Hydraluron Moisture Jelly – Indeed Labs

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Where Ms. Hirons goes I eventually, with Boots card in hand, follow. Her skincare advice is on another level and since following her cheat sheets my skin has improved dramatically – except this bit on my chin, but don’t look at that. That’s stress and hormones.

She mentioned Hydraluron Moisture Jelly by Indeed Labs on her Instagram feed a few weeks ago and, as my moisturiser had got to the scrape-your-finger-under-the-rim stage, I went and bought a pot of this to try instead.

Any product that comes in shiny futuristic packaging and doesn’t have a load of bad chemicals in it will end up on my shelf at some point. I want my skincare to look cutting edge but be full of nice, skin lovely natural things. This one does and is – first tick.

To get the product out, you press the top/big white button and the clear jelly oozes out of the hole in the middle. Bit gross looking, totally addictive if you like pressing buttons and seeing what happens, which I do – second tick.

It smells of clean. I don’t like anything too perfumed so for me, this is good. If I’m honest, I am used to moisturisers that are a little more creamy/oily as I have dehydrated skin and it just sucks up whatever you put on it. Hydraluron Jelly is more of a, well, gel which does soak in fast but my skin doesn’t feel tight or in need of a second coat. If I’m using less, it’ll last longer – third tick.

Overall, a great product to add into my routine so far. If you are looking for a new moisturiser that does what it says on the tin, then you can’t go far wrong with this one.

Buy yours here.

The Fault in Our Stars

I’m always intrigued by writers who choose to write their main character from the point of view of the opposite sex. Case in point is this book by John Green (a man) whose main character, Hazel is most definitely a 13 year old girl. A girl with terminal cancer who meets a gorgeous boy at a cancer support group. This sounds awful but Green writes in such a matter of fact manner – intelligent, 13 year old girls tend to be quite matter of fact – that it just works.

Yes, The Fault in Our Stars is ‘technically’ a young adult novel, and it is about living with terminal cancer, which sounds about as depressing as you can get, but Green writes with such beautiful insight that it seems to be about anything but this. It’s about being alive and being in love. It’s about friendships and families and not letting anything, whether that’s an illness or whatever, define you.

You will definitely laugh and definitely cry and I urge you to read this before the film comes out and they Hollywood it into something it’s not. I really hope they don’t but you should read it, just in case.

Scrub Up

Nothing makes me feel all nice and smooth  as a body scrub. I love them. I don’t love the fact that they are full of silica and little plastic bits that float down the drain and block up the sea. So, I made one. Simple.

I’d been thinking about it for a bit but it seemed too much like messing about (soz environment and fishes) but then I read an easy scrub recipe in Psychologies Magazine and a day later, a lovely scrub recipe from The Scarlet plopped into my inbox. They are actually really easy to do and much cheaper than the scrubs I buy.

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You will need: a bowl for mixing, sugar, olive oil. That’s it. You can add in essential oil (make sure you can use it on your skin) and honey if you like, but you don’t have to. I added in some Neal’s Yard Rose Beauty Balm because I love it and use it whenever I can.

Put 3 tablespoons of sugar in the bowl.

Pour in a glug of olive oil. A tablespoon is about enough.

Begin to mix.

Add in essential oils and honey if you are using them.

Mix together until they form a paste. You know, like a scrub looks.

Rub on. Shower off. Enjoy.

 

The Lemon Grove

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months with no access to social media or magazines you will have heard of The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh – AKA ‘this summer’s blockbuster read’. Briefly, 40-something Jenn and husband Greg are enjoying their annual Mallorcan summer holiday until step daughter, Emma and boyfriend Nathan join them for a week and chaos ensues. Mainly because Jenn thinks it’s ok to shag her teenage stepdaughter’s boyfriend while he is having it off with a bendy yoga nymph he meets at the beach. Happy holidays.

This is a dysfunctional family at best: Jenn and Nathan are bonking in the holiday house and garden while EVERYONE ELSE IS STILL IN. (My main thought while reading; how does nobody hear them/see them/walk in on them?); Greg has a secret he only divulges to his daughter rather than his wife; Emma is spoilt and hates her step mum – but really, can you blame her?

I can’t ever remember reading a book where I did not like ANY of the characters. Nada. Not one. In fact, I actively disliked them all. Jenn is self obsessed, ridiculous and selfish. Greg is boring, damp and selfish. Emma is a one dimensional, typical teenage ‘step daughter’ and her boyfriend Nathan, enjoying his status as teenage love god/serial shagger is just gross. And selfish. But this vileness kept me reading. They were just so deplorable and horrible, you kind of wanted them all to have some comeuppance at the end, which Jenn sort of does but….well, I’ll let you figure it out for yourself. The ending is pretty good and leaves the reader with a semi satisfied feeling, imagining Jenn has royally stitched herself up.

While I didn’t warm to any of the characters, the thing I liked most about this book was how Helen describes Mallorca. You can almost taste the dust and feel the setting sun on your skin. She describes it beautifully and you can actually believe you are there, sitting next to these horrible people in a beach side cafe with half an ear on them whilst you enjoy the view, thanking your lucky stars you don’t actually know anyone like them.

 

Turning the Page

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As you will know because you are reading this, I have not blogged for a good 2 months. Shocking behaviour for a blogger however, a long time ago I made a decision not to post if I had nothing to say. I had had enough of seeing myself post crappy filler posts that didn’t do anything for me, let alone the nice person who decided to stop by my site and read it. 2 months seems like a long stretch not to have anything to say but it’s been a bit of a weird old time of things concluding and starting.

My degree of 6 years finished which left me feeling like I’d forgotten to do something most of the time. I was so used to reading/planning/writing for an assignment around my working day most months for 6 years that once this stopped, I felt a bit odd. It took me a while to realise I hadn’t forgotten my trousers/car keys/own head and it was actually the routine that I was missing. And now I didn’t have to write to pass, I could, you know, do whatever I wanted.

Me and the BF are attempting to buy a house. As anyone who has bought a house will know, this is expensive and time consuming as you wait for other people to do things at a speed not conducive to the speed you like things to be done at. Turns out, I am not a patient person. I already knew this but I’m trying my hardest to go with whatever happens. It is what it is.

So, due to the unsteady freedom of having no degree work to do and to try and distract myself from the legal carnage that is buying a house, I am reading. A lot. After 6 years of having to read specific books and analyse them, it feels unbelievably good to be able to read whatever I want. For fun, no less. I have always loved to read, it’s my way of relaxing and escaping and learning. I read anything and everything and I read it fast. I can devour a book in a day. On holiday (ha, what are they?) I can get through 5 or 6 in a week. My Kindle is possibly the best present I have ever received (it’s up there with the Kitchen Aid) because it means I can carry all of the books with me, all the time. All of the books!

In light of all the reading and lack of writing, I’ve been thinking about my little blog. You can expect to see a few more book reviews on here: a couple more beauty posts, a smidge more lifestyle posts, and a  lot less fashion as I’m buying a house and therefore cannot buy clothes. Plus, let’s face it, fashion bloggers have wardrobes a reader craves, expert lighting and a handy boyfriend/friend/stand who will help them take the perfect photo on their non phone camera. I have an iphone, a rapidly depleting wardrobe and bookshelves a different sort of reader might crave. It seems like a no brainer….

 

 

 

 

#ElleInsider – Benefit Liner

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Benefit’s Head Make-Up Artist, Lisa Potter-Dixon with a massive eye liner.

Last night, I toddled off to London to Elle Magazine HQ for an #ElleInsider Beauty event with Benefit. Benefit have a new eye liner coming out and as an Elle Insider, I was sent the unbranded product to review (It’s awesome, seriously. You can read my review of it here). The Elle Beauty team and Benefit liked what I’d written, so I was invited along. elle 2 Now, being an Elle subscriber for 10 or so years (gulp) being invited to HQ was like being invited to the mothership. At the risk of sounding like a ridiculous fan girl, to be in the office where it all happens, and to be able to speak to people whose names I’ve known and whose pictures I’ve seen every issue was a bit crackers. The event was held in their new fashion cupboard which is less of a cupboard and more of a spacious glass walled room where the fashion edit for each month hangs. All us competition winners were greeted with pink champagne and cupcakes before Elle Beauty Director, Sophie and Benefit‘s Head Make Up Artist, Lisa presented the product to us.

What amazed me was the amount of development that has gone into the product. This has taken 5 years and been tested in every country around the world. Every eye shape, skin type and age – plus a few eggs- have all tried and tested this liner and it shows. I won’t re blah my review to you but it really is an excellent product. Lisa also let us know that our blog posts, pictures and videos had been shown at a Benefit global brand meeting in San Francisco so this lovely picture of me in my PJ’s has been seen by the head’s of everything at Benefit. Awesome. You can check out my Twitter if you really want to see it.

Afterwards, we got chance to chat with the other lovely competition winners and Elle Beauty Team members as well as try out the Elle photo booth before it was time to go with our goody bags. Inside, ‘They’re Real!’ push up liner, mascara and special remover for both – the liner does stay on epically well!- which are out at the end of June. Thank you Elle and Benefit for a great night. It was great to be involved!

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Goodies – They’re Real push up liner, mascara and remover. Out end of June.

 

Freelance

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Image from christopherwink.com

I’ve started freelance copywriting. It’s just a few hours a week alongside my weekday job but it gives me the chance to do something I love (writing) for money (yay) and hopefully, once my degree is out of the way, I’ll be able to take it further.

I’ve always had a picture in my head from being very small as to what being a writer meant and what they did, from penning a novel to writing advertising copy. In my head it was all flourishing fountain pens, maxi skirts and moleskin notebooks. In a garret somewhere, possibly Paris, with a large desk and a great view. All seen through my very soft focus mind glasses with a filter like Sierra or maybe Earlybird.

Turns out, it’s not like that. Whodathunkit? I sit at the kitchen table because we don’t have space for a desk. I’m in Sheffield not Paris, and the cat has most likely been sick on my notebook from Staples. However, I’m writing and earning a small amount of money doing something that I love. I may have only been doing it a few weeks but I’ve learnt a few things which I wanted to share just in case it helps you too, freelance or not:

Get Dressed.

Seriously, no one has ever kicked ass in a dressing gown. I wouldn’t go to my place of work for my everyday job in a dressing gown. For a start, I’d be laughed at and then everyone would be a bit concerned. I wouldn’t feel as professional and ‘on it’. I achieve more when I look the part – possibly sad but true. Why would I be less professional just because I’m at home and it’s the weekend? You need to be more professional not less when you are the business and you want to impress. It doesn’t matter that no one can see you, you can see you and that affects your mentality.

Know When You Work Best.

Are you a night owl or a morning person? There are tonnes of tests online but seriously, use your noggin and think about what you do. Do you feel bright and alert once you’re out of bed or do you need to drink a gallon of coffee and only crank it up when the stars come out? I’m a morning person. Up and at ‘em when the light is best and once I’m done, I still have the day ahead of me. If I try to do anything brain related after 8pm, it will be rubbish.

Get Distracted.

You will get distracted. Come on, you’re at home where all your toys and trinkets are. There’s washing to be done and of course, you have to reorganize your wardrobe right NOW. Oh look, ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ is on…Plan in some time to get distracted. Let yourself do the washing up or look at bags on Net-a-Porter for 20 minutes. Trying not to be distracted is like going on a diet and filling the house with chocolate. You will succumb eventually. So allow yourself some time to get away from what you are meant to be doing but then get back down to it. You’ll probably feel fresher and have better ideas too.

Don’t Wait For Someone To Tell You What To Do.

For me, this has been the biggest learning curve. It’s finally clicked for me that you don’t need someone to tell you what to do next. Or that once the 9-5 day is over, everything has to stop and you just watch TV, eat and go to bed.  I can get up at 7am on a Saturday and write for 2 hours if I want to, no one needs to tell me to do this. I can even get up BEFORE WORK (shock horror) and write too! This ‘waiting to be told’ is a deep rooted behaviour for me. It’s not like I was a complete automaton but at school I might have been top set, but I waited to be told what to do next by the teacher. At work, I’d be given tasks, do them and get more. No one ever said, hey you don’t have to come home, watch TV, eat and go to bed. You can work a 9-5 job and do other stuff too. You could use your brain and this thing called ‘free time’ and use them both differently. Do something with them. What? That’s up to you. Click.

I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more in the weeks and months to come and if you are a freelance writer, or freelance anything, let me know what helps you.