Wednesday, 21 October 2020

What I Read in September

And just like that the ninth month of the year ended and with it my latest collection of books is here. I was on the go-slow last month but I seem to have found my groove again. We're still staying home a lot at the moment - we've ventured out a little more than we have been and it's been nice but I'm not quite ready to let go of our time at home as a family, it has been so valuable to us all. 

With September, our routine started to look a lot more normal especially with our son going back to preschool which I'm so not ready for but that does mean I can spend his mornings there with a cup of coffee and a book so not all so bad! 

As always, I keep everything I've read on my Books 2020 highlight on my Instagram so if you're looking for any more recommendations - be sure to look there too. 

Monday, 19 October 2020

Why you must visit Blue Jasmine Immediately

(Review Press Visit - see disclaimer

Before the world plunged into the unknown Blue Jasmine opened its doors in Ocean Village, Southampton much to the delight to many in the city. Delivering contemporary Southeast Asian fine dining it's somewhere you immediately have to add to your to try list. I finally stepped through their doors a few weeks ago and it was so worth the wait, in fact, I've been back twice since.

At Blue Jasmine, they follow a simple philosophy: to serve Asian gastronomy that has been elevated to fine dining standards. This carries through every aspect of the restaurant, from their waterside location to the precision with which each of their dishes is expertly prepared and plated and boy are they presented beautifully!

Their modern take on Asian cuisine is a celebration of authentic flavours. Overseen by Executive Chef Daren Liew, the menu delivers the essence of Southeast Asia while using the best local ingredients from Hampshire, the New Forest and the Isle of Wight before enhancing with spices imported from Malaysia, China and Thailand.

Friday, 16 October 2020

The LUSH Halloween Collection 2020

(Features press samples - see disclaimer)

Autumn has arrived and with it comes the Lush Halloween collection for 2020! Lush seasonal releases are my absolute fave so I've been waiting in anticipation for this collection to enter stores and it doesn't disappoint especially as my ol' fave Lord of Misrule is right there - I don't know what I'll do if they ever discontinue it. 

There's a handful of products to choose from including bubble bars, bath bombs, frightening shower gel and a pretty fabulous Fangs n Eyes knot wrap which is sure to give you a fright! There's also a super cute pumpkin mask holder which is a great way to gift bath bombs to any Halloween Lush fans. 

Buckle up because things are about to get spooky as I run through the range...

Monday, 12 October 2020

Our little boy, you're almost three!

I feel a sudden rush of emotions for Joshua at the moment - I think because 2020 hasn't exactly been plain sailing, I'm feeling more protective of him than ever. I'm an overprotective parent, I've spoken about this previously in my post I'm Scared and with the horrors of Covid and a year pretty much in our own bubble - I feel as though that has really intensified. 

A month or so ago he went back to preschool for the first time since lockdown ended. We started him a little earlier than most at the beginning of this year and we had just found our rhythm with it when it was time to pull him out in March. It took a lot longer than I thought it would for us both to settle into the preschool routine so I was so nervous for him restarting in September. Turns out I had nothing to worry about as he ran in and had the best time. He came on in leaps and bounds during lockdown and that's only become more apparent since he returned. 

Monday, 5 October 2020

A Guide to Cosy Nights & Hygge

*This is a paid partnership with Local Heroes - see disclaimer*

Autumn to me is the best time of year - the leaves begin to change colour, the evenings get darker and it means our nights can be spent curled up in a blanket with a warm drink watching the latest boxset surrounded by candles and twinkling lights. Sounds blissful right?

Installing a sense of calm in those colder months is really important for my mindset and so creating a little guide on how I do just that couldn't come at a better time especially as we're getting so close to putting the heating back on! 

a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Latest in Beauty 2020 The Beauty Calendar Award Winners

(Features press sample - see disclaimer)

When it comes to beauty advent calendars, I've been waiting patiently to see what Latest in Beauty had in store for us and yesterday I finally had a peek inside! 

Available NOW - The Latest in Beauty Award Winners The Beauty Calendar has landed in time to make your festive season go off with a bang and with twenty-four show-stopping products from everything to makeup, skincare, haircare and more included - you're gonna want to hit that shop now button. 

The beauty calendar is worth over £300 and it can be yours for just £70! You can also get £10 off using the code LIBAC10 but be quick because it is absolutely going to sell out. 

Just a forewarning, there are plenty of spoilers in this post!

Monday, 28 September 2020

L'Occitane Classic Beauty Advent Calendar

Features press sample - see disclaimer

Tis' the time of year for advent calendars galore and one of my favourite skincare brands, L'Occitane have two to choose from full of skin-loving treats. I look forward to their release each year and this is now my fourth year of having one. 

I find advent calendars are a great way to discover a new brand and get to try their products before committing to something full size. From hand creams, face cleansers and soaps to their much-loved oils and perfumes, it's a fab treat to open each day in the lead up to Christmas. 

Friday, 25 September 2020

A Seafood Delight at Oxford Brasserie

Oxford Street, Southampton is home to an abundance of independent businesses - from independently owned bars, restaurants and coffee shops to salons and lifestyle venues. It's somewhere Arran and I gravitate to for coffee or a stroll with our son most weekends but we haven't taken the time to eat there. 

During August, Eat Out to Help Out gave my best friend and I the opportunity to explore the area more and so we slipped into Oxford Brasserie one evening and had such an enjoyable time - it was only right I shared this with you too!

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

It's time to say Goodbye to Summer

This week marked the official start of Autumn and I am beyond excited - it's my favourite time of the year but I can't help but mourn the summer. 

Like everyone, we had a lot of plans for this year and our summer was due to be full of fun days out, picnics with friends and their little ones, mini-breaks around the UK and a Parisian mini-moon but as we know, things don't always work out. With 2020 being dominated by COVID we've had to make the most of a crap situation so that's meant lots of sunny walks to the shore, takeaway coffees and pastries in the park and running wild as the sun shone on us. 

As much as our summer wasn't what we expected, we made plenty of memories, had a lot of laughs and spent some wonderful moments as a family and so in the spirit of making the most out of an uncontrollable situation I wanted to share some of our favourite moments, like a little diary entry I suppose to look back on in years to come. 

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Harmony at Home with Hive

*This is a paid partnership with Hive - see disclaimer*

In recent months our home has become more of a sanctuary than it already was so in order to really make the most of our living space we installed smart products from Hive, giving our home that little bit extra. 

Hive is one of the nation's favourite connected home providers boasting products such as the Hive Active Heating, smart plugs, sensors and lightbulbs as well as indoor and outdoor cameras. It allows you to completely control your home, save money and reduce your carbon foot print - making life that little bit easier for all of the family. 

With staying in being our new normal, it meant we could use their easy to install products to create more ambience at home and make some tasks even easier especially with both Arran and I working from home.

Friday, 4 September 2020

What I've been reading through August

Lockdown has been bloody marvellous for reading, hasn't it?

This month I hit my Goodreads Challenge of 75 books! I set my total at 75 because that was what I read last year so I'm intrigued to see how many I can clock up by the end of 2020. We're still staying home a lot at the moment - we've ventured out a little more than we have been and it's been nice but I'm not quite ready to let go of our time at home as a family, it has been so valuable to us all. 

With September here, our routine is starting to look a lot more normal especially with our son going back to preschool which I'm so not ready for but that does mean I can spend his mornings there with a cup of coffee and a book so not all so bad! 

This is the first month I haven't read over ten books - I've only read three! What I've done is include those three and one I read in July but forgot to include so there are four mini-reviews for you to look over. 

As always, I keep everything I've read on my Books 2020 highlight on my Instagram so if you're looking for any more recommendations - be sure to look there too. 

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Matte Lips & Ombre Shadows from Clarins for Autumn 2020

(Features press samples - see disclaimer)

Ah Autumn... It's my favourite time for new beauty releases and as always Clarins have nailed it. I've been a long time lover of the brand and a lot of my makeup is from Clarins so there are an abundance of reviews on Alice Anne if you hit the search bar on the right but today we'll be talking matte lips and ombre eyeshadows thanks to their latest product drop. 

Friday, 28 August 2020

NEW in my Beauty Stash

(Features press samples - see disclaimer)

Do you know what lockdown was good for? Testing beauty products.

Apart from a few pesky monthly spots, my skin has never looked so good and it's been so nice - I've really been able to test some fab new products as well as some makeup products and so I'm going to show you exactly what's landed in my hands recently! 

Featuring products from Pixi, Sanctuary Spa, Upcircle and SKN-RG - there's a little bit of everything.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Bringing your Routine back to life comfortably

*This is a paid partnership with TEMPUR®, all thoughts are my own - see disclaimer*

The last few months have been such a strange time for so many - lives have changed, we've all spent a lot more time at home and routine has well and truly gone out the window but as things start to go back to normal albeit a new normal, many of us are trying to win back our routine again. 

As someone who works from home anyway, things haven't been too different for me but with Arran working from home and our son not going to pre-school - it has definitely added a new element to our daily lives. Come September for us things will be changing as Joshua heads back to pre-school and the possibility of Arran being called back into office at any moment means we need to take back routine now so it's not too big a shock for us all when the time comes. 

It all seems a little daunting though, doesn't it? 

Friday, 21 August 2020

Charcuterie Heaven at Porters Southampton

If there's one thing I love, it's a charcuterie board. My dream evening includes good wine with friends while we pick over a board of succulent meats and cheeses so when Porters opened - I was booked in quicker than you can say charcuterie. ​Tucked away from Oxford Street, Porters offers a place to unwind, eat and drink in the company of friends and family. 

Situated on Queen's Terrace, Southampton and overlooking the historic Queen's Park, Porters name originates from the history of its surroundings 'Porters Meadow' where licensed porters would frequent. The park didn't become a formal park until 1885 when it was taken over from Queens College by the Borough Council where it was then renamed, Queen's Park. 

Porters has been designed to create a welcoming environment to relax and socialise in the heart of Southampton. Similar to the well-loved enotecas of Italy, it's has a Mediterranean feel right on our doorstep.

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Latest in Beauty X Hello! Celebrity Glow Getters

(Features press sample - see disclaimer

And... I'm back with another fabulous Latest in Beauty Collection and this one is going to make you G L O W! 

The HELLO! Celebrity Glow Getters Edit is Latest in Beauty's second limited edition beauty box and features 15 incredible products worth a huge £177! The hand-picked edit includes everything you need to get the perfect summer glow despite the rain clouds. 

With brands such as Lancaster, Bumble & Bumble and Murad - it's worth every penny of its £40 retail price especially when the Swisse Beauty Glowing Skin Supplements are worth £35 on their own!

Shall we have a look inside?

Friday, 7 August 2020

The Too Faced Born This Way Natural Nudes Palette

It's pretty common knowledge that I can't resist an eyeshadow palette, let alone one from Too Faced so as soon as I spied the Too Faced Born This Way Natural Nudes Palette I snapped it up straight away via Cult Beauty. 

The eyeshadow palette was inspired by their Born This Way foundation range and for once, it's a neutral eyeshadow palette that is genuinely neutral, it's not too warm or too cool - it's just the perfect dose of neutral for all skin tones with a gorgeous variety to create the perfect neutral eye. 

I know Too Faced can sometimes draw some criticism due to the formula but it's actually one of my favourites to use and this is no different. I've had this since March and it has been my go-to throughout the last few months. I just can't get enough of the shades Seashell and Petal!

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Four Hobbies I started in Lockdown that I'm going to continue

Lockdown... It's all but ended, right? To be honest I'm kinda sad to see it go because the time really helped me to take a moment to stop, look at my life and decide what was important and worth my time. Having to slow down and only go out for our daily walk meant things were realigned at home, in my work life and everyday life - I've mentioned before how it was the reality check I needed and I imagine this was the same for many others. 

Having all this extra time at home meant there was more time to do other things, hobbies I'd said I wanted to try or recipes I wanted to master and so four months later I've come to enjoy four things that I'm going to take with me in our new normal and continue them. 

I suppose it's a little self-growth, either way, it was needed! 

Sunday, 2 August 2020

What I've Been Reading Through July

We're another month down - how did that happen? I honestly cannot believe we're going into August and we're just a hop, skip and a jump away from Autumn! With lockdown up in the air, we're very much sticking with lockdown rules only venturing out when necessary or the odd trip into the city centre to test the ground a bit but that has meant I have been speeding through my TBR pile. 

I'm just two books off my 2020 target which was 75, the number I read last year - I'm so pleased because I've read some brilliant books so far this year. 

I've picked out six from the fourteen that I've read this month to include in this post - one, in particular, is The Book of Echoes which I really urge you to read, it's so touching and I haven't stopped thinking about it. 

Friday, 31 July 2020

Bettercup - The Menstrual Cup that keeps Giving Plus an Interview with the Founder

What do you think of when you hear the words menstrual cup? 

Gross? Messy? Disgusting? I thought all of those when I first heard about them, I'm slightly squeamish and at the time, they just weren't for me. I liked the convenience of grabbing a tampon and getting on with my day but as I've got older and taught myself more about my period, my cycle and my body. I kept going back to the idea of using a cup especially since having a baby when I found tampons just weren't as comfortable any more. 

I feel as though more of us are looking for a more eco-friendly way to deal with our periods nowadays and one way to do that is with menstrual cups - where pads and tampons have been the go-to for many, cups have now joined the ranks and are widely spoken about now as an option. 

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Eat Out to Help Out & the Restaurants Participating in Southampton

We're just a few days away from the launch of the Government's new scheme, Eat Out to Help Out which will see pubs, restaurants and coffee houses offering 50% discount (maximum £10 per diner) on food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in. 

The scheme is the first of its kind and will run every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 3-31st of August giving the hospitality sector a boost after having to close due to Covid-19. You'll only be able to receive the discount in businesses that have registered for the scheme, they will then claim back the money from the Government directly meaning you don't have to do anything other than enjoy a delicious meal out. 

Want to know more? Just scroll down where you'll find everything you need to know plus a list of participating restaurants, bars and more in Southampton. 

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Coming out of Lockdown Anxiety

Anyone else have post lockdown anxiety? 

I haven't really joined the great race to normality yet and I'm not sure at what point I should? I know we're all going at our own pace at the moment and I really miss brunch with the girls, coffee shop dates alone and just a mooch around the shops with the little one but I'm also not there yet... I keep joking that I'll rejoin the world in 2021 - so far I've spent a couple of hours in a shopping centre and nipped to a coffee house for takeaway coffee but anything more than that seems too much right now. 

To be honest, I've been missing pre-covid life a lot recently and I feel very claustrophobic from doing the same mundane shit every day. I know we can shop, brunch blah blah but with Arran working from home, the little one and I come as a package and I just can't bring myself to take him anywhere like that yet. I feel like an idiot moaning about it because it could be worse and we're happy & safe but man am I craving a little normality. 

Monday, 20 July 2020

The Lakaz Maman Graze Box

With lockdown almost all but over (I'm not ready yet eek!) and restaurants reopening it has meant some of our favourites we've really missed the last few months have started back up again - one, in particular, is Lakaz Maman. There have been a few evenings where we've sat there and said we really fancied one thing or another off the menu so you can imagine our excitement when it was announced they'd be re-opening for takeaway with a new addition and some menu favourites. 

The Graze Box is what piqued our interest first - the minute I saw it I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to order one ready for our Saturday evening date night and we were not disappointed.

The only problem we have now is wanting to order another one already!

Monday, 13 July 2020

The Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette

Too Faced have been constant in my beauty collection for some time but it was only last year that I finally added Too Faced Sweet Peach to my ever-growing collection. When Sweet Peach was first released it flew off shelves time and time again so it has always been on my radar but shade-wise I wasn't sure it was for me - boy was I wrong.

Sweet Peach was first released in 2016 and was eventually brought back a couple of years later much to everyone's delight. The sturdy tin palette was accompanied by a few other Sweet Peach products such as blushes, lip oils and a cheek palette all of which were adorned in oh so cute peach-toned ombre packaging. 

Friday, 10 July 2020

Plastic Free July at Persephone Beauty

(Features press samples - see disclaimer)

Have you heard of Plastic Free July? It's a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution so we can have cleaner streets, oceans and communities. In the spirit of all things plastic-free, Persephone Beauty has created bundles to help you on your way to living a more plastic-free life. 

They've created three different bundles which include The Beginner's Bundle, The Cleansing Bundle and The Haircare Heroes Bundle making it the perfect way to introduce you to some plastic-free beauty staples. Each bundle comes packaged in an organic cotton bag as well as with a discount code so if you discover some new favourites you can try more!

You can get 15% off using the code ALICE15

Monday, 6 July 2020

What I've been Reading Through June

I feel as though my reading posts signals the end of a new month for me as I get to collect what I've read and share them with you before diving in again. You all know I've quite enjoyed lockdown for a number of reasons and being able to just spend my time reading has definitely been towards the top of the list - there's just nothing quite like switching off for a few hours with a new book. 

I've even started reading multiple books at a time which I've never done - I keep a paperback with me during the day and then read from my kindle in bed so I've been whizzing through them a lot quicker in recent months. Reading has definitely helped me keep my sanity recently and I've enjoyed most of that I've read this month. 

I've picked out six titles from the eleven I read to share with you, if you want to see what else I've been reading I have a highlight on my Instagram - alicespake.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

The Jurlique Herbal Recovery Skin Collection

(Features press samples - see disclaimer)

Ah I do love a fresh pot of skincare to dive into especially when it's Jurlique. 

The Jurlique Herbal Recovery Signature Essentials Collection has been sitting proudly on my dresser for a number of months now and it felt like the perfect time to finally give you the low down on one of my all-time favourite collections from the skincare experts. 

If you haven't heard of Jurlique I'll give you a little backstory. The brand is created by husband and wife team, Dr Jürgen Klein, a biochemist, and his wife Ulrike, a botanist, they had always been passionate believers in the healing power of nature. Their vision was to create a pure and natural skincare range combining the ancient arts of alchemy, herbal medicine and homoeopathy to reconnect people to nature. They began their search for the purest place on earth and after searching the world, they discovered the unspoiled Adelaide Hills in South Australia.

Today, Jurlique products are sold in more than 19 countries around the world. And their most iconic natural ingredients are still grown in the Adelaide Hills where Jurlique first began. 

Now... Let me fill you in on the Herbal Recovery Collection...

The Jurlique Herbal Recovery range contains six products as well as the Herbal Recovery Signature Essentials kit which includes the eye cream, moisturiser and serum and is what I have - the kit is a great saving for £131 for the three products. 

Harnessing potent botanical ingredients, the collection is specifically designed to visibly improve the signs of ageing, revealing brighter, plumper and rejuvenated looking skin. 

The two key ingredients within the Herbal Recovery range are Yarrow Extract and Viola Tricolor Extract which are both rich in naturally rejuvenating properties. Both are grown at the Jurlique farm where they have dedicated teams to pick each and every botanical by hand. Yarrow is only harvested in the springtime and only occurs when the flowers are at their peak. This maximises the potency of their active ingredients, which help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for smoother skin and a more youthful appearance. 

If you want to know a little more about how each ingredient is grown and harvested there are a number of articles on the Jurlique website which are fascinating and give a brilliant insight into just how much goes into the products. 

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Signature Eye Cream (£42.00)
With a delightful blend of botanical ingredients, this deeply nourishing eye cream is specifically designed to visibly improve the delicate area around the eye. It minimises the appearance of lines and wrinkles, firms the skin and the addition of Silk Tree Extract addresses common signs of fatigue, including puffiness and dark circles giving way to a radiant and revitalised complexion. 

Viola Tricolor Extract is known for its hydrating properties which helps to moisturise and protect the skin while Yarrow Extract helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles revealing smoother and firmer skin. 

The texture is super light, it almost feels bouncy to touch and it absorbs into the skin beautifully.

Much like the Nutri-Define eye cream, I've really noticed a difference in my eye area which feels so much more hydrated and brighter. I would, however, prefer it in the same pump bottle as the serum as it just makes it a bit cleaner.

I don't think I'm ever without a Jurlique face cream, I've used a few different ones over the years depending on what my skin needs most at that time but I have to admit, the Herbal Recovery Signature Moisturising Cream is one I love. The deeply nourishing moisturiser helps to visibly reduce the signs of ageing, smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles and rejuvenate the skin.

Enriched with powerful botanicals and naturally derived antioxidants, this rich moisturising cream is ideal for normal to dry skin or for night time use or in colder climates. It is easily absorbed leaving skin feeling deeply nourished without any greasiness. 

The Cedar Bud Extract increases suppleness and helps prevent moisture loss, while Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract brightens an uneven skin tone. It also contains Viola Tricolor Extract and Yarrow Extract which you'll find throughout the range.

It's a really lovely cream - my skin feels beautifully plump and so much brighter! It's like a little pot of joy!

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Signature Serum (£60.00)
Jurlique serums are some of the best on the market, they're silky smooth, absorb beautifully into the skin and honestly make such a difference. This particular one just brings the entire Herbal Recovery collection together as it revitalises radiance, reduces dullness and softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It's the anti-ageing tool everyone needs in their skincare routine. 

The serums are the hero product within any Jurlique range and this one helps skin feel firmer and more supple, bringing a renewed radiance to the complexion. It contains Red Clover Flower extract, which is scientifically proven to enhance the hydrating role of Hyaluronic Acid and to visibly smooth lines and wrinkles as well as the trusty Yarrow and Viola Tricolor Extract. 

Its gel-like texture promotes fast absorption and forms a protective film on the skin's surface meaning the rest of your skincare glides on too. It really does work amazingly and is worth every penny. 

You can order Jurlique online and if you need a little help with what range is best suited for you then just ask their helpful team who will find the perfect range for your skin. I really do love Jurlique and I can't imagine it ever disappearing from my beauty stash!

Have you used anything from the brand before?


Friday, 3 July 2020

Latest in Beauty X Look Good Feel Better Beauty Box

(Features press sample - see disclaimer

Beauty lovers - it's time for a new Latest in Beauty Collection! 

Latest in Beauty have just launched their latest collection in collaboration with Look Good Feel Better called the Do Good, Feed Good box! The box puts the spotlight on ten of the best in the business brands that support LGFB for a complete bargain of £28 plus with each box sold, a donation will be made to the charity. 

Look Good Feel Better is a charity I've personally supported for the last five years so I'm really pleased to be able to show you what is inside the box I received. There are two variations available, Repair Edit and the Renew Edit - each box has exactly the same inside apart from the Clinique ID Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly as each one has been chosen specifically for the box it is in.

(I have made a personal donation due to this being a press sample)

Monday, 29 June 2020

Five skincare brands I still love five years later

I've used a lot of different brands over the years and as with anything, there are some that have stuck and certainly lasted the test of time. I have quite a few brands I rely on but there are five that have cemented themselves within my skincare routine and I wanted to share what they were today. 

If you had a look on our bathroom shelves or dived deep within my beauty drawers it would be these brands that you'd find time and time again. I've loved, used and repurchased them more than anything else and I think that says a lot as I try a lot of skincare from various different brands. They all stuck and I think that will be the case for a few more years to come...

Friday, 26 June 2020

Lockdown - We've kinda loved it

Anyone else kinda feel like lockdown is over even though it's technically not? 

It's been a weird ol' three months hasn't it - to be completely honest I can't believe we're three months down the line but in some ways, those three months have been quite wonderful. We've missed our family terribly and I cannot wait to give them all a very long overdue hug but for our own little family unit of three, it's been just what we needed. 

This time has been the longest we've all spent together since Arran's paternity finished in November 2017 which makes me kinda sad. Sure we live together and have our evenings and weekends to make memories but in the midst of work, everyday life, chores and everything else we've never just had weeks to do as we please. 

It's been freeing, it's put a lot into perspective and it has really made us think about what we want our lives to look like going forward.

Monday, 22 June 2020

The New & Improved Nutri-Define Collection from Jurlique

(Features press samples - see disclaimer)

Jurlique is one of my skincare true loves and a brand I've used religiously over the years, so much so friends and family now use a number of their products too. 

A few months ago I had the new and improved Nutri-Define Skincare Collection land on my beauty shelf and over the last few months, I've been giving it a good going over so I could share my thoughts with you. It's the most advanced anti-ageing range available from Jurlique and it's one you're going to want on your radar as it promises to rejuvenate, brighten and firm the skin and I'm pleased to say it does just that! 

If you haven't heard of Jurlique I'll give you a little backstory. The brand is created by husband and wife team, Dr Jürgen Klein, a biochemist, and his wife Ulrike, a botanist, they had always been passionate believers in the healing power of nature. Their vision was to create a pure and natural skincare range combining the ancient arts of alchemy, herbal medicine and homoeopathy to reconnect people to nature. They began their search for the purest place on earth and after searching the world, they discovered the unspoiled Adelaide Hills in South Australia.

Today, Jurlique products are sold in more than 19 countries around the world. And their most iconic natural ingredients are still grown in the Adelaide Hills where Jurlique first began. 

Now... Let me fill you in on the Nutri-Define Collection...

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Eight Products from Too Faced to add to your Beauty Shelf

(Features press samples - see disclaimer)

Too Faced is a brand I hadn't really dabbled in until 2018 when Arran bought me the original Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette. I don't think I used a palette that wasn't by Too Faced that year as I fell head over heels for the shades and formulations; I have quite a few of them now and I really do reach for them every day. They kicked my usual go-to's firmly out the way that's for sure! 

Fast forward two years and I have quite a number of products from lipsticks to eyeshadow palettes, primer and skincare so I'm gonna give you a rundown of eight products you should add to your beauty shelf.

Friday, 19 June 2020

The Pixi Retinol Jasmine Collection

(Features press sample - see disclaimer)

When it comes to retinol, I was a little late on the skincare train - to be honest, I didn't really understand it or know why I needed it. Fast-forward to now and I'm quite the fan! I feel as though we've all heard of it and it seems to be on every dermatologist's top shelf but it still remains a relatively confusing ingredient. 

Retinol is the only proven ingredient to produce visible anti-ageing benefits and it's a brilliant multi-tasker. It aims to increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen and elastin production - it helps to increase firmness, diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles and smooth over uneven skin tone. As far as drugstore products go, retinol's track record for plumping out fine lines, polishing away rough skin and fighting off blemishes is unbeaten so it really is worth getting to grips with it. It's suggested to use retinol for three months before really seeing results but it's advised to have a three-month break after that due to research suggesting cell turnover is no longer increased after three months of retinol usage so it's a good one to dip in with every other quarter of the year.

Retinols don't work well on everyone though, you're best to avoid if you suffer from rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis as it can increase inflammation on already delicate skin. Introducing retinol into your skincare routine can seem daunting but there are different strengths which are appropriate for different skin types.

Monday, 15 June 2020

Dumpling Dumpling Home Deliveries

Dumpling Dumpling has been a love of mine since I first discovered them in 2017 - Mr & Mrs Dumpling opened a pop-up in West Quay and since then I feel as though I've been following them to various street food festivals in the South so I could sample more of their delicious dumplings. 

The idea for the business first came to the pair when after teaching English for 2.5 years in the southern Chinese province of Guangxi called Yulin, they came home and couldn't find dumplings that hit the spot. They started experimenting at home and soon Dumpling Dumpling was born! 

Four years later they've made over 100,000 dumplings by hand, created over 70 original fillings and traded at various events and now you can order dumplings to cook at home which is exactly what I did recently so I could get my dumpling fix. 

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Stella X Latest in Beauty Edit

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Latest in Beauty is renowned for their collection boxes, they're one of my favourite aspects of the brand and hot on the tail of their Beauty at Home Box is the Stella X Latest in Beauty Box! The box features only the best products found in the beauty cupboards at Stella Magazine - think the best of the best with the Smart Beauty stamp of approval. 

We’ve joined forces with Stella to bring you Smart Beauty - The Archive edit, worth over £177 and based on Beauty Director Sonia Haria’s notable weekly column. Get ready to make smart choices with 12 products from the likes of Sisley, Estée Lauder, Elemis and Marc Jacobs Beauty for £45.
Latest in Beauty

Friday, 12 June 2020

My Latest Order from Beauty Pie

Due to not spending out on terrible takeaway coffee and travel at the moment, I've been able to save quite a bit in my after lockdown pot so I decided to treat myself to a Beauty Pie order. I've been using Beauty Pie on and off for three years now and my love for it has certainly grown in that time. 

I remember when I first tried the products in 2017 I wasn't that impressed - the range was much smaller with just makeup and the reviews weren't that great either. Fast forward to 2020 and it seems everyone now loves Beauty Pie, myself included. 

I decided for this order I would purchase five completely new products to me, two recommended by others and three was a total lucky dip so I thought I'd give you a little look into my order.

Monday, 8 June 2020

Kierin NYC Sunday Brunch THE Fresh Summer Scent You Need

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When it comes to Summer fragrance I like mine to be fresh with a touch of citrus and discovering Kierin totally touched the spot with me. Kierin is a new discovery for me, the fragrance house brings a bold collection of perfumes to the table completely challenging the rules of traditional fragrance. 

Unlike conventional fragrance brands, Kierin invites people to be inspired, not defined or confined, by fragrance. They're artistic, genderless and individualistic. Diversity and inclusion are core to the brand and not just presented as an afterthought - a brand for young people of all ages, race and nationalities.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Five Books on my TBR Pile

Lockdown, as I've mentioned has resulted in a lot of reading meaning I've been buying a lot of books too - I just can't help myself! My current TBR pile is more of a mountain so I decided to pluck off five titles that are quite popular at the moment and give you a little more information on them. 

I can't wait to read them all myself, I'm just about to the start The Beekeeper of Aleppo which is one I've had for a while so no doubt each of these titles will be in an I've Read... post soon. 

I'd love to know what is on your TBR pile too so don't forget to leave a comment below, I will absolutely be checking your recommendations out so I can add to mine... oops!

Friday, 5 June 2020

Latest in Beauty's Beauty at Home Edit

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Latest in Beauty is renowned for their collection boxes, they're one of my favourite aspects of the brand and with a global pandemic and lockdown in full swing, the Latest in Beauty - Beauty from Home box (£30.00) was a fabulous idea. 

The box allows you to bring a touch of beauty relief to lockdown and the curated edit delivers all the essentials to keep your beauty needs in check. 

Forget work from home, we’ve got beauty from home covered! Get ready for 15 products (worth over £100) you NEED to survive lockdown. From a toner, mascara and lipstick that will fix your WFH face, to the best hair and skin heroes to up your hydration, the trending concerns have been answered. Access the best in lockdown beauty for only £30.
Latest in Beauty

Monday, 1 June 2020

What I've been Reading Through May

Lockdown has been bloody marvellous for reading, hasn't it?

At the end of May, I hit fifty books on my Goodreads Challenge so I only have another twenty-five to go until I hit my challenge for the year and if staying home is all I'm doing then I don't think it'll be long. Last year was the first year I'd set myself a challenge and I find them a great way to just keep track of what I'm reading, I know it's not for everyone but I really enjoy using the app. 

I read twelve books in May but I'm just gonna share some of my favourites with you in this post so it doesn't end up being too wordy! As always, I keep everything I've read on my Books 2020 highlight on my Instagram so if you're looking for any more recommendations - be sure to look there too. 

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Five Independent Foodie Businesses to Support Right Now

When its come to making sure our cupboards are stocked with essentials as well as a few treats here and there, I've been turning to independent businesses around the UK. So many have had no choice but to adapt or stop trading during the pandemic so rather than put our money into the big names we wanted to find highly recommended independents that we could support instead. 

This post is rather treat heavy so it's absolutely perfect for birthdays, anniversaries or any celebrations you've had to miss. It features five independent businesses we've bought from over the last few months, four that ship across the UK and one that's local to Southampton and surrounding areas.

I'd love to know if you've already tried one of them and what you thought but for the moment, here's a rundown of our top five - it's totally worth it!

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Bake at Home with Popsi's

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I've spoken before about how so many businesses have adapted in brilliant ways during the pandemic, one of which is Popsi's - a pizzeria in Southampton. They say they're the number one pizza place in Southampton and I've got to give it to them, their pizza is pretty darn good! 

The secret is their homemade traditional matured dough containing no additives, chemicals or preservatives plus Popsi's import the very best from Italy, their sweet Italian tomatoes come from Rega and the Fior De Latte Creamy Mozzarella from Naples. 

They bring the Italian art of pizza making as honest great food to be shared with family and friends - they even have the best range of meat, veggie and vegan pizzas in town and now they've created Bake at Home Pizza Kits

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Introducing Typology Skincare as it finally hits the UK

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I haven't been overly excited about a new skincare launch for a while but then Typology came along and blew everything out of the water. I've had eight weeks to fully get to grips with the brand before they officially launched in the UK at the beginning of May and boy are they one to have on your radar! 

Created by Ning Li, the founder of, Typology is completely clean, genderless and 100% digital. The Paris-based skincare brand was founded with a mission to promote critical thinking in the personal care arena, intending to break the rules and demystify the complex industry. It's completely stripped back to basics in terms of ingredients and packaging allowing them to design and produce concentrated, natural products that are active, effective and sustainable without a bit of faff in sight. 

It's completely refreshing and I've been completely blown away. is really about the integrity of the ingredients. The entire cosmetics industry today is founded on some sort of promises — anti-ageing cream being the obvious example. No-one really believes in anti-ageing cream, but somehow it’s a marketing code that’s been used for many years and keeps working. But we believe that young customers are so much more informed than the previous generation. If a brand wants to talk to them, it has to talk about something that really works, rather than sharing bullshit marketing messages. So in our case, we try to use the best natural and organic ingredients, use recycled and recyclable packaging, and describe our products in a much more functional language, with no incredible promises.
Typology Founder Ning Li

When I was first contacted by Typology, the first thing that drew me in was the packaging. Sure, I enjoy gorgeous packaging and beautiful bottles sometimes but really my love lies in simplistic, clean packaging and for me, Typology completely nails it. 

The brand favours recyclable materials and has opted for the most environmentally friendly transport solutions, ensuring the most sustainable approach is always used. The packaging is key for them and all products have been thoughtfully designed to fit in boxes that can be posted through the customer's letterboxes to create a smaller carbon footprint.

When it comes to the products, the smaller bottles are made of glass and the larger of recyclable plastic - to reduce transport weight. Aluminium is used for all tubes as it's the only material that can be continuously recycled without degrading itself or the product. As a brand, Typology is also looking at new ways to eliminate the use of plastic. Encouraging customers to reuse the product's packaging, the brand is working to put a process in place that will aim to recover all packaging to be disinfected, re-filled and reused too.

Typology is vegan, cruelty-free and formulated without ingredients such as sulfates, silicones and parabens. They also have a list of fifteen ingredients on their Ingredient Blacklist that you'll never find in any of their products - making it the easiest way to avoid certain ingredients. 

They've partnered with some of the best experts and laboratories in France to study what makes skincare really effective, taking out what you don't need to leave space for the stuff that really works. Some of the best skin care on the market originates from the home of French pharmacies so I feel as though I can put a lot of trust within Typology. 

Their philosophy is nature first, clinical when needed and clean as a given which I love and when there is a natural alternative to a synthetic solution, they'll use it making all of Typology's products a minimum 80% natural origin. 

It seems as though Typology really have thought of everything. 

When it came to finding the right products for my own skin, I was given a prescription card which included my skin characteristics, my diagnosis and a routine for AM/PM. I was matched with seven products including the 9-Ingredient Lip Balm (£9.80) which has been my go-to daily for the last eight weeks. 

The lip balm contains Shea Butter which offers anti-inflammatory and nourishing properties, Sunflower Seed Oil which protects against free radicals, Vitamin E an anti-oxidant which prevents the combination going rancid and Lemon Extract to offer a cooling, refreshing effect upon application. I really do love the way this makes my lips feel but the only downside is that you need to work the tube a little before application as the balm tends to separate and release a clear liquid before the product - a bit like if you don't shake a ketchup bottle enough before using but don't let that put you off, it's a fab little product. 

The Solid Soothing Cleansing Bar (£11.80) is another firm favourite although I desperately need a soap dish as I fear this is gonna be ruined by just leaving on the side - eek! I use a lot of naked products so this has slotted in rather well. It contains Coconut, Olive and Sunflower Botanical Oils and Shea Butter so it's a bloody lovely treat for the skin and it makes my skin feel so clean and refreshed. 

It would make a great starter product for you to try.

From cleansing bars and cleansing oils to toners. botanical oils and more - there is quite the selection. The Niacinamide 7% Soothing Toner (£17.80) has been quite the game changer for me. It's concentrated in active ingredients to soothe redness and inflammation, reduce imperfections and balance the complexion. Our skin is naturally acidic and everyday life and other products we use can disturb our pH balance so something like this helps to rebalance that. 

The three key active ingredients are Niacinamide, Centofilia Rose Hydrolate and Probiotic. There are two forms of Vitamin B3, Niacin and Niacinamide which is the form found within this toner. Niacinamide improves the skin barrier as well as accelerating the skin's healing process. Thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory effects, Niacinamide is an ideal treatment to improve the overall complexion of sensitive skin types and it has worked a charm on my old scarring. 

Centifolia Rose Hydrolate, known as the rose with a hundred leaves, is an incredibly soothing addition to the toner. Hydrolates are often referred to as floral water and are known as a more delicate essential oil but don't let that fool you, they're just as effective. Hydrolates are seen as waste material and is formed during the process of making essential oils so to see Typology use them how they should be used just reaffirms their stance on natural products and minimal waste for me. 

Lastly is Probiotic (Lactococcus Ferment Lysate) which is obtained by biotechnology from a potent strain of lactic acid bacteria called Lactococcus Lactis, this probiotic ingredient helps maintain a healthy skin flora and protect the skin. It also promotes skin renewal for a restored, youthful complexion.

Quite a toner eh?

A highlight from Typology for me has to be their serums - I love serums, I'm a sucker for targeted skincare and the LAB serums by Typology are highly-concentrated in active ingredients that enable you to treat your skin concerns effectively. With a deeply-penetrating texture, your serum of choice can be applied before your moisturiser onto clean skin.

The Squalane Serum (£11.80) is a dream for dry skin, something I've only suffered with since having my son. It's 100% naturally derived and concentrated in potent active ingredients that nourish dry skin and reduces tightness as well as fine lines due to dehydration. 

Derived from olives, squalane has a structure that's very similar to the skin which helps it deeply penetrate the skin and offer nourishing benefits. Non-greasy, each application softens the skin, fights skin dryness, and helps repair the skin's protective hydrolipidic film barrier. Squalane can also retain hydration and reduce the feeling of tightness that's typically caused by dry skin. My only gripe is the packaging, I adore the clean, sleek bottles but the size also means the pipette is tiny so you don't get enough product (3-4 drops) for a full application on the first go. 

The Hyaluronic Acid Serum (£11.80) is a brilliant serum and one I've used a lot over the years. Derived from fermented wheat, this molecule is known for its highly hydrating properties. It can retain up to a thousand times its weight in water, making it an ideal skincare ingredient for instant hydration. As we age, our bodies produce significantly less hyaluronic acid, causing dryness that leads to the appearance of the fine lines on the skin's surface. The daily use of deeply-hydrating hyaluronic acid restores moisture to the skin, reduces the appearance of fine lines, and creates a complexion that’s noticeably more supple, plump, and toned.

You can shop the serums by skincare complaint and I already have my sights set on the Radiance Serum.

If you hadn't guessed already, I've fallen a little in love with Typology - from the products and ingredients to the sleek, clean-cut packaging and the focus on sustainability, it's everything I like to look for in a brand and to be honest, our love affair has only just started. 

Over the last eight weeks, I've loved using each of the products, the cleansing bar, serums and lip balm especially but one thing that really requires a special mention are the Eaux de Parfums. The fragrances are beautifully captivating, can be layered with others and features a collection of scents like nothing I've come across before. The bottles are gorgeously sleek, the fragrances are naturally derived and vegan and the prices really reasonable. I have Jasmin & Neroli in my basket as we speak with Pamplemousse Petitgrain closely following it - I haven't used anything but these two for weeks. 

Typology have well and truly stamped their mark on me, I think it will for you too. It's the ideal starting point for anyone that wants a more effective and targeted skincare routine while still being exceptionally conscious to the world around you. 

It's going to be big and I'm excited for the ride - but most importantly, what do you think?

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