-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
You can't deny that everyone loves saving themselves some money and because of that I thought I'd do a blog post about some must-have beauty picks from Fragrance Direct. Whenever I fancy treating myself or someone else to either perfume, makeup or skincare then I tend to head on over to Fragrance Direct because I know I'll most likely bag a bargain.

I always look on Fragrance Direct when I'm looking for a new perfume without fail. For instance I'm a sucker for Marc Jacobs perfumes because I love the array of scents you can choose from as well as the gorgeous, unique bottle designs. The most recent addition to my ever-growing collection is Honey*. Honey usually retails for £52 but on Fragrance Direct it's only £29.50 for the 50ml bottle! It smells lovely and light and it just looks so cute on my dressing table. It's already a firm favourite in my perfume collection. It contains notes of mandarin and pear as well as white florals, orange blossom and honeysuckle. It also contains peach, apricot and golden vanilla which all add a warm, inviting fruity scent.

As I've mentioned many times on my blog before Dermalogica are one of my go-to skincare brands because their products just work for me (most of the time anyway). My current favourite product by them is the Redness Relief Essence* because it really does settle my skin if it's irritated or if my body decides to be allergic to dairy for the day (it's weird, I know. I have an on/off dairy intolerance lol).Whilst you don't save a huge amount on Dermalogica when you shop at Fragrance Direct, it's still a saving at the end of the day. It all adds up in the end! Another great thing about Fragrance Direct is that they accept Klarna so when I'm waiting on some invoices to be paid, which let's face it is 99.9% of the time (lol self employed life) I tend to use Klarna when I need to stock up on some of my firm favourites which are more in the high-end price range.

I also noticed recently that you can save up to 30% on BareMinerals which is why I snapped up the Complexion Rescue Tinted Gel Cream earlier in the summer and It's definitely been a go-to whilst it's been hot. But I decided to try the Original Foundation in Fair 01* which is £19.95 (saving you £8.05) and I think it's really nice. I've only just started to use mineral foundations because I kept debating if they would be right for my oily skin type but so far I've got no complaints. It gives a natural, light coverage but it can also been worn over concealer if you want some extra coverage under your eyes and/or over any blemishes. I'm already a big fan and it's great for more of a minimal, natural makeup kind of day.

Another base product that I have to mention in this post is the L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion Foundation which is only £3.99 on Fragrance Direct. When it was in stores such as Superdrug and Boots I remember it being around £12.99 which is what put me off it at first because of it being a light coverage product but when I realised that Fragrance Direct were selling them for just £3.99 I was so excited to finally try it out. I sometimes just wear it when I'm in the house for I just want a bit of a booster when my skin is looking a bit rubbish. It gives a really nice dewy, fresh faced look which I've really liked this summer and it's a great foundation for travelling too.

What are your go-to beauty picks?

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-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
In today's post I'm talking about Secret Scent Box which is a monthly subscription service which helps let you discover new designer perfumes and aftershaves depending on your preference. Your Secret Scent Box arrives in a little square box which can be popped through your letterbox and inside you get three 3ml fragrances to try which have been made to last 30 days.

I'm a bit of a hoarder when it comes to perfumes and I have a rotating makeup organiser (I think that's what they're called?) which is basically filled with perfumes. Some are cheap and some are high-end - I like a bit of both and I love finding a good dupe too! So I loved the sound of Secret Scent Box because it's a good way to try out some perfumes and you might find one you love which you might have not picked up initially and it means that the perfumes aren't taking up a lot of room because they're 3ml each. It also means they're great for popping in your bag too. 

Inside the August Edition box I received Stella McCartney Stella, Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl Sun Kissed and Elizabeth Arden Always Red Femme.

Stella McCartney - Stella 
Described as a feminine and sophisticated floral fragrance which has been designed as homage to the English Rose in full bloom in a classic English garden. With Top Notes of Mandarin Essence, Middle Notes of English Rose Accord and Base Notes of Amber Accord.

Considering "Stella" is a best seller perfume on a lot of known beauty websites I've never tried it before but now that I've tried it, I now know why it's a best seller. It's lovely! I feel like it's a scent you can wear throughout the year too. I find some scents are more suited for certain seasons if that makes sense but I would definitely pick it up no matter what the season. It's definitely going on my beauty wishlist!

Tommy Hilfiger - Tommy Girl Sun Kissed 
Tommy Girl Sun Kissed is a brand new scent from Tommy Hilfiger which was launched this year which captures the spirit of summer adventure in a floral, fruity scent. With Top Notes of Cranberry, Pixie Tangerine and Red Apple, Middle Notes of Cranberry, Beach Gardenia and Blue Violet and Base Notes of Birchwood, Rum and Peach Cobbler.

I also really like the Tommy Girl Sun Kissed scent and I think it's a really nice uplifting scent but it's more of a summer scent to me which is kind of expected with the description talking about "capturing the spirit of summer adventure". But I do think it's a perfume I'd reach for often as it's a perfect every day kind of scent. It's not too overpowering but it's not super deep either. It kind of reminds me of one of the recently launched Yardley London Flowerful perfumes but I can't remember which one.

Elizabeth Arden - Always Red Femme 
Described as an intriguing, feminine and dynamic fragrance which gives a spirited and sensual expression of the woman who sets the New York City pace. With Top Notes of Raspberry, Lemon, Pear and Blackcurrant Buds, Middle Notes of Peach Blossom, Jasmine and Davana and Base Notes of Vanilla, Patchouli, Cedarwood and Moss.

Unfortunately I have already tried the Elizabeth Arden Always Red Femme EDT and I'm not a fan. My mum picked it up recently and going by the notes it's made up of I would've thought I'd have loved it but it's just not one for me. However I do think the full size bottle is very pretty and I think it would make a nice gift for someone. 

Have you heard of Secret Scent Box before? Does it sound like a subscription service you're interested in trying?

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-*This post is in collaboration-
It’s a myth that we use only 10% of our brains, but it’s a fact that we can all get more from our minds. Like your arms and legs, the more you exercise your brain the stronger it becomes. 
There are loads of ways to put your mind on the treadmill, but I’ve picked three fun examples that are (almost) guaranteed to make you smarter. So read, absorb, apply, and let your mind fly! 
Play card games 
Card games are a fun way to unwind, meet new people, and win some money – sometimes! But their benefit goes beyond simple pleasures and financial reward – you can use card games to exercise your brain, improving your memory and developing your capacity for logical thinking. 

There are so many card games you can choose to put your brain on the treadmill:  Poker Solitaire Baccarat 

Learning a new game is a challenge in itself, so I’ll keep it simple and hone in on one of the easier games to learn – blackjack. It’s a game where players compete against a dealer, with the object being to get the closest they can to a score of 21 from the cards they’re dealt (all pretty straightforward). 

The basic nature of the blackjack challenges your brain to think logically (you need to make decisions on how to act), however, if you count cards then you can boost your memory. The principle of counting cards is that you remember the cards that have been played, so know how to act and can bet in a way that improves your chances of winning. So read through a card counting guide to see how blackjack can help win you some money, whilst also improving your memory and ability to think logically.
Learn a language
Learning a new language opens up new possibilities for you – it makes it easier for you to work in a new land, helps you to get more out of your travelling, and looks seriously impressive (who isn’t impressed by someone who’s multi-lingual?). However, these aren’t the only benefits to learning a new language – it’s also a great way to challenge yourself and train your brain. 

Both the challenge and the training associated with learning a new language take little brainpower to grasp – it’s bloody difficult learning a new language. For starters, it’s a bunch of new words, a different way of constructing sentences, and (potentially) a change in how you speak – if your native tongue is a Latin-based language then you’ll find Chinese a whole new ball game. 

While many people have their reasons for quitting learning a new language, it really is in your favour to keep going. This is because it improves your concentration levels and attention span (regardless of the age you decide to learn it), which allows you to both retain more information and get more value from it. 
Read your book in three different ways
Reading makes you smarter, it’s a fact – it adds new information to your mind, broadening your knowledge base and enhancing your ability to think critically. But you can get even more brain juice if you read in more than one way. Not sure how this works, let me explain it for you. 

There are three ways that you can read a book:  In your head Aloud  Listening 

While listening to a book and reading it in your head should be a breeze, you may find it challenging to read one aloud – many people don’t enjoy the sound of their own voice, myself included. However, if you can get past this challenge, and read in all three ways, you’ll light up and train three distinct areas of your brain. 

Challenging yourself and training your brain can help you in both your personal and professional life – it can make you smarter, happier, and more focused. While I’ve covered three great examples in this article, there are plenty of other ways you can do both these things. 

So, learn a new card game, try reading in all three ways, and begin teaching yourself a new language today. Then once you’ve mastered those three things, try something fresh to keep your mind active!
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A Summer Beauty Round-Up

in , , by Kirsty Milward, 26.8.19
-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I can't believe as I'm writing this summer is almost over and there's already been a hint of autumn in the air. I'll be honest I'm kind of over summer, I hate feeling like I'm overheating and I much prefer cooler weather. I like the in between seasons like spring and autumn. However I've definitely found some great must have summer products and I've been reaching for the same products throughout the summer months so I thought I'd do a round-up post of them all.

I've been using the Umberto Gianinni "Milk" Frizz Control Styling Milk for well over a year now and it's such a great product at an affordable price. It stops your hair from getting frizzy, protects it from heated hair tools and leaves your hair feeling a lot smoother too. It's honestly one of my holy grail products! I am going to be doing a whole blog post about hair products I've been using over the summer, some which are new to me and some are some just my go-to faves. So keep a look out for that post soon.

I absolutely love The Body Shop Body Yogurts to the point that I'm basically collecting them now as I currently own four of them. The body yogurts are great no matter what the season but particularly in the summer. You can apply them when you get out of the shower or bath on damp skin or just on dry skin and they dry so quickly. They aren't sticky and they leave your skin feeling super moisturised. Some are more moisturising than others but if you haven't tried them before I highly recommend giving them a whirl because they're only £8.50 each.

The It Cosmetics Oil-Free Matte Your Skin But Better CC Cream has been a total dream to use during the summer. I have pretty oily skin and I also feel like it's gotten even oilier since being on the mini pill too (~sigh~) so finding a base product which works well for my oily skin and lasts for a good amount of time on my skin has been great. It does cling a little to dry patches but I'd rather put up with that than looking like a super oily mess. I use the lightest shade which is Fair and it works well for me. I love the It Cosmetics CC Creams that much that I've actually given away and/or thrown out a lot of foundations recently because they are kind of my go-to everyday base when I want a light-medium amount of coverage but still want my skin to look like skin too.

I've tried a few new body scrubs this year and the Tropic Body Smooth Refreshing Polish* which is priced at £24 has definitely been one of my favourite discoveries of the year full stop. It smells gorgeous - it's very citrusy and refreshing and because of that it's a perfect scrub to use in the shower first thing in the morning to wake you up. It's also oil-based with mineral sea salts which means it leaves your skin feeling super soft and glowy after using it. I also love that it's in a jar because it looks so nice sitting on the edge of the bath and it even comes with a cute little wooden spoon to get the product out. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a luxurious scrub for yourself or as a gift!

Another moisturising product I've been loving is the Too Cool For School Egg Mousse Body Oil* which smells quite floral and it leaves my skin feeling soft as well as making it look a little glowy. It also dries quickly like The Body Shop Body Yogurts which is a big plus. The Too Cool For School's packaging is super fun and cute too so I just had to add it to this round-up.

I recently picked up the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Gel Cream in shade Opal to wear on very minimal makeup days and even just to wear around the house when I'm feeling a little self-conscious of my skin whenever I catch myself in the mirror. It doesn't give lots of coverage but it gives enough to make my skin look a bit more alive. I do use it with concealer underneath if I want some extra coverage in certain areas and it works fine that way too. It's now a must have in my makeup bag!

I've been using the Glossier Boy Brow in Brown and Clear for going on for two years now and I'm never without a Boy Brow in my life. I do use the Brown shade more but I do sometimes use the Clear shade when I'm using another eyebrow product first and don't want to add any more depth to the colour. I like that it's a cross between a pomade and gel at the same time and that your brows don't budge when you've got it on. It's a must have in my makeup bag, especially during the warmer months.

I recently was sent the Tropic Skincare Tinted Skin Shade Facial Sun Protection SPF 50* which is water resistant and contains Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide which offer 100% mineral protection. I like that it's SPF 50 because you know it's definitely going to protect your skin. Unfortunately the shade range is lacking with just two different options "Light/Medium" and "Medium/Dark" I have the Light/Medium shade option and I can only get away with it when I've caught the sun a bit as it is leaning more towards the medium (olive) tone. But overall I do like it as it gives a nice "my skin but better" look and I've been using it over the past couple of weeks and liked it enough to include it in this blog post. I think if you're olive skinned or above then I think you'll really get along with the Tinted Skin Shade Facial Sun Protection and it's always nice to know that your skin is protected from the sun. It does state on the back of the tube that you should apply it 15 minutes before you go in the sun and to ideally reapply every 2 hours for maximum protection.

Lastly is the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk which I just had to include in this post. It's my most worn lipstick and if I'm in doubt of what shade lipstick to wear I just throw on Pillow Talk because I know it looks nice and suits my pale skin and that it doesn't clash with any other colours with it being such a nice pink-nude kind of shade. It is pricey but it's 100% worth it in my eyes.
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-This post contains PR/Gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
 A few weeks ago I received an unexpected parcel from Latest in Beauty which was a nice surprise! They kindly sent me their New + Noteworthy Box and I was so excited to see quite a few brands and products that I'd actually had been planning on picking up and trying. There's also a few brands that I'd never heard of before and I'm always up for trying new brands. The box is worth £181 but available for a bargain price of £28! Unfortunately the box is now sold out but if you're interested in the products featured in the photo above then carry on reading. 

First up is the Umberto Giannini Flowerology Rose Drops Vegan Miracle Mist* which I was really excited to see in the box because I was actually planning on trying some products from the recently released Flowerology range. I'm absolutely obsessed with this and I'm not usually a massive fan of heat and colour protective hair mists because I tend to prefer creams. Obviously if you're not a fan of floral scents then you'd probably not like this but it really does make my hair softer and glossier. I will 100% be repurchasing when I run out.

I haven't actually tried the Time Bomb Youth Juice Secret Oil* because it's basically an oil that adds hydration to your skin and right now my skin is going through a spell of being super oily (I think it's hormonal or something) so I haven't tried it yet but I will try it at some point in the near future once my skin settles down.

The Cake Beauty Mane Manage'r* smells gorgeous - kind of like a coconut cake scent. I love it! The spray is a little bit harsh and I'd prefer it to be more of a mist in terms of how it comes out but the product itself has been making my hair feel extra soft and it's also made it easier to manage and style too. I can't wait to pick up some more products from their hair range soon! 

Another product I was excited to try out is the Patchology AquaFlash Daily Gel Moisturiser*. I'm a big fan of gel moisturisers - the Origins GinZing Gel Moisturiser has been my go to for a while however I'll admit I've been getting a bit bored of the strong orange scent. So I've switched out the Origins one for now for the Patchology AquaFlash Daily Gel Moisturiser and it's been lovely to use. It smells very fruity which I like and it sinks in quickly and doesn't block up my pores. It's another product I'll definitely be picking up when I run out.

When I saw the Argentum Apothecary Illuminating Hydration Bar* I wasn't that excited to try it because I tend to not get on with soap facial bars anymore. I find that they dry out my skin and irritate it. However it contains Silver Hydrosol which is known for clearing up blemishes as well as balancing the skin and my skin definitely needs that. I have enjoyed using it and I do feel like it's helped my skin a little but the thing that put me off buying the full size is that it's a whopping £104 per (150g) bar! Ouch. So unfortunately even though my skin seems to like it my bank balance says no.

I haven't actually tried the Lore Originals Legend Hair Mask* yet but I'm definitely intrigued. Why? Because it's a dry hair mask treatment which is suitable for all hair types and genders. The only reason I haven't tried it yet is because I'm worried it'll strip my hair dye out when I've recently dyed my hair. So once my hair starts to fade I'll be trying it out and reviewing it on my insta stories.

The MUA Blushed Liquid Cream Blusher in Misty Rose* was actually on my to buy list for my next big Superdrug order so I was happy to see it in my LiB box. The reason why I wanted to try a few of the MUA Cream Blushers is because they really remind me of the Glossier Cloud Paints which I basically can't live without. So I wanted to see if they were a good dupe so I could save myself some money. Although let's face it, I'd probably still buy the Glossier ones because they're so nice *heart eyes*. I've found that the MUA Cream Blushers are nice but not as pigmented as the Glossier ones but I've still been enjoying wearing the Misty Rose shade for minimal makeup looks just for a slight hint of colour. I think I might pick up a few more shades to see how they perform just in case they all work a bit differently. 

The A.T Antao ColourLux Lip Lacquer (4 shades available) in the shade #2 Strawberry* is nice but I'll admit I'm not really a red lip wearer anymore. I think the last time I wore a red lipstick was Christmas time last year so I don't think I'm going to reach for it often.

I was looking for a new cleansing oil to buy and then LiB sent the New + Noteworthy box and basically blessed me with the Lumene Nordic Detox [Sisu] Recover & Protect Facial Oil* which I've been obsessed with. Lumene are a pretty new brand to me but the products I've tried so far have been amazing! The Nordic Detox Facial Oil contains Nordic Pine Bark Extract, Blackcurrant, Bilberry and Lingonberry Seed Oils along with essential omega fatty acids and Vitamin E and it removes makeup so easily, it smells nice and natural (in a good way) and also leaves my skin feeling soft. It's now replaced my Pixi Double Cleanse which my skin had started to disagree with for some reason.

The OPI Pro Spa Advanced Softening Gloves* are what I'd call a bit of a luxury moisturising treatment. I wouldn't say they are an essential you need in your beauty stash when you can just use a nice hand lotion but I do like to change it up a little sometimes and buy hand and foot treatment masks and the OPI Pro Spa Advanced Softening Gloves were nice to use and left my skin feeling super soft.

The box also came with the Jurlique Radiant Skin Foaming Cleanser* but I've stopped using foaming cleansers on my skin because I've realised my skin isn't a big fan so it's just not one for me unfortunately. So I'll either pass it on to someone who I know will use it or I'll pop it in my next giveaway (there is one coming soon!).

I found the Bio Miracle Bubble Sheet Mask in the Flamingo option* to be quite a fun face mask to use and I do think it purified my skin a little. I do like bubble masks because I do like a bit of a gimmick. I wouldn't say you need to rush out and buy it right now but if you fancy trying a bubble face mask then it is a nice, fun one to use. I think it'd be a great face mask to pop in a birthday hamper or bag if you're buying someone a few different things.

I was a little bit sceptical of the Laidbare Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow! Hair Minimising Cream* which is supposed to minimise hair growth after shaving but guess what? I think it actually works! Another good thing is that it's super cheap at £6.99 and it's 96% natural as well as being vegan friendly and gluten free. I have only tried it on my legs but I do find that my leg hair grows quite quickly and I've definitely noticed it not growing as quick as usual after just a couple of applications. So I highly recommend picking up and trying for yourself!

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-This post contains PR/Gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I haven't really been wearing a lot of jewellery lately and I wanted to change that. So I've recently added some new pieces to my jewellery collection which has definitely made me want to start wearing jewellery more often and it's also made me have a look around at other pieces which I like the look of too. I'm more into necklaces and earrings as opposed to bracelets and rings but I think that's because I have quite chubby hands and fingers so I try to avoid drawing attention to the area haha. So in this post I'm going to be talking about the pieces I've added to my collection recently and also a mini wishlist of pieces I have my eyes on. 

First up is the Accessorize Taurus Constellation Gold Pendant RRP £15 (from ASOS) which I actually picked up quite a while ago but I'm pretty sure I've never worn it.  I really wanted a pretty minimal necklace and it definitely fits the bill. I think it was available in silver too but I just prefer gold jewellery most of the time. It's weird because I used to prefer silver on me but now I tend to sway towards gold or rose gold more.

Daisy London got in touch recently and asked if I'd like to pick two necklaces from their gorgeous selection. Believe me, it was hard to choose just two! In the end I chose the Rose Quartz Healing Stone Necklace RRP £85* and the Estee Lalonde Sunburst Shield Necklace RRP £169*. 

I really want to get back into crystal healing because I did try crystal healing for a spell last year for my chronic pain and I do think it helped a little but I feel like crystals help with my emotions and feelings more so than physical 'issues' if you like. But it's still something I want to start doing again. Daisy London actually have an array of healing stone necklaces and out of the selection I was just drawn to the Rose Quartz Healing Stone 18ct Necklace* the most so that's why I chose it. I think it's a great necklace to layer with other necklaces as it has an adjustable chain length between 15" - 17". I do have quite a chubby neck so it's almost like a choker necklace on me but I still really like it. But I thought I'd mention that just in case any of my readers are part of the chubby neck committee too. I do think it would be great if they have chain extenders available.

I also chose the gorgeous Estee Lalonde Sunburst Shield 18ct Necklace* in the Gold Plate option which I'm absolutely obsessed with. I'll even go as far as saying it's my current favourite necklace. I was worried that it was going to be heavy on my neck with it being a larger pendant but it's really light and comfortable to wear. I also think it adds a lot to a plain outfit and I like when necklaces add something to an outfit. it's great if you're wearing a kind of easy "throw on" outfit and want to make it look nicer. It's a good one to layer with other necklaces like the Rose Quartz Healing Stone Necklace aswell. On the website it's described as a necklace with a 70's look with a modern twist and I think that description is bang on the money and I think that's why I love it so much because I'm really into the 60's/70's era. Something else I'm a big fan of about the necklace is that it's also got a long adjustable 22"/23"/24" chain.

Another thing I like about Daisy London is that the necklaces arrived in a gorgeous well presented box with a cute little bag to store them in if you're travelling. They also popped in their Portobello Mini Candle RRP £19* and it honestly smells incredible and I haven't even lit it yet because I think with it being Sandalwood & Amber scented it's going to be a lovely candle to use when Autumn comes around. Yes, I'm one of those people who saves candles for special occasions or certain seasons. However I've had it sitting on my bedside table looking pretty over the past few weeks and it gives off the scent without it being lit. It's not overpowering though - it's kind of a soapy Sandalwood & Amber scent if that makes sense. I think it would make a great added gift for someone if you're picking up a piece of jewellery for someone or for yourself! 

1. John Greed Silver Engraved Floral Letter K Necklace £25 / 2. Missoma White Zircon Gold Trinal Prism Studs £55 / 3. Daisy London Estee Lalonde Rising Sun Frame Necklace £139 / 4. Missoma Rainbow Moonstone Gold Lena Charm Necklace £110

Onto my mini wishlist... I'd never heard of John Greed up until recently when I saw some other bloggers working with them. I've had a look at their website a few times and there's definitely a lot of pieces I like the look of including the Silver Engraved Floral Letter K Necklace because I just think it's pretty without going overboard. 

I've also been looking at earrings recently because most of my earrings are either from Primark or New Look and I'd love to buy some quality earrings because I'll be honest I don't think my ears like cheap earrings anymore and they tend to get quite red and irritated. I've always preferred just wearing studs in my ears and I really like the Gold Trinal Prism ones I came across on Missoma and I think they would kind of go with any outfit and any hairstyle. 

When I asked to choose two necklaces from Daisy London I did pick the Estee Lalonde Rising Sun Frame Necklace and the Rose Quartz Healing Stone Necklace first but unfortunately the Rising Sun Frame necklace went out of stock which is why I chose a similar design and chose the Sunburst Shield Necklace instead. But I still think the Rising Sun Frame Necklace is absolutely stunning. It is back in stock but I just can't afford it right now but if I could I would 100% treat myself to it! 

Lastly is the Missoma Rainbow Moonstone Gold Lena Charm (what a mouthful!). Again I think the vintage inspired look of the necklace is what drew me in when I first saw it. I know it's definitely not going to be everyone's cup of tea but I think it's pretty and a bit different.

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My Go-To Comfortable Clothing Pieces *

in , , by Kirsty Milward, 19.8.19
-This post is in collaboration with justyouroutfit, all opinions are my own-
I love feeling comfortable and I do tend to buy my clothes a dress size or two bigger than my actual dress size just so that I feel extra comfortable. I also find feeling comfortable in what I'm wearing helps with my chronic pain a lot of the time too. So I thought I'd share my go-to clothing pieces that I wear either in the house as loungewear or when I'm out and about when I want to be super comfortable.

As I'm writing this the weather is a bit miserable, grey and kind of cold so over the past few days I've been wearing a cosy sweatshirt and either pyjamas bottoms or pyjamas shorts and I'd say it's one of my go-to outfits when I'm at home. It's cosy and comfortable and that's basically all I want in an outfit when it's a bit colder.

I also like to wear tracksuits as loungewear around the house or when I have to nip out of the house. I think it's mainly because I find jogger bottoms comfortable when I'm having a bad chronic pain flare up and I'm a fan of both hoodies and sweatshirts so I can mix it up a little if I want to. I also find that buying a tracksuit works out cheaper than buying the hoodie/sweatshirt and joggers separately a lot of the time and I love saving myself some money too. You can buy both women's and men's loungewear tracksuits at justyouroutfit.

I have quite a few smock dresses and T-shirt dresses in my wardrobe right now that I wear both in the house and out of the house. Smock dresses may not be the most flattering on my body shape but they are so comfortable! So I'm kind of just like "sod it" and wear them anyway. T-shirt dresses are effortless and a good piece to just throw on and go. I tend to buy plain T-shirt dresses and then dress them up with jewellery and a denim jacket.

One of my go-to comfortable outfits is definitely just a t-shirt and some leggings sometimes paired with a denim jacket or a chunky knit cardigan depending on the weather. I just feel like it's an easy outfit to throw on and go. I'm a big fan of slogan t-shirts and I'm currently really into t-shirts with mystical looking things like moons, suns and stars.

Lastly is one mainly for the autumn/winter months which is a cosy jumper with some leggings or jeggings. I don't find jeans very comfortable because I have quite chunky legs. So I just stick to leggings and jeggings because they're extra stretchy lol. This is another outfit that I like to keep pretty plain and simple and then make it look a bit more put together by adding jewellery like a statement pendant necklace or a pretty scarf. 

What are your favourite go-to comfortable clothing pieces? 

This is a sponsored blog post by https://www.justyouroutfit.com

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-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I thought I'd do a round up kind of post about products I've been trying out recently. Some I've loved and have added into my makeup bag or skincare routine and there's also some I've hated. As always I'm giving my honest opinions and hopefully this post will help save you some money if you have had your eyes on any of the products that I haven't gotten on with.

First up is the recently released Too Faced Damn Girl! Mascara which I wanted to buy as soon as I saw the announcement because I wanted to see if it's any better than the Better Than Sex mascara which I can't seem to get on with. Did I need a new mascara? Absolutely not. But I was intrigued to see if it'd give me some big fluttery lashes without it flaking like crazy which I find the Better Than Sex mascara does. The packaging is quite chunky so it's probably not going to be a go-to if you're someone who travels a lot but the product itself is pretty good. It is quite clumpy but I personally like a bit of a clumpier looking lash because I think it just makes my useless lashes look fuller. However sometimes I do go in with a spiky mascara wand (usually the Glossier Lash Slick) just to get some of the extra clump out if it gets a bit too much. The brush is massive! But I did already know that before buying it as I watched Emma's Rectangle review of it. Also when you first open it the brush does have excess mascara in the curvy parts of the brush but you can just swipe it on the edge or remove with a tissue if it's really bad. Overall I do think it gives me nice lashes, I find that just one coat is enough to give me some nice, full looking lashes which is great. It is pricey at £22 but I would repurchase because it does seem to work well with my lashes and I like that it's cruelty-free too. You can also buy the travel size version at £12 if you want to try it before you splurge on the full size.

I was so excited when I saw the Revolution Hydra Matte Translucent Powder as I thought it was going to be a dupe of the BECCA Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder which I've wanted to buy for ages but I've held back because it is expensive at £32 for a loose powder. It apparently feels cooling, kind of like water on the skin when you apply which sounds lovely, right? But is it £32 worth of lovely? Probably not. So I quickly nabbed the Revolution Hydra Matte Translucent Powder at £8 thinking I'd bought a complete dupe and guess what? It's not a dupe at all. First of all Revolution say that it's suitable for all skin tones... It clearly isn't as it's pure white as you can see from the photo above. So I don't what planet the person who wrote the description was on but it definitely wasn't earth. Secondly it should come with a hazard sticker on it because it kicks up so much powder dust it literally made me cough for a good 15 minutes after I used it for the first time. Anytime I do use it (just for the sake of using it) I have to hold my breath so I don't inhale it. So yeah, If you have asthma or any sort of breathing issues then honestly avoid this like the plague! Lastly in terms of working as a powder... it's just okay. Nothing special and not something I would say you need in your makeup bag ASAP. Overall I just feel like I've wasted £8 to be honest.

I was recently sent the Profusion Golden Nudes Eye and Cheek Palette* which is definitely my cup of tea when it comes to palettes as it has a bit of everything and the eyeshadow shades are lovely. They are a little similar but I am a big fan of browns, bronzes and golds. I was also sent their Highlight & Contour II palette too but unfortunately it was too deep for my skin. The Golden Nudes palette retails for £7 on Profusion's website which I think is a complete steal! It produces some lovely pigmented eyeshadows which blend out nicely and I also haven't experienced any fall out with the shadows either. Unfortunately the highlighter and bronze shades are a bit too dark for my skin tone but the blusher is a pretty pop of pink which I think I will be reaching for a lot. It is a little powdery but it's not too bad. I think if all of the shades suit your skin tone perfectly then it'd make a great travel palette.

I had high hopes for the NYX Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil and I wanted to see if it was a dupe or similar to the It Cosmetics CC Cream which I do love but sometimes I don't have the money to repurchase straight away when I'm running low so I like to try and find cheaper alternatives if and when needed. Unfortunately the NYX Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil is nothing like the It Cosmetics CC Creams. It oxidises like mad, it clings to spots and dry patches and it's quite hard to apply to your skin too. I've used a brush, beauty blender and my fingers to apply it and it just looks cakey and streaky no matter what application method I use. So it's a thumbs down from me!

A few weeks ago I was sent the ARK Skincare Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer RRP £36* and I'm currently using ARK Skincare's Skin Clear Cleanser and loving it (you can read my review of the products I was sent last month here). So I was excited to try another product from them. It's a makeup primer, sunscreen and moisturiser all in one and it's a great introduction if you want to make sure you're applying SPF daily. They're an award winning British brand who use natural ingredients and their formulations are free from parabens, SLS, mineral oil, S.D, Alcohol, Formaldehyde and artificial colours and fragrances. The Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer really reminds me of the The Body Shop's Skin Defense Multi-Protection Essence SPF50 which everyone raves about. I like The Body Shop's SPF too but because of it's high alcohol levels, it broke me out in spots really bad. It is a shame that the ARK Skincare Skin Protector isn't a higher SPF but I do think SPF 30 is still an okay amount for day-to-day wear in the UK. So far I'm enjoying the multi-use side of the Skin Protector because if I'm in a rush then I know I've moisturised, primed and also have a good amount of SPF on. So I guess it's killing two birds with one stone in a way which is why even though it is a high-end price I do think it's worth it and would pick it up again.

I decided to pick up my first ever product from Lanolips recently and I decided to get their Lemonaid Lip Treatment. Since I've been diagnosed with Gastritis I've noticed that certain foods AND beauty products from lip oils, LUSH lip scrubs and even lipsticks can upset my stomach and make me have a horrible taste in my mouth and throat. It's so weird! I used to swear by LUSH lip scrubs and now I can't use them. So I thought I'd try Lanolips. It was a bit risky going for something lemon flavoured but it's actually fine. I was so shocked after using it for the first time! It's not grainy or anything like that, it's more like a balm but because of the organic citrus lemon peel oil it lifts any dead skin and leaves your lips looking and feeling super soft and smooth. You also don't have to use a lot each time you use it so it will definitely last a while too.

What beauty products have you been trying out recently?

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-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
This year I seem to be really enjoying more of a natural/minimal base with either a nude lip or a bold lip. I just think it looks really nice! If I'm having a bit of a rubbish skin kind of day then I'll apply a dab of concealer where it's needed just to build up the coverage in the areas needed and then I apply the base. I just feel like my skin is happier when I'm wearing less makeup, especially in the summer. So when Tropic got in touch about some of their makeup products I was definitely intrigued. I've technically already tried some makeup products from Tropic because they kindly sent me across their customisable Colour Palette* a couple months ago which I really like - especially the highlighter and blusher. But in this post I'm talking about their Mineral Foundation and one of their Kiss Me Quick lipsticks.

I've been debating on trying out a mineral foundation for a while but there's always a few things which put me off... one being the colour match because in normal liquid foundations or CC creams I tend to have to use whitening drops to make the shade right for me (even if I buy the lightest shade) and I also worry because I have an oilier skin type, I don't know if I'm just going to look like a mottled, oily mess after I've been wearing a mineral foundation for a few hours. But I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and try it out. 

Tropic's Mineral Foundation in the shade "Porcelain" RRP £24* is SPF 25 and has 6 shades available which I do think could be better but I do also think the shade range isn't too bad. I feel like there is a good mixture of skin tones if you get what I mean. In the pan I did think that the "Porcelain" shade looked quite orange and I was like Uh oh when I first saw it but once you start applying it, it looks a lot lighter. It's really easy to apply with their Kabuki Brush* (sold separately RRP £22) and you just buff in it in circular motions from the centre outwards like it tells you to on the directions on the box. They do claim it's full coverage but I think it's more of an almost-medium coverage but it still looks nice. It doesn't look powdery or cakey and it's so comfortable too! Although I think it looks lovely as soon as you apply it, I feel like once it settles into your skin after 20-30 minutes, it looks even nicer. It still looks like your skin and you can also use concealer underneath if needed over blemishes or to cover dark under eye circles etc and it still works just as well. I also like that they sell refill pouches for £19.20 instead of buying the whole pot all over again. So far I'm really impressed with the Mineral Foundation, I'm definitely reaching for it more than I thought I would. It looks nice on it's own or over the top of a tinted moisturiser (I've been wearing it over Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser) when you just want a bit more coverage but also want to be comfortable and I think it will last a while with it being a powder foundation.

I also chose a Kiss Me Quick Lipstick to try which are RRP £20. I chose the shade Fresh Fig* which is just a lovely everyday kind of shade. It can be built up to a bolder colour if wanted or you can just sweep it on lightly for a glossy balm-like look. It's comfortable and gives you a nice plumping effect too. It also smells really fruity - I think it's the shea butter and passionfruit I can smell but I'm not sure. There's also a nice selection of shades if Fresh Fig doesn't tickle your fancy - there's 8 shades altogether.

Overall I'm really happy with both of the products I've tried. It's another thumbs up from me! I will definitely be picking up the Mineral Foundation again and I would buy a couple more shades from the Kiss Me Quick range if I wanted to add more glossy lipsticks to my lipstick collection.

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-This post is in collaboration with Trade Radiators, all opinions are my own-
You may have noticed that I've been talking more about home and interiors on my blog this year. I don't know if it's my age, now that I'm 25 or if it's something which I'm just really enjoying in general but I'm a bit obsessed to be honest. So I thought I'd do a blog post about interior design and home decor trends I've been loving and taking inspiration from this year. 

60's/70's Vibes
I'm really into 60's/70's interior design right now. I admit I wouldn't go all out and have my house completely decked out with furniture and wallpaper from those eras but I do like the idea of injecting bits and pieces into your home. Whether it's a snazzy over the top wallpaper design, a retro looking chair, clashing some bold colours or adding a huge bookcase or a long teak sideboard with legs that look like it can barely hold it up. There's just something about the 60's/70's I love and I've literally felt that way since I was younger.

Making Features 
Something else which I'm liking this year and have even incorporated into our house already is making features out of things in your home that otherwise get overlooked. From turning an old unusable 1940's fireplace into a vanity area, upgrading your curtains by adding some bold curtain hooks, picking up some snazzy wall hooks to hang your coats and jackets on in a small hallway or making a feature out of your otherwise plain radiators by adding custom coloured, bold graphite or chrome radiators which you can buy from Trade Radiators. Making features and changing small things often makes a big difference.

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Plants Everywhere
I basically want to turn my house into a greenhouse haha. I love homes which have plants everywhere. But because we have two cats I'm always worried about making them sick because a lot of houseplants are toxic to both cats and dogs and can even be fatal. I do have some cacti and succulents (Echeverias) in the bathroom window where the cats don't go and I'm also thinking about an Aloe Vera plant for my room (which are toxic btw) but I'm planning on putting a shelf up on my wall quite high up and making a feature out of it with a large print behind the plant and adding a few books and too. ~Fingers crossed the cats won't bother with it~

Industrial Interiors
I also really like industrial interior styles too. From metal stairs, big windows, oversized lights in the kitchen and more. I also like the mixture of rustic wooden tables and bookcases made from metal with wooden shelves. I think it looks bold and eye catching but you can make it look softer and cosier by adding some books, plants, string lights etc.

Mustard Everything
Mustard seem to be everywhere this year and I am here for it. We've recently revamped the living room by adding a floral mustard yellow feature wall above the fireplace and we've also added some warm yellow cushions in a few different designs to add some texture too. In addition to that I've recently picked up a cosy mustard fleece blanket for the colder months to snuggle up in with a hot drink and a book. I'm so ready for Autumn and Winter now, can you tell?

Freestanding Mirrors
I also love the look of huge freestanding mirrors against the wall but unfortunately I have two cats and they're both mischief makers so I can guarantee a freestanding mirror wouldn't last that long in our house. However I think they just look so great and if you have a large room and you have a lot of space and don't know what to do with it then I could see how filling the space with a massive mirror would work well.

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-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
Because my blog post about glowy skincare products seemed to go down well last week I thought I'd bring back another round-up skincare blog post this week. So in this post I'm talking about my must-have products if you have stressed out, hormonal, spot-prone skin - like myself! After many trials and errors I feel like I now know what works best (for me anyway) and there's a mixture of budget and high-end in this post too.

For cleanser I don't really stick to any sort of brand anymore I just try and use something that's either gentle or has the words purifying or detoxifying in the name. I've recently realised that foam cleansers aren't for me anymore because I find they dry out my skin in weird places like around my eyes and on the edge of my nose so I just avoid them now. I also tend to prefer a gel cleanser because I find they work best with my Magnitone London XOXO Silicone Cleansing Brush* and I find that using a silicone cleansing brush helps to deeply cleanse my skin and unclog any blocked pores. I can definitely feel a difference between using a cleansing brush and just using my hands to wash my face. The Magnitone XOXO is a great travel friendly brush with different textures on each corner and I also have the PMD Clean* which is another great silicone brush too. I think it just depends on what you're looking for and also the space you have to store your skincare bits too.

For the face mask section I have quite a lot to talk about... My go-to mask over the past 2 years has definitely been The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask because it helps draw out impurities, settles down any current spots and leaves my skin looking nice and glowy. However... it is super messy to use, it smells very strong of tea tree and it's a bit of a pain to get off. But because I get such good results from using it, I keep repurchasing it. I also like to use the Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment as a spot treatment mask but I've recently discovered the Lacura Charcoal Clearing Mud Mask from Aldi is more or less exactly the same at a fraction of price. It's just a little harder to remove but I'm not that bothered about that. It kind of comes in and out of store so if you see it, buy it! because it goes out of stock so quickly. 

Another mask I like to use as a full on mask or as a quick spot treatment mask is the Alpha-H Clear Skin Blemish Control Mask*. You only have to leave it on for 5-10 minutes and it does so much in that time. It helps to get impurities out, calms any red areas and it's also a good one for getting those pesky under the skin spots to come to the surface too. I've also found that the T-Zone Australian Pink Clay Mask is basically a complete dupe to the Sand and Sky Pink Clay Mask - it even smells the same! Again, it's a fraction of the price. I like to use it when I feel like my face needs a bit of a pick me up when it's looking a little drab.

For "treatments" I've kind of stuck to the same four products for a while but I've recently been introduced to a few others which I've incorporated into my skincare routine when my skin is acting up quite bad.

The four that I've been using religiously for months/years are the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ which is kind of like moisturiser and treatment lotion in one. I find it works well to smooth out your skin if you suffer with texture and I also find it helps to fade scarring really well. It's definitely one of my holy grail skin care products. Next is the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion which works so well at drying out white head spots as well as helping to bring out under the skin spots too. I tend to only use it at night as it is visible on the skin. Another fave is the Pixi Glow Tonic* which is a great chemical exfoliator as it contains glycolic acid and it really does make your skin glow the next day after using it. It does tingle and sometimes it does make my face go a little red, so again it's a product I tend to use in the evening.

 My last go-to treatment which I literally can't be without is the Dermalogica Redness Relief Essence which is great if you're someone who goes red in the cheeks when you're going through hormonal spells, have sensitive skin or if you've had an allergic reaction - which is what I use it for. If you follow me on twitter then you might know that I keep having an on/off reaction to dairy (I think) and some other foods and I go really red and hot on my cheeks. But now I always reach for the Redness Relief Essence to calm it down. It's kind of like a toner and serum in one so it's really hydrating and great for sensitive skin. If I leave my hot flush as I like to call them then I'll stay hot and red in my cheeks for literally hours and it's so uncomfortable but with the Redness Relief Essence it goes away within 15 minutes or so. I'll even go as far as to say it's now my all-time fave Dermalogica product.

Talking of Dermalogica, I've been really enjoying their recent skin clearing release which is the AGE Bright Clearing Serum*. It's main active ingredients are Niacinamide and Salicylic Acid which are both known for their skin clearing properties. When my skin is acting up or if I can feel a breakout on the way then I pop this either directly on the area of the impending breakout or just all over and if I keep on top of it for a few days I will see a difference. 

For on the go or on the spot (get it?) spot treatment then the Clinogen Zap It! intensive Spot Treatment* might be one for you. I've only been using it for a few weeks but it's definitely helped me out a couple of times already. It contains a unique formula of natural enzymes and anti-microbials which all help to heal and prevent spots from developing. It unblocks the pore and then the product gets inside and eliminates any of the bacteria. It has a sponge-like applicator and it doesn't give out tons of product each time you apply so you don't waste any product or go overboard. It works really well for under the skin spots too! It also can help to treat cold sores but I haven't tried it for that as I haven't had a cold sore. But it's definitely my go-to quick spot treatment at the moment.

I recently picked up the Pixi Peel and Polish which is a sugar-based scrub which contains enzymes and lactic acid. It's super gentle on the skin and you can either use it as an exfoliator or leave it on as a mask for 5 minutes and I can literally see the results after removing it - my skin instantly looks brighter and the texture looks more even. It's honestly one of the best skincare products I've tried.

For moisturiser I tend to go for lightweight or gel-based moisturisers such as the Origins Energy Boosting Gel Moisturiser just because I find they are hydrating enough but don't block my pores like a thick moisturiser does. I also sometimes use oils as a moisturiser. At the minute I really like the True Skincare Balancing Safflower & Basil Facial Oil* which is lovely and it smells nice too. It contains all the right things if you have an oily/combo skin type but it's also nice and hydrating.

What are your go-to products when your skin is acting up?

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