New In From Transformulas

in , , by Kirsty Milward, 27.9.19
-This post contains PR/Gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I hadn't heard of Transformulas until I received an unexpected parcel with their Flawless PhotoGlow SPF30+ Multi Tasking Cream* a few months ago. You can read my full review of the Multi Tasking Cream here but in short, I really like it and I think it's great for days when my skin is looking a bit drab and needs a pick me up and I also like that it is SPF 30. They've recently launched their Flawless Eye Re-Touch Concealer* and Flawless Eye Wakeup Serum* and I couldn't wait to try them both out! 

Transformulas are what I'd call an high-end skincare brand but they do provide quality which is a thumbs up from me. I don't mind spending my money on high-end products as long is there's quality and when I buy skincare products I like to know that there's some benefits when using the product. I hate brands that release gimmicky things with barely any beneficial properties and then whack a big price tag on it. It drives me mad. Transformulas are also cruelty free as well.

 I've been trialling both of the Transformulas products out over the past week or so and here what I think of them... 

The Flawless Eye Re-Touch Concealer* is what I would call an illuminating under eye concealer. I'm not going to lie, I did used to love a illuminating concealer but I don't really use them anymore just because I find that using a normal concealer which works for both my under eyes and blemishes works just as well for me and it also saves me some money. However Transformulas have produced an anti-ageing concealer that combines skin care benefits as well as coverage. It contains clinically proven ingredients Eyeseryl and Catuline Expression which reduce dark circles and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. It also contains light reflective pigments which help to enhance, smooth, concealer and brighten the eye area. The one shade suits all and works for every skin tone. 

I like the concealer and it does definitely lift my eyes when I've had a bad nights sleep but I still think for me personally I'd prefer my normal concealer. I'm not super keen on clicky pens when it comes to concealers (or lipsticks) just because I always feel like too much product comes out and then you're basically wasting product and with it only containing 3ml and costing £22 you don't want to be wasting any product at all ideally. I do like that it wakes my under eyes up and gives what I would call a medium coverage but I just don't think I'd spend £22 on a concealer that I can only use under my eyes when my normal drugstore concealer which gives medium coverage costs just £4.49. I think if you don't feel like you need a concealer for blemishes and just want to brighten and conceal your under eyes and reap some of the skincare benefits that the Transformulas concealer claims to provide then I'd say definitely try it out. I think it's just personal preference at the end of the day and it's just not for me right now.

The Flawless Eye Wakeup Serum* is 17.5ml and priced at £34. They claim that it improves skin firmness, reduces puffiness, minimises dark circles and fine lines and wrinkles and also brightens the skin.  It contains Eyeseryl Acetyl Tetrapeptide which helps to decongest the eye area, reduces water retention and de-puffs whilst correcting dark circles and erasing signs of fatigue - which I definitely like the sound of! As well as that it contains Hyaluronic Acid which is one of the more common skincare acids and it really helps to boost hydration. As well as Eyeseryl Acetyl Tetrapeptide and Hyaluronic Acid, the Flawless Eye Wakeup Serum contains anti-oxidants which help to neutralise free radicals, protects your skin against environmental damage, pollution and premature ageing.

I absolutely love this eye serum! It's basically everything I want in an eye product and if you're a frequent reader of my blog then you'll know that I have been looking into eye care products recently because I've noticed I've started to get some small lines under my eyes and it's making me feel quite self conscious and sad about ageing basically haha. I'm not saying that this product has got rid of the lines but when I apply the product I feel like it really lifts and plumps the area and I feel like the product helps to 'pull' out dark circles. I also like that the serum is light weight and not heavy and it always feels cool and refreshing. You don't have to use a lot of product either, I don't even use a full pump to do both of my eyes (focusing more on my under eyes). So I will 100% be repurchasing this when I run out!

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A bareMinerals Review

in , , , by Kirsty Milward, 24.9.19
-This post contains PR/Gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I was recently sent some products from bareMinerals and I wanted to talk about how I've been getting on with as I've been using them for a few weeks now. They also kindly sent me a couple of products they already knew I liked aswell to stock me up which was really nice of them. So I'm popping them into this post aswell just so I can talk about why I love them so much. 

I've only just started to use powder foundation and it's honestly so good. I have an oilier skin type and I was worried that if I used a mineral foundation, it'd end up looking all cakey and would break up on my skin after a few hours of wear but it doesn't (yay!). It actually sits well on my skin and gives me a nice natural, even coverage (it is buildable too). The Original Foundation* which is SPF15 is priced at £28 and it has a locking mechanism inside so the powder doesn't go everywhere, which I definitely appreciate. Especially after dealing with one of the worst loose powders I've ever tried recently which you can read about in this blog post. I tend to just shake/tap the amount I want or need into the lid and then apply in swirling motions with a kabuki brush. I have the shade "Fair 01" and I'm not going to lie it does look like it's going to be quite orange when looking at it in the pot but it looks fine once it's on. It's got a nice glow to it without going overboard and I just think it's great for those minimal, effortless makeup days that I've definitely been a fan of over the past few months.

As I've already mentioned on my blog before, I prefer a mascara brush that has proper bristles as I find they really help to add volume and length to my lashes. So when I first opened the Lash Domination Mascara* and saw that it has a plastic spiral brush I thought "hmm, probably not one for me". It's no shade on the mascara itself, it's just because I feel like mascaras with a large, hourglass shaped brush with proper bristles work better on my useless lashes. For example, I'm a big fan of Too Faced's new Damn Girl! mascara which has a massive brush and a slight curve in the middle. However, I have tried the Lash Domination Mascara a couple of times and it does give me nice, natural-looking fluttery lashes which I like for a minimal or no-makeup makeup kind of day. So I will continue to use the mascara but I don't think I'd pick it up again just because I prefer a bit more volume. I feel like I'd get on better with bareMinerals Lashtopia Mega Volume Mineral-Based Mascara because the brush looks more like something I would usually go for. 

The GEN NUDE Powder Blush in Pretty in Pink* is exactly as it's described it's pretty and pink. It's not a in-your-face pink, it's more of a natural pink which I prefer when it comes to a blush. It's priced at £23 and there's a good amount of shades to choose from aswell. The blush is buildable and just very pretty. I feel like it'd be a good blush for someone starting out using makeup because you can't really go wrong with it. I also think it blurs your skin a little too because my skin always looks smoother when I use this blush so that's definitely an added bonus!

The Complexion Rescue Tinted Gel Cream* priced £29 is probably one of the best products I've tried this year and I'm a bit obsessed. I wanted a my-skin-but-better kind of product to wear both around the house when I'm feeling a bit rubbish about my skin and when I'm doing a few errands. I apply this with my fingers because I feel like the warmth helps the product to sink into my skin better and I feel like I get a better finish when I apply with my fingers instead of my foundation brush or beauty sponge. It's quite glowy so I do usually either powder it down all over or just on my t-zone which is my most oiliest area. It's very lightweight to the point that I don't feel like I've got anything on my skin but it just makes me feel like I've got my armour on, especially if my skin isn't being great. It's also SPF30 which is handy. I literally can't be without this now! I also sometimes use it with a dab of concealer and the Original Foundation* on top (using it as a powder to set) just to give extra coverage.

The GEN NUDE Rose Eyeshadow Palette* has the most gorgeous marble-look packaging which everyone seemed to go wild about when I posted about it on my insta stories and it's quite compact which makes it the perfect travel companion. The shades inside are literally perfect for me. There's 6 different shadows inside which you can dress up and down easily. There's also a little leaflet which comes inside the box which tells you some ways you can wear the eyeshadow colours if you're stuck for ideas. I've been loving the shades Pixie, Boho and Free Spirit the most and I've been wearing them on their own and all mixed together. The quality of the eyeshadows is great and they glide on so easily and don't have any fall out either. The palette is £29 which to me does seem like a lot for 6 eyeshadows but I think it'd make a great little treat to yourself or for someone as a gift. I'm definitely interested in trying out a couple more of their eyeshadow palettes after trying out this one. I'm already eyeing up their new Bounce and Blur Eyeshadow Palette.

The BARESKIN Complete Coverage Serum Concealer* is actually a concealer I've had my eyes on for a short while but the "serum" part in the description is what has been putting me off buying because of my skin type being oily. However I've been using it for the past couple of weeks and it actually works really well, especially under my eyes. It feels very lightweight but covers everything up so well. I'm definitely going to be picking up another when I run out!

Are you a fan of bareMinerals? Let me know what your fave products are in the comments! 
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A Haircare Round-Up

in , , , , , by Kirsty Milward, 21.9.19
-This post contains PR/Gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I thought I'd talk about hair care on my blog today because I wanted to share some of my current favourite hair products. Some have been faves for a while and a couple are pretty new to me. My hair is a bit of everything, it get's greasy at the roots pretty quickly but it's also quite dry and frizzy on the mid lengths and ends. So I'm not going to lie, I do own a lot of hair products but it's just so that I can cater for the different hair situations I have to deal with day-to-day.

First up I'm talking about my three favourites from Umberto Giannini who are one of my go-to brands for affordable hair care. I've been using their 60 Second Smooth Pre Shampoo Treatment for about 18 months now and it's honestly amazing. It makes your hair feel like you've just come out of a salon. You put it through your mid lengths and ends before you shampoo and it smooths everything out as the name suggests. I can't be without it and a little goes a long way! Another products from UG which I've been using religiously for a while is their "Milk" Frizz Control Miracle Styling Milk which smells really nice and floral. I pop it on damp hair before blow drying and it really helps to protect your hair from the heat and smooth out your hair and the packaging is super cute too! The last product from Umberto Giannini which I've got to talk about is their Flowerology Rose Drops Miracle Mist... I'm not usually a big fan of mist type of products that you put on before blowing drying your hair but this is so good! It smells nice and it really does help to settle my hair down as well as protecting the colour when I've recently dyed my hair.

Two products from LUSH that I love are BIG Shampoo which is a great product if you get a lot of product build up in your hair. It can feel a bit scratchy on your hair as it contains chunks of sea salt but it helps to get rid of build up as well as helping to add volume to your hair. It also smells bloody gorgeous too. I tend to only use it when my hair needs to be dyed because I have noticed that it does seem to pull hair dye out of my hair quite easily. The second product I love from LUSH is their American Cream Conditioner. It's probably one of my favourite scents ever and I've tried to find something similar at a cheaper price and haven't found anything like it. It's a product I use when I'm having a pamper or self-care kind of day/evening because it is quite pricey. The 100g bottle which I tend to pick up is £7. But it does make my hair feels nice and the lovely uplifting scent sticks around until your next hair wash.

My current favourite dry shampoo is the new Lee Stafford Keep it Clean Dry Shampoo* because it smells like the rest of the range which I ~love~ and it doesn't make your hair feel like it's filled with powder like Batiste does. It's a lot lighter on the hair aswell if that makes sense. Will definitely be sticking to this dry shampoo from now on!

Talking of Lee Stafford I've got to talk about my favourite hair masks which are the ChocoLocks Butter Cream and Keep It Clean with Pink Clay* hair masks. They both smell amazing, make my hair feel silky smooth and easier to manage and you don't have to use tons of product each time you use them (depending on your hair length) so they last a good amount of time. Another hair mask which is new to me this year is the Josh Wood Colour Everything Mask which is so good! It really helps to lock in your hair colour when it's freshly dyed as well as making it look glossy and healthy. Another must have!

My go to shampoo and conditioner over the past month or so has been the Palmers Olive Oil Shampoo and Conditioner. The range smells nice and fresh and leaves my hair looking and feeling less frizzy which they claim the range will do. I've even turned my mum who is basically a die-hard fan of John Frieda products into a massive Palmers fan.

Another problem with my hair, especially since I've been put on different medication for my chronic pain is that it's quite flat at the roots. So to help lift and add volume to my roots I use the Design.Me Puff.Me Powder Mist which is a quick way to give your hair volume and some oomph. Less is definitely more with this product because if you put too much on, it goes all sticky and feels horrible so you do have to be careful. But when it's used right it's a great product.

Cake Beauty are a brand new to the UK and I've only tried two products from them so far and I'm actually blown away at how good they are, how affordable they are and how nice the products smell too. I've been using The Gloss Boss* which is a "Dry Hair Finishing Oil" which has been designed to be used on second day hair to refresh your locks and give your hair a lovely healthy looking shine. It smells amazing! I personally think it smells like a sweet cake scent with a touch of coconut and the same goes for the The Mane Manage'r 3-in-1 Leave in Conditioner* which makes my hair feel super soft and more manageable too. I can't wait to try more from them. 

Talking about leave-in conditioning treatments, I've been using the Mane 'n Tail Hair Strengthener* for ages and it's definitely one of my all-time fave products. I think it smells like Love Hearts sweets as it smells quite fruity and I just pop it in my hair either when it's damp and about to be dried or after I've dried it. It works so well on my fine hair and doesn't weigh my hair down at all like some leave-in conditioning treatments do. 

Lastly is another oil-based product that I've picked up time and time again is the Lee Stafford Chocolate Shake. It's from the ChocoLocks range as you've probably already figured out by the name of the product and it's one of those products that you have to shake to "active" as it's split in half inside the bottle. I tend to pop it on before I blow dry my hair to give my hair a bit of protection and also so that it smells like chocolate obvs. It's more of a light weight oil, so if you have thin hair or if you're scared of oils making your hair look greasy then you'll probably love this one. 

What are your favourite hair products? 

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-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I've been doing my best to be more sustainable and I've been making a conscious effort to change things up which you can read about in this post. One of the first things I wanted to change is some things in my beauty regime which I use daily/most days that aren't environmentally friendly. I switched out face wipes a while ago because they were wreaking havoc on my skin, I also recently changed to cotton paper buds as opposed to the ones with the plastic stick and I'm also on the look out for a decent shampoo bar as all of the ones I've tried so far just don't work for me and they either dry out my hair or strip out my hair dye, which isn't ideal. Something else which I've been struggling with is finding a good way to remove my makeup (particularly my eye makeup) instead of using single-use cotton wool pads. I've tried quite a few reusable makeup remover pads/wipes but I've had issues with literally all of them so far. From having a reaction to the material, the cotton pads literally disintegrating in the washing machine even when I've followed the brands "washing guide" and I've also had a set that literally fell apart in my hands when I used oil-based products which I use to get my eye makeup off with. 

So when EcoPanda reached out to me asking if I would be up for trying out and reviewing their bamboo makeup remover pads I was like yes please! (whilst hoping and praying that they would work for me). EcoPanda are a small brand who are constantly looking for new ways to replace conventional products with environmentally friendly products. 

Their EcoPanda Bamboo Makeup Remover Pads are available from Amazon and are made from high quality bamboo and are also hypoallergenic. The set includes a gorgeous bamboo storage jar, an eco-friendly laundry bag, 18 reusable white bamboo makeup remover pads (8cm each) and an E-book with some tips on skincare. So you're definitely getting your money's worth when you buy the set!

The makeup remover pads are made up of two layers of high quality natural bamboo cotton fabrics and contain no plastic. They are suitable for all skin types and they are sustainable because bamboo is not only biodegradable but it also grows up to a meter each day which makes it a great eco material. Also using reusable makeup remover pads saves a lot of money in the long run because you can use them over and over again.

I'm pretty sure that none of the reusable makeup remover pads or wipes I've tried previously whilst I've being trying to make the change have been made from or contain bamboo and I think that's what's so different with the EcoPanda makeup remover pads and why they seem to be better than the previous reusable pads I've used. They seem tougher but they are super soft to use and they stay soft after washing and air drying too which I really like. I also think it's good that they are bigger than your average cotton wool pad. For example I can use just one EcoPanda pad to remove all of my eye makeup (using both sides).

So how have I been getting on using the EcoPanda Makeup Remover Pads overall?

I'm happy to say that I've ~finally~ found some reusable makeup remover pads that actually work well for me! They don't annoy my skin or make my eyes go red at all, they wash really well and also don't break the bank. Yay!

If you have time then rinse the freshly used pad under warm water and use some soap to help remove any stains (I tend to use just a basic Dove soap bar for this). It really helps to get any mascara out before popping them in the wash. If you're not too bothered about stains on the bamboo pads then you can just leave them until you pop them in the wash. Also don't put them in the tumble dryer as this can cause shrinkage and don't use fabric softeners, stain removers or bleach. Remember to ALWAYS use the laundry bag provided and if they're badly stained then you can wash at 60 degrees.

Have you made the change to reusable makeup remover pads or wipes? and will you be buying the EcoPanda Bamboo Makeup Remover Pads?

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-This post is in collaboration with Special Metals-
Want to create a new metal part? Why not try metal fabrication? Although standard ‘off-the-shelf’ products are often cheaper, they’re unlikely to meet your exact needs – and investing in a specialist fabrication service, such as that offered by Special Metals, is usually the best way to proceed.  
What is metal fabrication?
Metal fabrication is the process of creating a metal part from raw refractory metal (e.g. molybdenum, niobium, tantalum, tungsten, zirconium, titanium). Rather than being assembled from ready-made components, the end product is created via the fabrication process itself. That’s why it’s known as a ‘value-added’ process – value is added to the part throughout the process. 
The fabricator typically starts with a sheet of metal, approximately ¼ of an inch thick or less. In this form, it is highly pliable and can be manipulated into different shapes and sizes. This can be done using a range of metal fabrication techniques – such as cutting, bending, welding etc – and the exact methods employed will depend on the metal chosen and the desired end product.
What can be made using metal fabrication techniques?
Most metal parts can be made via a metal fabrication process. It’s often used for the mass production of metal products (e.g. screws, cans, cutlery). Most companies will offer a range of standard parts, such as metal bars, plates, rods, tubes, sheets, billets, crucibles and more. However, it’s also possible for custom metal parts to be made-to-order, in line with your specific needs. 
How much does metal fabrication cost?
This depends on several factors, including:
  • the type of refractory metal chosen
  • the part’s exact specification 
  • the volume of parts ordered
It’s usually worth doing a little research into metal fabrication companies in your area. Finding someone who can fulfil all aspects of your order can help and staying local will cut down delivery charges. You should also choose a company with cutting-edge fabrication equipment. Not only does this ensure a high-quality product, but it can also streamline the process and reduce the final cost. 
Who can help with metal fabrication?
Companies who specialise in metal fabrication are commonly known as fab shops – and one of the UK’s leading ‘fab shops’ is Special Metals. Their team have over 120 years’ experience in this industry and all products are made in-house at their state-of-the-art facility in Essex. 

They offer a comprehensive metal fabrication service, with both standard and non-standard components available. These can be created from a diverse selection of refractory metals and, thanks to their commitment to quality, they are always finished to the highest possible standard.
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-This post is in collaboration with Prosperity Law-
Looking for a commercial solicitor in Manchester? It’s important to do your research. Whether it’s for a small commercial dispute or a huge commercial property case, you need a firm that you can rely on – a strong team of specialists, who will put you first and secure the best possible outcome. 
So, how do you find the right solicitors for the job? There are five main factors that you should consider.
1. Location
Although most things can now be done online or over the phone (or even via post!), it’s often a good idea to choose a local firm. If your business is located in Manchester, for example, it makes sense to select a commercial solicitors in Manchester. That way, you can pop in for a chat if necessary and any documents (e.g. photo ID, birth certificate etc.) can be delivered by hand at your convenience. 2. Experience 
This should go without saying. It’s imperative to find established commercial solicitors, with ample experience in the discipline you require. Start by browsing their website. Do they list the service you’re looking for? If so, give them a call and ask to speak to a specialist in that area. This gives you an opportunity to inquire about previous cases they have worked on and gage their expertise for yourself.
3. Reputation 
Reviews are a great way to judge the quality of a firm. Once you’ve found potential commercial solicitors in Manchester, see what people are saying about them. If their hard work and success rate is recognised online, by numerous different clients, they’re probably a good choice
4. Focus
Crucially, you should find a commercial solicitor who will prioritise you – the client. Your case is important and you need to ensure it gets the attention it deserves. Once again, reviews can help with this; if someone has received particularly good customer service, they’re likely to say so. It’s also a good idea to look at the firm’s ‘about us’ page and see what approach they take to new cases.  5. Cost
You should never choose a solicitor just because they’re cheap. But, in the same breath, you need to make sure you’re not paying over the odds. Do a little research to get an idea of realistic rates and find commercial solicitors in Manchester who will handle your case in a cost-effective manner. 
Prosperity Law: A leading commercial solicitors in Manchester 
Prosperity Law LLP is a multi-service commercial solicitors in Manchester – and it’s fair to say, they tick all the boxes outlined above. They have strong knowledge and experience in a range of disciplines. Clients are at the heart of everything they do and, thanks to their honesty and integrity, they have worked with many high-profile clients and gained a first-class reputation.
Their specialist solicitors will strive to get the results that you deserve. So why not visit their website today and see how they can help you? Alternatively, give them a call on 0161 667 3686 or send an email to and they’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 
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-This post is in collaboration with Liverpool ONE, all opinions are my own-
I'm a big fan of visiting places that have a lot on offer and I'm planning a few different trips in the upcoming months and one of the places I'm planning on visiting is Liverpool. I'm thinking of visiting closer to Christmas to do some Christmas shopping as well as checking out the huge LUSH store there which is actually their biggest store in the world as of right now. I haven't visited Liverpool in a few years and if I'm being totally honest the last time I went it was a bit of whirlwind because it was kind of spur of the moment so I didn't really know what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. So next time I visit I'm definitely going to try and plan out my day and try and squeeze in multiple different things to do throughout the day. 

Liverpool ONE have put together an infographic sharing what they think are the most instagrammable places in Liverpool. This is because according to stats 40% of millennials choose a travel spot based on the instagrammability. All of the places Liverpool ONE have chosen are a walking distance away from the shopping and entertainment complex so you can make a day of your visit which is exactly what I'm planning on doing. You can check out the full infographic at the bottom of this post but for now I'm going to share the places which I like the look of the most as well as a few other places I'd love to visit during my time in the city.

Knight Street Corner is just an 11 minute walk from Liverpool ONE and offers loads of different coloured and patterned walls to get that perfect insta shot. Although I'm not a big fan of having my photo taken the majority of the time, especially a full length photo, I definitely wouldn't pass up the opportunity to get a photo in front of one or two of these snazzy, colourful walls.

Cow Liverpool sell vintage clothing and I'm a big fan of vintage or vintage looking clothes right now so I would love to pop in and see what they have. I could even maybe pick up a Christmas present or two in there too! 

I am into wall art (most of the time anyway) and I really like the look of the Chinese Dragon which is on the edge of Back Knight Street and I'd definitely want to try and get a picture of it to share on my insta.

How cool is the Zig Zag Staircase which is actually in Liverpool ONE? It leads up to the Galleria and The Terrace. I don't know why but always get drawn into things that light up in different colours and this is definitely one of those things. 

Queen Avenue really does look like something from Harry Potter and is apparently a secret shopping street. I would definitely get some snaps for insta here and have a nosey around the cute little shops too. I love finding cute, independent shops and Queen Avenue definitely looks like it would deliver.

As I've already said earlier in the post LUSH is a must on my to-do list for when I visit Liverpool. It's a lot closer to me than LUSH Oxford Street and it really does look amazing. 

Junkyard Golf Club definitely sounds like an interesting place to grab a drink. I love that it's a bit "out there" and I'm a big fan of anything that has slogans involved, so sign me up! I also haven't played any sort of golf for literally years so that should be a fun and interesting experience.

Lastly is more of an experience but I'd love to visit The Beatles Story Experience Exhibition. I was basically brought up listening to the likes of The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac,  Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix and more. I've always liked The Beatles since I was really young so I think I would really enjoy it.

What places from the infographic above do you like the look of or visited before?

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-This post contains PR/Gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
A couple of weeks ago an email landed in my inbox which literally made me tearful. It was an email from the PR for IT Cosmetics and it just really made my day ~literally~ (I was having a bad day). They asked if I would be interested in trying out some of their hero products and of course I said yes! I've only tried a small selection from IT cosmetics but I love everything I've tried from them so far. So I was so excited to try more products from them.

Before I get onto the products I've never tried before I just wanted to say that they sent me their Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream* which I've been using religiously since the beginning of the year (I've also been using the Oil-Free Matte version during the summer too). I love the product that much that I actually threw out/gave away the majority of my foundations recently because I use the CC+ Cream more than any other foundation I own just because it always looks nice on my skin no matter what my skin is doing and the other base products I was barely using were just collecting dust in my makeup drawers. Another product they sent over which I already own and love is their Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer* and believe me when I say it is a miracle worker! If you struggle with dark circles under your eyes then it really does help to make you look more awake and refreshed. It also works well on spots too and you only have to use a small amount each time. I think I bought mine back in March/April and the tube still looks almost full.

Moving onto the products I've never tried before The Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder RRP £25* comes in soft touch packaging and as well as the pressed powder it also has a mirror and a little brush compartment inside. As the name suggests IT Cosmetics promise that the powder will help to give you an airbrushed finish and blur the appearance of pores and imperfections. I do suffer with large pores and texture so it definitely intrigued me. It contains peptides, silk, hydrolysed collagen and antioxidants which all promote a more youthful finish. As I've already said in some of my recent blog posts, I've started to get fine lines a little around my eyes and I'm not going to lie, it's making me feel very self conscious. So I'm definitely on the look out for anti-ageing products which also suit an oilier skin type. It's safe to say that the powder is my new favourite powder and after using it for the first time it went straight into my makeup bag. I could literally throw all my other powders out and just have the IT one and I'd be fine with it. It really does help to blur my pores and keeps my oiliness at bay and I know I'll definitely be repurchasing in the future! 

Next up is the Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil RRP £19* which I was a little wary of as I've tried universal eyebrow products before and they've clearly not been universal. The Brow Power* actually came at a good time as my usual eyebrow pencil was almost all gone and it has now been discontinued ~sob~ so I was actually in the market for a new one. It has an oval tip that works on both thin and thick brows and comes in a suits-all taupe shade and it also has a spoolie on the opposite end for fluffing and/or blending. IT advise to apply soft pressure if you have a lighter hair colour and apply more pressure for darker hair. The product is enhanced with biotin, green tea, nettle, grapeseed and vitamins A, B5, C and E. The oval tip is a little thicker than my usual eyebrow pencil but after using it a few times I'm now used to it and I've found that it actually takes me less time to fill in and shape my brows. I do pop my Glossier Boy Brow in either Brown or Clear over the top just because it's kind of a habit as I've been using it for so long and it really helps to fix everything in place. Overall I'm happy to have found a replacement for my old fave eyebrow pencil which helps me to get my brows done quicker too. 

When it comes to mascara I always look for one with a chunky brush with lots of bristles and this is because my lashes are rubbish. I know I'm always banging on about how useless my eyelashes are but just in case you're a new reader reading this then my lashes don't stay curled for long after I've curled them, they fall flat quickly and they're on the shorter side. So the Hello Lashes 5-in-1 Mascara RRP £20* in theory sounds good because of it's "triple-action brush" but the brush is plastic and spiky which is not the type of brush I'd normally go for. For example the Too Faced Damn Girl!, L'Oreal Paradise Exatic and Maybelline Lash Sensational are my top 3 mascaras and they all have quite chunky, curved brushes which seem to work well for my lashes. Unfortunately the mascara is just not one for me. I do like the lash ball on the end which helps you to reach the corners of your lashes as well as your lower lashes but for me personally it's a mascara I'd use for a more natural lash look. However it has made me want to try IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara even more because I do think that the brush looks more like what I look for in a mascara.

Before I got the Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer I did notice that there was some reviews saying that it's quite hard to apply and blend in because it's a little sticky and on the thicker side. I personally don't have a problem with the application because I just pop some on my ring finger and let it heat up and melt a little and then tap it in on the areas needed. But if you do own the Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer and find it a bit hard to apply then you need the Heavenly Luxe Dual Airbrush Concealer Brush* because it makes it so much easier to apply (especially if you're in a rush) and it seems to give a even better coverage and finish too, which I didn't think was even possible! You just apply the concealer with the flathead brush and then use the fluffy brush to blend and buff the concealer in and it's honestly amazing how much more coverage you can get out of the already high-coverage product.

Lastly is the Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush #7 RRP £35* which I'll admit, I probably wouldn't spent £35 on a brush just because it is a lot of money. I'd rather put the money into a product instead. However, I have seen a lot of people over the past year or so saying how good the Complexion Perfection brush is including the queen that is Caroline Hirons. I can definitely understand why people rave about it because the "All Over" brush does make buffing in your base whether it's the Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream or a foundation from a different brand easier. It isn't super dense like I thought it would be, it's somewhere inbetween. It also has the buffing brush from the Airbrush Concealer brush* on the other end so I think it's a good mixture of brushes. Also the brushes both contain synthetic bristles.

Overall I've really enjoying trying out more products from IT Cosmetics and I've definitely found some more go-to products that I'll be picking up again when they run out. It's a shame about the mascara but as I already said I'm going to try the Superhero Mascara soon and ~fingers crossed~ it will work well with my lashes. After trying out more of the makeup range it's made me want to try out a couple more products including some of their skincare products including the Confidence in a Gel Lotion, Bye Bye Under Eye Brightening Eye Cream and the Bye Bye Make 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Balm. So if you've tried any of the skincare range then let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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-This post is in collaboration with Core Bags and also mentions gifted items, all opinions are my own-
I've been really trying to be more sustainable and eco-friendly this year and I thought I'd share with you some simple changes that I've made that have made a big difference and don't make me miss the item/product I was using previously. So stick around if you're thinking about how you can change your lifestyle and become a bit more kinder to the planet.

Reusable Cotton Pads
I've been trying out different reusable cotton pads for the majority of this year. Some just did not agree with either my skin or my washing machine apparently. However I have ~finally~ found some reusable cotton pads that work really well for both my eye makeup and base makeup and also wash well too. I'm going to be talking about them in a blog post next week so keep your eyes out for that if you're interested.

Reusable Shopping Bags
I've been using reusable shopping bags for a few years now both because it's more eco-friendly and also so that you don't get caught out in a shop when you've done a lot of shopping and have to pay for plastic bags which are bad for the planet. If you want to jazz up your shopping bag or if you have a business and want to add your logo or something related to your business then you can easily pick up personalised tote bags on Core Bags who are environmentally friendly and care about the planet and want to reduce plastic waste.

Metal Straws
I know there's a big debate on straws because of the new paper ones that have been brought in but I've just been using the Orbis Hill metal straws* for a while now and I really like them. They don't break the bank, they're travel friendly and come in a canvas bag and they can also be used in hot drinks as well as cold. So I just think they're a good all rounder.

Shampoo Bars
Although I still haven't found the perfect shampoo bar yet because the ones I've tried have either made my hair feel dry or stripped my hair dye out, I am still planning on hopefully switching to a shampoo bar in the near future. 

Period Underwear
Something which has completely changed the way I handle my periods is using period underwear instead of pads. I tried out some ModiBodi underwear* earlier in the year and they're honestly game changing. You can read more about my thoughts and experience using ModiBodi underwear in this post.

Reusable Water Bottle
I've been using reusable water bottles for years but sometimes you just forget to take one with you and then you have to buy a single use bottle of water or juice instead. But now I make sure I take a reusable water bottle with me all the time and I also have a back up one in the car just incase. I tend to pick up cute water bottles from ASOS.

Cutting Back on Clothes Shopping
I've been cutting back on clothes shopping for a variety of reasons including the all important reason which is to be more sustainable. But I'm also inbetween different dress sizes right now and I recently had a good rid through my clothes that were in my wardrobe and in storage bags for the colder seasons and found some old favourites... as well as some clothes which still had tags on (oops). 

Face Cloths/Flannels
This seems like an obvious one but using a face cloth or flannel to remove your makeup instead of face wipes. I've been using this method for ages because face wipes are not only really bad for the planet but they were also really messing up my skin too. I prefer to use reusable cotton pads for my eye makeup and then a flannel to remove my base makeup and lipstick with either a balm or oil cleanser. 

Buy More Products With Aluminium and Glass Packaging 
Something I've been looking for when I shop for either food or beauty products is products with aluminium or glass packaging just because I'm trying to bring less plastic in the house and obviously glass and aluminium are both recyclable.

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-This post is in collaboration with Vizulize, all opinions are my own-
Because I'm self-employed via my blog it means I spend a lot of my time online. This can be from writing a blog post, scrolling through social media either just being sociable or looking for opportunities as well as checking my emails, listening to music and catching up on TV online whilst I'm working. So it's safe to say when I decided to look at my screen time app on my phone for the first time it was not a pretty sight in terms of how many hours on average I spend on my phone per day (and that's just my phone!). Since the shocking revelation I've been actively trying to reduce my screen time each day and so far I have succeeded and to my surprise it's not been too hard to do either. So in today's post I'm talking about why you should try and reduce your screen time and some easy ways you can do it. 

So first of all WHY should you try and reduce your screen time...

 If you're in a job when you're staring a screen most of the day like myself then you will already know that looking at a screen for long periods of time is bad for your eyes as well as your posture and you should make sure you take breaks throughout the day. I ~used~ to suffer with dry, itchy eyes from staring at my screen and I'd always make sure that I'd have eye drops or an eye mist near by but since I've cut back on my screen time I've noticed that I don't have to use the products as often and I don't get as many headaches throughout the month either (which I thought was down to hormones... but apparently not lol). Also as you naturally get older, your eyes deteriorate so you want to try and look after them and not make them deteriorate even quicker. If that's not enough to make you think about reducing your screen time for your health then eye care brand Vizulize recently put together an infographic which has some shocking stats. It looks at people's phone habits, how much time they're spending on their phone, which apps are most popular within certain age groups and more. You can find the infographic at the bottom of this post.

I also find social media has quite an impact on my mental health and how I feel about my body shape and size, especially if I'm just going through a bad spell with my mental health and chronic pain. So since I've been cutting back on my screen time and not aimlessly scrolling through my social media when I'm bored and need a distraction I feel like it's been helping my mental health which is obviously a good thing. 

Another thing which being on your phone can do if you're on it late at night is mess up your sleeping pattern. Who else has fallen down a black hole of conspiracy videos and true crime documentaries on Youtube until the early hours of the morning? Because I definitely have haha.

So HOW can you reduce your screen time easily... 

If you're a sucker for looking at your phone first thing in the morning which can quickly mount up time on your screen time app then leave your phone in a different room overnight. This is also a good way to make sure you wake up when you should and to stop you pressing snooze on your alarm. 

If you work from home then don't carry your phone around the house with you. For instance if you're going to the kitchen to make food or a drink then leave your phone upstairs or wherever you were prior to going to the kitchen. Also not looking at your phone whilst you're eating is apparently a good way to stop you from overeating because you're more conscious of your food intake. 

Try to have a "Switch Off" time in the evening (you can set this up on your app) when you put down your phone/tablet/laptop or stop using certain apps such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. 

On the screen time app you can add things to your "Always Allowed" and I have added some apps to this for various reasons. I currently have - my banking app, Kindle, Mail, PayPal and Spotify in the "Always Allowed" apps. I've added my Kindle because I think reading is more productive than scrolling through social media and I am trying to get back into reading. I've added Mail because it's technically my job to keep on top of my work emails, I'm not too fussed about my general emails though. I've also added PayPal because again, it's more work related than anything else and lastly, I've added Spotify because I don't sit and stare at Spotify for very long per day. I tend to just play either a playlist I've made or one of my daily mixes. I feel like adding all of the above to the always allowed section gives me a more accurate reading on the screen time app too.

The last tip is to have a social media detox weekend every few weeks and use it as a self care measure. Instead of scrolling and updating, go for a walk, read a book that's been sitting on your TBR pile for ages, go for a drive to one of your favourite places etc. If you think of it as a self care measure then it's easier to do.

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-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I've noticed that satin pillowcases and satin hair scrunchies are being talked about more lately (mainly on instagram) because they can apparently help your hair and prevent damage and the pillowcases can apparently help both your hair and your skin too. In theory it sounds bloody great, doesn't it? But does sleeping on a satin pillowcase actually help to prevent hair damage, bedhead, spots and wrinkles? I've been trying out Morning Glamour's Satin Pillowcase* which is £12.99 (single) or £24.99 (double) for around 3 weeks now and I thought it was about time I share my thoughts. 

First of all I was sent the pillowcase so I didn't choose the colour and I'll be honest I'm not super keen on the pink colour I was sent as it just doesn't really go with my room. However Morning Glamour do have 8 colour options so I'd definitely be able to find a colour that'd suit the colour scheme in my room in the future. 

I was excited to try out a satin pillowcase because of all of the things brands claim that sleeping on a satin pillowcase can help you with. Also I feel like I'm the ideal person to put a satin pillowcase to the test because I have frizzy, wavy hair naturally, my skin is oily and spot prone and I've started to get fine lines around my eyes ~sob~ and I suffer with really bad bedhead first thing in the morning when I wear my hair down to bed. It literally looks like a bird is nest or something. It's bad. 

So how does the satin actually work?
Satin performs as a barrier to friction which prevents damage, breakage and bedhead and the satin pillowcase also protect your lashes from any friction too. Satin is non-absorbent which allows your skin to soak up any products you've applied before bed rather than it sinking into your pillowcase. Studies have also shown that sleeping on satin can help to prevent sleep creases which inevitably form permanent wrinkles.

I'll get straight to the point... I'm a bit on the fence about the satin pillowcase so far and here's why... 
I find that the satin pillowcase makes the pillow slip around on top of the other pillow underneath because it's so silky which is annoying, especially when you have chronic pain because it means that I have to be aware in my sleep that if I switch to lay on the other side then there's a good chance the pillow will move with me. I've also noticed that I've been getting more neck and upper back pain which isn't great as it all just annoys my normal lower back pain and I'm pretty sure it's down to the satin pillowcase unfortunately.

During the August bank holiday heatwave I did find that the pillowcase was a lot cooler than a normal pillowcase which was quite nice and refreshing. It's a bit annoying that it's not the same on both sides (because of the "stay-put pocket flap") so you can't flip your pillow over. Also even though it was nice and cool to use in the summer, does it mean that it'll be really cold in the winter? Because if so, I'm not about that life. I like being all cosy and warm in the winter.

However I have noticed that my skin hasn't been breaking out as much as normal whilst using the pillowcase but this could also be down to a couple of new products I've been using recently so I can't say for sure. It definitely helps with bedhead as they claim because I haven't been waking up to the crazy birds nest hair, so that's a positive. Obviously as I haven't been using the satin pillowcase for a long period of time, I can't say if it's going to help with onset wrinkles but I can say that I haven't been waking up with sleep creases whilst using the pillow. 

Overall I think it's safe to say that I'm not 100% on the product. It's a shame because I think it does help with bedhead and it does prevent sleep creases as well as potentially helping with my spot-prone skin but I think the fact that it slips and slides around so much is what bothers me the most because I don't want to make my chronic pain worse and on flare-up mode as soon as I wake up in the morning. 

Have you used a satin pillowcase before? 

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