February’s Pink Parcel

Since I stopped subscribing to Birch Box a few months ago, I was on the hunt for my next subscription box. I read lots of reviews and posts about lots of different types of monthly boxes, but I just couldn’t make up my mind! I finally decided to try the Pink Parcel. I thought it would be a nice pick me up to make that time of the month a little bit better.

If you haven’t heard of Pink Parcel before, they are a period subscription box & monthly beauty box. They conveniently deliver your box a date that is closest to your period each month, and supply you with plenty of your chosen tampons or sanitary towels, as well as a little box of goodies.

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Signing up to Pink Parcel is super easy. I headed over to their website, created my account and filled in a few details. I picked out whether I wanted tampons or towels and chose my favourite brand (they actually have pretty much every brand out there!). I then chose one out of three of their delivery dates that were closest to my period. My first box this month was delivered about 4 days before I was due, but its good that the dates are flexible for if you aren’t always regular.

The nice thing about the boxes (like other monthly subscription boxes) are that you don’t know what you’re going to get each month. It’s a little surprise to look forward to!

So heres what I got inside my first Pink Parcel for February…

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Yuyo Yerba Peppermint Tea – It seems like Pink Parcel know me too well already! I’m a peppermint tea addict. It’s perfect for settling an upset tummy, and so refreshing to sip away on.

Cite Nail Polish 

Divine White Chocolate Bar–  Who doesn’t love a little (or a lot!) of chocolate?

Lavorio Fondant Lovelies

Pom Heart Hoop Necklace– This necklace is so gorgeous and delicate.

Merci Handy Toothpaste in Berry Cool

Soap’n’skin Himalayan Bath Salts– I adore anything bath related. These smell so fresh  and will be perfect to soak in.

Trifle Cosmetics Buttercream Hydrating Body Lotion 

Vitamasques Pomegranate Moisturing Korean Face Mask– I love sheet masks, they provide all the benefits of a relaxing face mask without the mess. I stocked up on Sephora’s masks when I was in Florida, so I can’t wait to try this one out and see how it fares.

As you can see there are lots of little treats to make Aunt Flow’s visit a bit nicer! My favourite from this month’s box has to be the Ciate Nail Polish, I love nude colours and this pale pink is perfect.

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I received a good supply of towels to keep me going. They popped a good mix of liners and towels for night time as well which was nice. I also got a little velvet bag to keep in my handbag for them which is very smart. I think the best bit about signing up to Pink Parcel is not having to worry about making sure you have pads at home and knowing that you won’t run out each month.

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I’m planning on keeping my subscription with Pink Parcel so I’ll provide reviews on each monthly box.

Thanks for reading!

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NYX Professional Makeup Highlight and Contour Pro Palette Review 

I love contouring and highlighting! I have so many different products that all work their magic. But I also love having everything together, and this palette by NYX is brilliant, as it has variety of matte and shimmer contouring shades and gorgeous highlighters.

I was browsing the NYX stand and this kit jumped out at me. I had never invested in a contouring palette before, despite lusting after the Zoeva and ABH ones! So I decided to spend £18 (Boots) for the NYX palette, which does seem similar to dearer ones, to see if it would work for me.

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The palette comes with eight customisable highlight and contour shades. The shades in this palette are all removable, so you can swap them out for another favourite, or replace them once you’ve hit pan.

As you can tell I’ve already picked out my favourites, but all of the shades work well.

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The shimmering highlighter on the top left is fast becoming my go to colour. It is very pigmented and blends out flawlessly. In fact, all of the shades in the kit do!

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I love the banana powder for setting my under eyes, I feel it brightens and gives that awake look. Pretty much all of the darker shades are good for contouring, but I also use the lighter ones for bronzing my paler complexion.

All in all this palette has quickly made its way into my daily makeup routine, as well as my going out one!

What do you think of the NYX Professional Makeup Highlight and Contour Pro Palette?

Thanks for reading. X

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Praia da Rocha

 

Praia da Rocha, AKA ‘The beach of rocks’, is a popular, yet peaceful, holiday resort just south of the town of Portimão, on the Algarve. I travelled here for a mini break in October with my family, for some last minute sun before the Winter set in.

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We stayed at the Hotel da Rocha. A 4 star hotel overlooking the beach front. I couldn’t recommend this hotel more; all of the staff were very friendly & helpful, the food was spot on with a brilliant selection of local cuisine (which includes a lot of fresh fish!) and the rooms were modern, spacious and very comfortable! Facilities included a good sized pool, good for a refreshing dip in the mornings and a fully equipped gym which I tested out a couple of times.

Praia da Rocha has one of the largest beaches on the Portimão coastline. The golden sand is marked with large rocks and boulders wth hidden caves and that is why it is known as ‘the beach of rocks’. Even in October I managed to take a brisk  dip in the Atlantic Ocean! But, if you don’t want too sandy, then you can take a stroll along the wooden boardwalk which stretches along the majority of the beach.

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My family loves keeping active on holidays so we didn’t just spend our days sun seeking on the beach! Praia da Rocha and the surrounding areas are perfect for shorts strolls, hikes among the dusty paths and slightly longer walks to stretch your legs. The larger town of Portimão is just over 3km away and is full of local shops, cafes, and lovely architecture.

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We decided to check out the neighbouring fishing village of Alvor one morning, so we followed the costal path along the beach, which eventually took us up along the cliffs which provided breathtaking views! When we got to Alvor we wondered along the river front lined with bars and seafood restaurants. We then wondered up the narrow cobbled lanes which led us into the old town and onto the 16th century Igreja Matriz church (fun fact: I love seeing churches while on holiday, I just enjoy the atmosphere and design of them!) which sits proudly above the village. In the evenings we would usually take short strolls along the boardwalk, or down the street to the Fort of Santa Catarina, a medieval fort which is lit up at night and gives stunning views to the coastline.

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Praia da Rocha is a gorgeous resort for little breaks and longer holidays. I enjoyed every minute of my time here and would visit again to explore in a heart beat!

Thanks for reading!

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Winter Lip Favourites

As the seasons change and the weather becomes a bit colder and the days shorter, I feel I need to switch up my makeup routine. This also includes picking out the best products for my lips, not only to keep them looking and feeling their best despite the baltic weather making them chapped, but also to keep in with a theme of darker, wintry colours.

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My go to lip care product is anything Carmex. I always have a pot or tube of their original formula handy to keep topping up throughout the day. I have been using this beauty for years and it keeps my lips super hydrated. You can feel the product working as it tingles away at your lips. I recommend always using a lip balm and allowing it some time to sink in before applying any other lip product, as well as popping some on morning and night to keep your lips in good condition.

Another lip life saver I love is the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant. You can use this anywhere, but I love using in on my lips to give them a little extra TLC during the Winter months.

Here is a swatch of the lips colours I love using during the colder months:

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First up we have three gorgeous shades from NYX:

Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘Cannes’

Lip Lingerie in ‘Satin Ribbon’

Full Throttle Lipstick in ‘Locked’

I love NYX, not only for how affordable it is, but for the huge selection of shades and the amazing quality of the products.

The next shade is from Benefits new product, ‘They’re Real! Big Sexy Lip Kit’ I was thoughtfully gifted this for Christmas and couldn’t wait to try it. It is basically a lip liner and lipstick all in one. I plan to do a full review on the kit soon, so stay tuned! My favourite colour from the kit is ‘Lusty Rose’, it is a nude colour but I find these types of shades very easy to wear, especially when my complexion is a little paler.

Last, but definitely not least, I’ve picked out three products from MAC:

Viva Glam 1 A25 Matte

I always like to pair Viva Glam 1 with:

‘He Said, She Said’ Pro Longwear Lip Pencil. 

Velvet Teddy A16 Matte

 

What are your favourite lip colours for Winter? I would love any suggestions!

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Classic Brownies

This is my go to recipe for gloriously gooey chocolate brownies. It has been passed down in my family and is a classic recipe that never fails to deliver the perfect treat for chocoholics like me!

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Ingredients

1 Cup Margarine – Melted

1/2 Cup Caster Sugar

2 Eggs

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup All Purpose Plain Flour

1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

1/4 Tsp Salt

4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder

Optional- Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (as many as you like!)

Method 

Pre heat the oven to 180·c. Melt the margarine and add in the caster sugar, cocoa powder and eggs. Mix in all of the remaining ingredients. Place in a greased pan, and bake for around 20-30 minutes. Once done, allow the brownies to cool in the pan before dividing them.

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USA Haul – Beauty Bits

Ah, America, home of outlet malls and amazing brands you can only dream of getting in the UK! I couldn’t resist splurging on a few things while I was holiday in Orlando, and I couldn’t resist even more sharing them all with you.

First stop was Sephora (surprise, surprise!) and I actually took two trips there. I stocked up on a few essentials, like their skin care line, their own brand makeup brushes and beauty tools, and a few high end goodies.

Sephora have a huge selection of makeup brushes, I was in awe when trying to pick the ones I wanted. Eventually I ended up with the ‘Sephora Pro Blending Brush Large 27’ and the ‘Sephora Crease Shadow Brush 73’. I also picked up a Beauty Blender. Although I’m a devotee to my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, I’ve heard good things about the Beauty Blender so I thought I’d give it a try seeing as it was a little bit cheaper in the US.

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I recently hit pan on my NARS Laguna Bronzer, and when I went to re-stock, so I decided to buy the NARS Blush/Bronzer Duo in Orgasm and Laguna for the best of both. Sephora has the worst thing for when your queuing… the sample sized section! I threw the Benefit Roller Lash and the Origins Clear Improvements Active Charcoal Mask into my basket at the last moment. They are both really great products that I’d love to buy again in full size.

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I wanted to invest in a new eyeshadow palette. I picked up the Tarte 2 In Bloom.. Which actually smells delicious! This is the first (of many) Tarte products I’ve tried and I’m falling in love with the brand. The neutral palette has a mix of matte and shimmer shades, and is part of their Amazonian Clay Range. My favourite colours have to be Smarty Pants, Rocker, and Funny Girl.

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This next product I totally didn’t just buy it for it’s name… The BECCA ‘Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured’ in ‘Moonstone’. It is a super compact cream highlighter that blend so smoothly into your skin. It is quite subtle, but you can layer it up for a more intense effect. It’s quickly become part of my everyday makeup.

What are your Sephora favs? And what should I definitely pick up next time I’m across the pond?

Thanks for reading! X

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Top 3 Tips for Keeping Organised

I feel like I’ve always been a pretty organised person. Yeah sure there have been times that I’ve been a little bit all over the place, but give me a little while, and I’ll be back on track. Having gotten through tough Uni exams and nearly a year into graduate working life, I think I’ve gotten into the swing of day to day life. So I thought I’d share with you my 3 top tips for keeping organised day to day!

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Keep a diary/ calendar to keep track of events and give yourself reminders…

I’ve always kept a diary, and I recently bought this gorgeous new one while I was in Florida. It’s by the brand Sugar Paper, and was about $10 from Target. I’ll also use it to keep a note of my work hours, deadlines and little reminders.

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I love this wall calendar from Primark which helps to keep myself right on what I’m doing each day. I’ve got it hanging in my bedroom just now as I still live at home.

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Pack your bag the night before and plan your outfit…

I admit I don’t do this every day as I wear pyjamas (aka scrubs) to work everyday, but on my days off and if I have a day out planned the next day I love laying out my outfit for the next day the night before. That way I’m not running around like crazy the next morning deciding what to wear, and have more time to spend on the importance things like breakfast and catching up on Instagram! I usually have everything I need in my handbag, but sometimes I’ll go through it and pop in anything that I’ll specifically need for the next day.

And Finally, Lists…

Yes, I’m one of those sad people who just love lists. Wether it’s for shopping, or things to do, I have to make one to ensure I’m not going to forget anything! I love using the ‘notes’ app on my iPhone for this as I always have it on hand. I feel like if I have 101 things to do, it sets it out clearer for me and keeps me right.

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NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray Review

Probably like most makeup addicts in the UK, I’ve been loving how easy it is to pick up NYX products now (thank you Boots!) and the product I have been using pretty much every day is their Dewy Finish Setting Spray.

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The reason I went for the dewy finish over their matte finish setting spray is because I have very dry skin, and I hoped that this would help, or at least not cling to dry patches like powder does.

Now I’ll be honest, this is the first setting spray I have ever used, mainly due to the fact that I found other setting sprays quite pricey, and I never really thought I would benefit from it. It comes in a small bottle but it lasts for a while, and it doesn’t have a scent, which is good for me. Once I apply my foundation, concealer, bronzer & blusher, and blend, I evenly spray 2-3 pumps over my face. I wait about 15-20 seconds for it to become ‘tacky’- a little bit like when your waiting for eye lash glue to slightly dry before applying the lashes- and then I take my makeup sponge/beauty blender and gently pat my face. I’ve been doing this for a while and I find it really does set the makeup and leave a nice smooth finish. Before using this spray I always found my makeup to be patchy or even worn off by the end of the day, but now I find it looks pretty good after a long day at work!

Overall I’ve been super impressed with this product, and for £7 (from Boots) you can’t really go far wrong. Give it a go and let me know what you think! What other NYX product have you been loving?

 

Thanks for reading!  X Signature

Toronto Blog

It’s been a few weeks since returning from the True North and I’m missing it so much! I thought I’d write up a little recap of what I got up to when I was exploring Toronto and the Niagara Region with my sisters!

 

Niagara Falls 

This was one of my many visits to Niagara Falls in my life. We had a wonder down by the falls and then went for a wonder up and around Clifton Hill. We stopped by Hershey World for a look around as well.

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BESTIVAL

My Sister was lucky enough to be working at this music festival doing photography so we got to tag along and help out. It was an amazing experience and we saw some brilliant bands like The Wombats (flash back to 2009!), Daughter, and The Cure.

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Food

Oh my how I missed the food! I may not have been the healthiest, but I was only there for a week, can you blame me? Timmies was first on my list for a food pit stop, and ice caps and the maple dip donut are my new favourites. We took a trip to Fran’s Diner, and had the most amazing diner experience! I would highly recommend the chilli!

To top everything off we went round the corner to Dutch Dreams… A family run ice cream parlour who go above and beyond your average ice cream cone. I had mint choc chip and mango ice cream and said yes to the ‘free toppings’ = cotton candy and lots of fruit!

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis 

I have to be completely honest and say that Macklemore is the best performer I’ve ever seen live, it’s not just his music, but his personality comes out so well during the show. I had the best night down at Echo Beach- which is also a really cool venue, right on the lake front with sand by the stage- singing my heart out (and trying to rap…) to Downtown and Thrift Shop!

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Take me out to the ball game…! 

We got last minute tickets to see the Blue Jays play against Philly at the Rogers Centre. We won by a whopping 3-11! The atmosphere was crazy. It’s a must do when visiting Toronto!

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Toronto Islands 

On one of the nicest days we took a trip over Lake Ontario to Wards Islands (the Eastern End of the Centre Island). We had a little swim in the lake and had a wonder around seeing all the cute houses. You get the most amazing view of the Toronto skyline at the island as well as on the ferry.

 

Thanks for reading! XSignature

 

June Birchbox Review

Hello everyone! Long time, no post!

I’ve really been meaning to chat all about one of my most recent deliveries, my June Birchbox for some time now, so here we go…

I have to quickly say that this is probably going to be my last Birchbox post for the foreseeable future. I’ve been getting them for only about three months, and I always say to myself “maybe it will be better next month!”, but unfortunately I’ve never really been over the moon with what I have received in the boxes, and I decided to cancel my subscription.

I tried updated my profile on the website to get more tailored boxes, but I was never thrilled with the samples they supplied. I always see boxes from bloggers in North America and in my opinion, they seem to get better items, for better value of money per month.

I’m not saying I will never get Birchbox again, I may give it another chance in the future, but at the moment I’m going to do my research and try out other subscription box services. Any recommendations? Leave them in the comments please! ❤

So I’ll move on to what I received in my box this month. First off I’d like to start by saying I really do like the designs on the boxes- they are very cute-  this month was a Summer theme called “Paradise Found” and I really loved the palm trees on my box.

As usual I received 5 samples…

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Percey & Reed Reassuringly Firm Session Hold Hairspray

This is handy for travelling. From using this product it didn’t really do anything different to what any other hairspray I have used will do. The package design is lovely, however I wouldn’t go on to purchase this product in full size. 

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Whish CC Body Cream

This was an interesting find. I’ve heard all about CC creams for the face, but for the body?Totally different story! This cream smells like Summer in a bottle, with hints of coconut! It adds a shimmery bronze glow to your skin, blends away imperfections and makes it feel super soft. I would consider using this again! 

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Benefit Air Control BB Cream Eyelid Primer

I really wish this came in a bigger size! It primes and colour corrects the skin on the eyelids for smooth application of your favourite eyeshadow. It also has SPF 20 which is brilliant. 

Pure and Light Organic Essential Face Cream 

I’ll be honest, I didn’t try out this product. My skin is ridiculously sensitive that I will only ever use a moisturising cream that I know won’t cause my eczema to flare up. I donated this product to a friend as I’m sure she will benefit from it more than me! 

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Jelly Pong Pong Paradise Pigments in Cake Pop.

Now this is probably one of the only Birchbox samples that I absolutely love. I have been using this lip & cheek stain every day in my makeup routine. It is very creamy and heavily pigmented, that adds a pretty pink pop of colour. I use it mainly as a blusher, and I place a tiny dab onto each cheek and blend it out with my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. A perk of this product is that it smells like just like sweets! 

 

 

What do you think of Birchbox? And if there are any other subscription boxes that you love, please let me know in the comments below! 

Thanks 

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