sticky, messy, smelly chore it once was...


Embrace The Power Of Blue: New YSL 'Shocking' Liners In This Season's Must-Have Shade

If there's one colour we should be embracing on the first day of June, it's a slick of something bold and blue. Gone are the days when this tone was seen as old-fashioned and reserved for our Nans reportoire (leftover from the power blue palettes of the 70's;) this shade is now the epitome of modernity and high fashion, especially since it was seen all over the couture catwalks and has definitely started to filter down onto the high street. Yves Saint Laurent are definitely embracing this trend as part of their summer collection, launching two new shades of their fabulous 'Shocking' felt-tip liner that will ensure your holiday look is right on-trend. The precise tip, pigmented formula and bold tones make this duo perfect for creating cat flicks with a twist.

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