My Autumn Makeup Picks

in , , , , by Kirsty Milward, 31.10.19
-This post contains PR/Gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
 I haven't done a dedicated makeup blog post for a while, so I thought it was about time I'd change that. In this post I'm going to be talking about what products are in my Autumn/Winter makeup bag and why I've been enjoying using them lately. 

For primer I've been enjoying two new ones, these are the Barry M Pixie Skin Blurring Beauty Elixir and Essence Hydrating and Perfecting Primer*. The Barry M option can also be used as a skincare product because it's super soothing, smells really fresh and also blurs your skin a little as the name suggests. The Essence Primer Drops also do a great drop at smoothing out your skin and making it ready for some makeup. 

I've reverted back to the original It Cosmetics CC Cream after using the Matte version during the warmer months. Because my skin can't decide whether to be oily or dry right now with the weather change, I thought I'd go back to the original formula as it's hydrating but can also be powered down if it looks a little too glowy, if I'm having an oilier skin kind of day. For powder I've been using another fave from It Cosmetics which is the Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder* which is literally the best powder ever! 

Another base I've been enjoying is the Burt's Bees Goodness Glows Foundation which gives  a nice glowy, radiant base but not super glowy. It seems to sit well on my skin whatever it's doing too. 

For concealer I've been loving a new addition to my makeup collection which is the bareMinerals BareSkin Concealer*. It gives a nice amount of coverage and doesn't feel drying like some high coverage concealers do. I'm also a fan of the applicator because it's quite bendy which means you can apply it really easily. I'm definitely going to be repurchasing once I've finished with it.

I rarely wear eyeshadow anymore but when I do fancy putting some on I've been liking the bareMinerals Rose Eyeshadow Palette* which I talked about in depth in this blog post. It's literally my perfect eyeshadow palette and I'm completely obsessed. My fave shades are Pixie, Boho and Free Spirit and I wear them either on their own or mixed together. I'm also planning on experimenting with some of the more "out there" shades in the new Essence palettes.

I've been using the It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara* recently after they kindly sent me over some products to try and it's safe to say I now totally get the hype over this mascara. Although the brush doesn't really look like something my lashes would get along with, it really helps to lengthen my lashes as well as adding a nice amount of volume. Overall I'm really impressed and I've been reaching for it a lot over the past couple of weeks. 

For highlighter I prefer more of a natural glow rather than an in your face glow if you get what I mean. So I've been reaching for either the Glossier Highlighter Concentrate in Pale Pearl which I picked up earlier in the year when they released the Glossier Play range and I've also been using the Essence The Highlighter* which is probably my favourite highlighter right now. It's so pretty and so affordable! If you're like me and think an OTT highlighter doesn't suit you then I highly recommend the one from Essence which is available from Wilko or Feel Unique.

For blush I've been reaching for the same old peachy-pink kind of blush such as the Bourjois Little Round Pot Blush* which is just a pretty throw on and go kind of blusher. I don't really change my blush choice and stick with peachy-pink shades throughout the year.

Lastly is lipsticks and although I do like a deeper or darker lip in the colder months, I've still been reaching for my nude kind of shades lately. I'd mainly been using the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in English Beauty which I would say is quite similar to Pillow Talk but just a bit more pinker or I've been using the Burt's Bees Lip Crayon in Sedona Sands* which is a nice nude shade which is comfortable to wear. 

What are your A/W makeup picks?

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-This post contains PR/Gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
Earlier this month I received a lovely package from Vitage Skincare which included their new Renewal range and a gorgeous necklace from Decadorn. I've been trying the skincare bits for around 2 weeks now and I thought it was about time to check in and talk about the products and also if I think they actually work for my very temperamental skin. I've also got an exclusive 25% off discount code which you can use across Vitage's website which I will leave at the bottom of the post.

I feel like since I hit 25 earlier this year, I've noticed fine lines appearing and I'm not going to lie, it has made me feel a bit low at times. I know since last year when I became unwell, I've started to look more stressed in my face, especially around my eyes, so I've been opting for products that are suitable for my normally oily but currently combination (dry/oily) skin as well as products that claim to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. 

The first product I'm going to talk about is the Renewal Daily Moisturiser which Vitage claim renews, hydrates and protects the skin against environmental stresses whilst restoring the skins natural moisture. Suitable for dry, combination and sensitive skin types. It contains lactic acid, glycerin, bisabolol, vitamin e, hyaluronic acid, apricot kernal oil and chamomile extract.

I usually opt for a super lightweight moisturiser because of my oilier skin type, I've been really enjoying gel moisturisers this year and I feel like they give my skin enough hydration to keep it happy. If I use heavier creams I tend to look and feel more oily and also more likely to break out, which is what I'm obviously trying to avoid. 

The Renewal Daily Moisturiser* which is priced at £39 is a little bit heavier than what I'm currently used to and I'm not going to lie, upon first application I thought it was going to be one of those moisturisers that sits on the skin for ages but thankfully, it's not. It did take slightly longer than when I'm using my usual gel moisturisers but overall, I've enjoyed using the moisturiser over the past two weeks. It smells nice, it's kind of a mixture of a calming spa-like and herbal scent at the same time. I also like the fact that it contains lactic acid because I've become a big fan of lactic acid this year as I've found it's been a god send for the texture on my cheeks which I'm pretty sure the pill has caused, ugh. There's a blog post about that here if you're interested.

Next up is the Renewal Night Recovery RRP £39* which Vitage claim is a multi-action cream to regenerate your skin whilst you sleep. Suitable for all skin types and lighter than expected, it contains a combination of ingredients to enhance skin texture and revitalise the skin and hydrate through the night. It aims to improve skin texture and refine pores whilst reducing appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It contains glycolic acid, vitamin e, glycerin, retinyl palmitate meaning it's slightly different to the daily moisturiser.

I'm not going to lie, I rarely get on with night moisturisers and I use daily moisturisers for both morning and night. I just find them too much for my temperamental skin and it just freaks out and I wake up with a ton of new spots the following morning. So it was a big shock when I applied the Night Recovery and I didn't wake up to my skin going crazy. I think it's mostly down to the fact that the cream doesn't feel super heavy on the skin as they claim. Obviously I can't say if it's helped with my fine lines and onset wrinkles when I've only used it for two weeks but I do like it and I'm pretty sure it's the first night time cream that hasn't made me breakout or look more oilier the next morning. 

Lastly from the Renewal range is the Renewal Antioxidant Treatment Mask RRP £24* which is a gentle but effective mask which instantly recharges tired skin with a combination of AHA and antioxidants for both professional and at home treatment. They claim it's a deeply hydrating mask which replenishes moisture and strengthens the skins protective barrier. After use your skin should feel firmer, soothed and rejuvenated and it's jam packed with ingredients such as glycolic acid, vitamin E, Glycerin, aloe vera, licorice, apricot kernal oil and chamomile extract.

I think out of the three products I've tried from Vitage, the Antioxidant Treatment Mask is my favourite just because as soon as you take it off you can see a difference. My skin looks more evened out no matter what's going on with it, whether I'm having an hormonal breakout or having a day when it reacts to everything and my cheeks goes bright red, I find that the Antioxidant Treatment Mask just helps it out loads. It also leaves your skin feeling super smooth and I love the herbally scent of the mask too (I think it's the licorice and apricot kernal oil mixed together).  

If you're interested in any of the products I've talked about in this post or interested in what other products Vitage have to offer then you can get 25% off using my code: ASBK25 (not affiliated).

Have you tried anything from Vitage Skincare before?

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-This post contains PR/Gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
 Essence are such a good, affordable brand and I've found some absolute gems over the years. They're also cruelty-free and some of the products are vegan too. They kindly sent over the majority of the 2019 A/W range and I honestly couldn't wait for the parcel to arrive after seeing the press release. There's a lot to talk about so I'm just going to get stuck into it. 

First up is The Highlighter in 10 Heroic* RRP £2.50 and I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is my new favourite highlighter. I'm not a fan of the super, OTT glowing highlighter personally, I just don't think it suits me at all. I prefer a highlighter that gives me a nice, healthy looking glow and this does just that. For £2.50 it's a complete steal! 

Next up is The Blush in 10 Befitting* RRP £2.50 which is a pretty, pigmented blush which looks nice either on it's own or paired up with the highlighter above to make it look glowy. If you're just looking for a pretty blush at an affordable price then this is a great option.

I've been really enjoying hydrating primers recently, so when I saw the Hydrating + Perfeting Primer* RRP £3.80 I couldn't wait to try it out. It's SPF 20 and in a glass dropper style bottle which I am a fan of. You do have to make sure you shake it up really well so that you can get the product out of the bottle easily. The product itself is really nice and it not only gets your skin ready for makeup but I also find it really soothing as well as moisturising. I've even worn it on it's own because I like how it makes my skin feel.

As I've said before, I'm very particular when it comes to my mascara because I know what works for my useless lashes and what doesn't work. The What The Fake! Mascara* RRP £3.50 isn't the kind of brush I tend to go for as it's a lot smaller and it doesn't have a curve in the middle of the brush. So it's not one for me but I do like Essence mascaras when I find one that has the curved brush such as their Lash Princess Volume Mascara.

The Crystal Power Lipstick in 01 Be Happy* RRP £3 is so cute and it reminds me of something I would've had when I was younger. It does look like it's going to give you full on glitter lips but it doesn't, it gives me more of a glossy lip with a tiny amount of glitter. It's also a colour-changing lipstick depending on your pH balance but it should give you a subtle pretty pink finish. It also smells of vanilla... yum!

Next up is the Perfect Shine Lipstick in 05 Perfect Plan* RRP £3 which is a great kind of shade to pick up if you like a pink lip but don't like a bold pink lip. It's somewhere in between. Considering it's name, it isn't super shiny, I was expecting a super glossy finish but it's more of a slightly shiny lipstick. But I don't mind as I like both a glossy lip and a matte lip so it doesn't really bother me. I can see myself wearing this shade quite a lot as it's really comfortable and it's just a good go-to kind of shade to pop in your bag.

I'll admit, in my day-to-day makeup I don't contour but I do add a little bit of bronzer just to warm up my face as I do have quite fair skin. So I've been the new Contouring Duo Palette in 10 Lighter Skin* RRP £3.50 "contour" shade to warm up my face and it's a great shade if you're super fair because it doesn't leave you look muddy or orange. I haven't really bothered with the "highlight" shade as I'm not using it as an actual contour palette but I've been enjoying the contour shade. 

I'm already a big fan of Essence's nail polishes, their gel nail polishes are some of my all time faves! So I knew I would like and get on with the Crystal Power Nail Polish in 02 Be Strong* RRP £2. I can see myself wearing this a lot around Christmas time.

The Epic Sunset Eyeshadow Palette* RRP £10 is basically just ~heart eye emoji here~. The packaging is absolutely gorgeous, there's a nice array of colours to choose from and you can use the palette as a simple day-to-day makeup palette or if you're wanting to experiment with different colours. I also like that there's a good sized mirror to use inside. There is a very small amount of fall out with some of the shades but it's barely anything and I've experienced more fall out from high-end priced palettes before. I think it's a lovely palette for the autumn and winter months because there's so many warm shades to choose from and I think it would make a great Christmas present too!

Lastly are the two Crystal Power palettes, which again have such lovely packaging, as well as a decent sized mirror inside to use. The Crystal Power Blush & Highlighter Palette* RRP £6 has two highlighters and two blushers, I'm not a fan of the shade Shine Bright because it is a very glittery highlight and that's just not my cup of tea personally but the other three shades are so lovely and glowy. They're also really soft and buttery to use which I like. The Crystal Power Eyeshadow Palette* RRP £6 is another gorgeous palette which almost has the same packaging as the Blush & Highlight Palette. It's already got a lot of love on a recent instagram post I uploaded and I can totally see why. My current favourite shades are never give up, sparkle all day and chase your dreams. It's just one of those palettes that makes me want to experiment with different colours a little bit more, which I'm yet to do but if I do and ~if~ they turn out okay then I'll probably post some makeup looks on my insta. If not, I'll just post some of my basic makeup looks using all of the products mentioned in this post. The eyeshadow shades are nicely pigmented and have the same buttery but soft feel as the Blush and Highlighter Palette. I've also experienced no fall out whilst using the palette either, which is great.

The A/W range definitely has something for everyone and as always, Essence have hit the nail on the head with the gorgeous packaging, especially for the eyeshadow and highlighter palettes. Will you be picking up any of the products above?

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An A/W Clothing Wishlist

in , , , , by Kirsty Milward, 23.10.19
I thought it was about time I did another clothing wishlist on here because I'm pretty sure I haven't done one for a couple  of months and there's definitely a few autumn/winter bits that I have my eyes on right now. 

New Look Dark Brown Teddy Jacket - £39.99 / New Look White Celestial Eclipse Slogan T-shirt - £8.99 / ASOS Design Curve Boyfriend Shirt in Mustard and Ivory Check - £25 / Vero Moda Curve Chevron Print Jumper - £28

First up is the Teddy Jacket from New Look which in theory I love the look of and I think if you can pull them off, they look great. I also like that they look super cosy and warm. However, I can't help but think it's a bit Del Boy-esque if you get what I mean. 

Next is a pretty Celestial looking t-shirt which I think would look great paired with one of my patterned cardigans, such as my leopard print one which I've been wearing to death since the weather has gotten colder. I also think the t-shirt would look great paired up with the Boyfriend Shirt in Mustard and Ivory Check from ASOS. I want to get back into wearing oversized shirt because they're a good way to layer up without making yourself look super bulky. 

And I really like the look of the Vero Moda Chevron Print Jumper which has been hanging about in my wishlist on ASOS for a while. I think it's quite pricey at £28 as it looks quite thin, so I'm waiting to see if it gets reduced a little. But I do really like the colours and chevron print.

ASOS Design V Neck Stripe Smock Dress - £22 / Daisy Street Plus Padded Jacket in Ditsy Heart Print - £44.99 / Daisy Street Plus Relaxed Sweatshirt in Vintage Detroit Print - £19.99 / Daisy Street Plus Cardigan in Stripe Knit - £24.99

The V Neck Stripe Smock Dress from ASOS isn't really an A/W dress but I think you could potentially get away with wearing it with tights and some boots to make it look a bit more suitable for A/W. Although smock dresses do absolutely nothing for my body shape, they're so comfortable and you don't have to worry about looking bloated and things like that. 

Next is another hmmm kind of pick because again in theory I love the look of puffa jackets or as Daisy Street like to call it "padded jacket" but I feel like I may look like the Michelin man if I was to put it on. I really like the cute little hearts and I honestly think that's what's pulling me in because if it was a plain puffa jacket, I'd probably scroll past it. 

Something else I've been loving since the weather has gotten colder is sweatshirts, I do love a sweatshirt! I'm actually wearing one that's purposely two sizes too big as I'm writing this and I am feeling super cosy! The Daisy Street Relaxed Sweatshirt in Vintage Detroit Print is simple but nice. I think with the vintage inspired print on the front, it makes it look a lot more expensive. I think at £19.99 it's a steal and it'd look great with a pair of jeans and some nice chunky boots.

I've just realised as I'm writing this that I've got three Daisy Street picks in a row, oops! I can tell I started writing this post late at night. Oh well, nevermind. I'm also loving the look of the Stripe Knit cardigan and I think the yellow would just boost my mood if I was having a crappy day, you know what I mean? It'd look nice with simple printed tees like the Celestial one I mentioned earlier and it just looks like a good cardigan to just throw on and go.

New Look Off White Check Pinafore Dress - £22.99 / ASOS Design Armour Chain Lace Up Boots in Black - £35 / New Look Grey Marl "Be Kind" Slogan Sweatshirt - £17.99 / Missguided Plus Rainbow Pastel Stripe Jumper - £25

I really love the look of the New Look Check Pinafore and I think it looks really nice how it's styled with a long sleeve white t-shirt, I also think it'd look good with a black t-shirt too. I just think pinafore dresses are a good way to layer up in the autumn and winter and also to make you feel a bit girly. I love the look of the ASOS Lace Up Boots but because I have quite chunky legs, I always struggle with buying boots and I don't know if they'd actually fit me. But I'm pretty sure I've seen some wide fit ones on ASOS somewhere and technically they should be wider all over. 

Another sweatshirt I thought looked cute is the Be Kind slogan sweatshirt from New Look. It just looks like a good sweatshirt to throw on and it comes with a nice inspiring message too. Lastly is the Missguided Rainbow Pastel Stripe Jumper which I'm obsessed with. I think I'm going to have to buy this soon to try because it's just my cup of tea. Hopefully it's not a boxy kind of fit because I hate jumpers like that. 

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-This post is in collaboration with Bathrooms Direct Yorkshire Ltd, all opinions are my own-

A couple of months ago I did a blog post all about
Interior Design Trends I'm Loving Right Now and I really enjoyed writing that post so I thought I'd do a post solely about bathroom trends that I like the look of. Most UK bathrooms are pretty bog standard with the essentials and then it's up to you what you do with them depending on your style preference and also what your budget is. We all have different tastes in our house so we've just kept the bathroom pretty basic and it does what it has to do. So in this post I'm talking about both what I like the look of and what I'd have in our bathroom if I could choose whatever I wanted.

Freestanding Bath 
It's pretty boring really but I'd love a freestanding boat style bath just because I think they're really aesthetically pleasing. I'm really into the look of metal baths right now and I think they can kind of be a feature in a bathroom too. I honestly don't know if I would choose a simple white bath or a gorgeous copper bath but either way, I'd love one.

Statement Walls - Wallpaper, Bold Tiles, Marble
Something else I really like is statement walls and I'm not going to lie, if I could do a feature wall in our bathroom, I definitely would. But I think the hard part would be choosing what I actually want. I love the look of bold wallpaper specifically made for a bathroom, pretty pastel coloured tiles and also stand out marble tiles too. I also think you could really "dress up" the feature wall as well, especially if you had it on the wall where you have your sink because then you could choose your furnishings to match the statement tiles. 

Plants Galore 
Not only am I a crazy cat lady but I'm also a crazy plant lady too. I really like plants from succulents, cheese plants, cacti, aloe vera and more. I really like watching them grow and also shocking myself when I don't kill a plant within a couple of months of owning it haha. I am always careful what plants I have in the house though because of having cats because obviously I don't want to make them unwell. But you could always put the non-toxic or less harmful plants closer to the ground such as on your storage unit or in the window and then any plants you're a bit unsure about you could put higher up on shelves... or just buy a load of fake plants to mingle in with the real plants. 

Rose Gold/Gold/Copper Accents 
Yes, I'm one of those people who has been sucked into the rose gold, copper and gold hype and no, I don't think it's going to stop anytime soon. I'm not sure what I would choose for my dream bathroom, I think it would depend on the feature wall choice but I'd definitely have my taps, mirror and lights all matching in either rose gold, gold or copper.

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In Wall Shower Storage
This is probably something which sounds so boring to most people, especially people who live in new builds but I'd love an in wall shower storage area. If you're not familiar then it's basically just a cut out in the wall to store your go-to products. I like how it'd help to keep the shower/bath area tidier but also how it's also a space saver if you have a small bathroom.  

Simple Patterned Tiled Floors
Something else which I love the look of and seems to be all the rage right now is classic patterned tiled floors. From simple squares to geometric shapes, I think it's just enough to make the bathroom look nice and cosy but not super busy. I could see a simple tiled floor working well with a bold wallpaper feature wall.

A "Wet Room" Shower 
This is something that I've wanted for a long time but since becoming unwell with my chronic pain, I want it even more. I'd love a wet room kind of shower and they're not even that much money to buy. I think if we had the spare space in our bathroom then we'd definitely add one in and have the bath and shower separate. Imagine just being able to walk into a shower instead of stepping or climbing in. All of my chronically ill readers will get what I mean.

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-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
If you've been reading my blog often this year then you'll know I've been really enjoying ARK Skincare. I've tried a selection of their products now and I've loved the majority of them. I also love that they are a cruelty-free brand, their products are made from natural ingredients and all of their products are vegan friendly too.

To prepare my skin for the Autumn, they kindly sent over their Triple Action Exfoliator (75ml) RRP £35* and their Hydration Injection Masque (75ml) RRP £35* which are both from their skinperfector range and formulated for all ages. 

My skin goes a little haywire around this time of the year because it doesn't know whether to stay being it's usual oily self or go more towards the drier side and it also becomes more sensitive too. It's really annoying but it's something I've gotten used to over the years. So in my bathroom cabinet I have an array of skincare for both an oilier skin type and a more drier/sensitive skin type. So the hydrating duo from ARK Skincare sounded right up my street for this time of the year. 

I've been using them for a couple of weeks now and I'm already a big fan. Here's why - 

The Triple Action Exfoliator is the kind of exfoliator that you can tell is doing something whilst using it but it doesn't feel super gritty and uncomfortable. It's on the gentle side and it definitely helps to remove dead skin cells and I can personally see a difference before and after using it. My skin looks more even and brighter which is fab! It's made from physical, fruit acid and enzymatic action to create a smoother skin surface. With a hybrid oil-milk formulation with Abyssinian oil which helps to diminish skin imperfections and promotes radiant, youthful skin. The "grains" in the exfoliator are made from bamboo micro particles which gently but effectively remove dead skin and debris from the surface. The AHA's side of the product is made up from Bilberry, Sugar Cane, Sugar Maple, Orange and Lemon which all help to reduce the appearance of acne scars and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The only slight niggle I have with the Triple Action Exfoliator is that I'm not a huge fan of how the product comes out of the tube because it gets quite messy which is down to the press down lid. 

The Hydration Injection Masque is a muti-vitamin masque which has been made to give your skin a nice hydration boost. ARK Skincare state that you should use it 1-2 times per week as a pick-me-up for tired, stressed out skin. The hyaluronic acid booster drenches the skin with moisturise and provides long lasting protection against water loss. It contains Sugar Beet and Abyssinian oil which both work together to provide you with a luxury skin feel. I really like this masque and I'll go as far to say it's my current fave face mask for when my skin is feeling on the drier side. It's got a gel-cream consistency so it doesn't feel super heavy on the skin and I like that because it gives me peace of mind that I'm not weighing my skin down with too much hydration which then makes it break out or become more oily. It's one of those products that immediately makes you feel as if your skin is going "ahhh" once you put it on. It's calming and refreshing all at once and it makes my skin look more rested and calmer. I tend to leave it on for 10 minutes or so before removing it with a wet warm flannel.

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-This post is in collaboration with Melissa Salons, all opinions are my own-
In today's post I'm going to be talking about my holy grail hair care products as well as some hair care tips I've picked up along the way. I've always had quite damaged hair ever since I picked up my first pair of hair straighteners when I was about 11 or 12 (RIP to my hair). After I started using a lot of heat on my hair, every time I visited my hairdresser she would tell me to put the heated hair tools down and give it a break. But because my hair has always been quite frizzy and not "perfect" I'd still attack it with the hair straighteners every day as well as the hair dryer after I'd washed it too.

This continued until I started doing a hairdressing course after I finished school and even though I didn't love doing hairdressing itself, it definitely helped me understand hair more and how to look it after it properly. From making sure you give your hair a break from heat, getting it cut often to make it look and feel healthier, using the right shampoo and conditioner and pointing the hairdryer nozzle down when blow drying to close the cuticles and make your hair feel softer and look shinier.

I also think you should treat your hair to some TLC often because making your hair look better instantly makes you feel better, right? You can do this by visiting a Top Hairdresser in Manchester, popping an intense hair mask on once or twice a week or using a silk pillowcase to try and minimise breakage and any damage. It's kind of like self love but for your hair.

I've definitely found some products that I swear by and repurchase time and time again. I'm always recommending them to my friends and family so I thought it was time I'd talk about them in a blog post as well.

First up is the Umberto Giannini "Milk" Frizz Control Miracle Styling Milk which I've been using for a while now, it must be easily over 18 months and it's honestly so good for my naturally frizzy hair. It smells nice with a light floral scent and it isn't heavy on your hair either so it doesn't weigh it down or make it get greasy quicker. Plus it's super affordable and easy to pick up from Boots. 

I really like the Mane 'n Tail Hair Strengthener* and I like that it's a leave-in conditioning treatment which also protects your hair from heat. Another thing I like about it is that I personally think it smells kind of like Love Hearts sweets and it also lasts for ages even if you use it multiple times per week. I've also been using the Cake Beauty The Mane Manager* recently which is new to the UK. It smells like cake as you've probably already figured out and I found that it works well and reduces frizz.

Lastly is basically just a shout out my all-time fave hair masks which are the Lee Stafford ones. They're affordable, they smell lovely and there's something for everyone. I'm currently using the Keep It Clean Replenishing Mask and I think it's my favourite one out of all of the ones I've tried. The range is aimed at hair that gets oily at the roots quickly. The whole range smells absolutely gorgeous and the mask just makes my hair so much more softer and more manageable, especially when I pair it up with the UG Milk product. I cannot recommend it enough! I tend to apply it to my mid lengths and ends as that's where my hair is most damaged and frizzy and let it work its magic for around 10 minutes.

What are your fave hair care products or tips?

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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 transitional beauty, because around this time of the year our skin decides to change a little which means we should opt for products which are more moisturising and aimed for people with a drier, sensitive skin type. I've also popped a new fragrance in this post which is a bit different to what I usually go for.

I'm already a massive fan of the Rituals Happy Buddha range and I always make sure I have the shower foam in my shower because it smells so nice! Although it's a foaming product which are known for drying out the skin usually, I actually find that it makes my skin feel nice and soft so it's kind of a 2-in-1 product. So when I saw that Fragrance Direct are now selling Rituals I had to pop one of the products from the Happy Buddha range in this blog post. I decided to get The Ritual of Happy Buddha Body Scrub* which has the same sweet orange and cedarwood scent that I love. I find that the scent is uplifting but also quite comforting at the same time. The scrub itself is a sugar based scrub with luxury oils, so it is quite a gritty scrub but the oils counteract that and leave your skin feeling super soft after removing the product. I also think you get a great amount of product for the £16.99 price tag.

Another brand that I've tried a few products from is Love Beauty and Planet and I recently picked up their Delightful Detox Shower Gel* which is infused with Rosemary and Vetiver. You get a whopping 500ml for £5.99 which I think is a steal. I also think the scent smells like something you would find at LUSH. I tend to find that cheaper shower gels all have very similar scent families but this is honestly so different and nice. It's quite earthy but sharp and I think it's a great one to use in the shower first thing in the morning to wake your body up, because let's face it, getting out of bed on a winter morning is a struggle for all of us. I also like that Love Beauty and Planet are vegan, contain no "baddies" and their bottles are recyclable. Adding to that, their scents are made up from natural and ethically sourced extracts and oils. I just think they're a great brand overall and I'm definitely going to try more from them before the year is out.

With my skin having it's weird on/off reactions to certain foods and products (I literally don't know why either) I make sure I always have some sort of calming, anti-redness product in my skincare cabinet all of the time now. I usually use my Dermalogica Redness Relief Essence which I talked about in this post but I thought I would change it up a little and try the REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Anti-Redness Serum* which is priced at £16.99 on Fragrance Direct's website and it's honestly been a game changer. It not only works well at calming my skin when I'm having a weird reaction when my cheeks go bright red and really hot but I've also noticed since using it that my skin hasn't been breaking out as much as usual. I'm definitely going to be picking this up again as soon as I run out. It's also just over £15 less than the RRP on the FD website - bargain!

When the seasons change I like to treat myself to a new perfume and I usually opt for something that has more of a warmer, deeper scent but this time around I've decided to get the Calvin Klein Women Eau de Parfum Spray*. I'm not going to lie, I mainly chose it because I really like the unusual bottle design. It's still quite a woody scented perfume but it's also got floral notes running through it. With top notes of: Eucalyptus Acorns, heart notes of: Orange Flower and base notes of: Alaskan Cedarwood, it's definitely a nice transitional perfume and it's one of those perfumes that doesn't lose it's scent after a few hours.

I couldn't talk about transitional beauty without mentioning a lip balm! I've already noticed my lips have become more drier as we move into the colder months so I've always got one close by. I tend to go between using my Glossier Birthday Balm Dot Com or Carmex Flavoured Lip Balms. This time I chose the Strawberry flavour* in the tube but I'm not usually that fussed on the flavours because I think they're all lovely.

Following on from lip balms, the last thing I wanted to mention is lipstick because when it gets colder I tend to sway away from liquid lipsticks because I find that they can be extra drying on my lips so I tend to opt for either standard lipsticks, lip glosses or lip butters during the colder seasons. The Max Factor Lip Butter in Matte Dawn Dew 118* is such a pretty nude that's slightly on the warmer side and is super comfortable to wear. It's also really affordable at £2.49 with a saving of £6.50. I'm really liking it so far!

What products do you make sure you change up when we move from Summer to Autumn/Winter?

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-This post is contains PR/Gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
 I was very kindly sent a couple more products from IT Cosmetics that I really wanted to try a few weeks ago. Two of them being skincare products which I didn't even realise IT Cosmetics did up until recently. So now that I've been using the two skincare products for around two weeks, I thought it was about time I share my thoughts on them both. 

First up is the Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Balm RRP £30* which I was really intrigued about because they claim the sulphate-free formula infuses your skin with deep cleansing extracts and botanicals which removes all traces of makeup and impurities without drying out or irritating your skin. It contains hydrating hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, antioxidant rich tumeric root extract and oat kernel extract which is anti-inflammatory. 

The instructions just say to massage onto dry skin and rinse well with warm water or wipe off with a face cloth and pat dry. I kind of do both just to make sure I've got all of my makeup off because my skin gets very angry at me if I leave even a trace of makeup. Overall I really like this balm because it leaves your skin feeling moisturised but not greasy and oily like a lot of balms do, which isn't great when you have an oilier skin type. I also think you get a good amount for the price and a little really does go a long way with this product. The first time I used it I definitely used too much and was like oopsy. If I have the spare ££ to buy this again when I run out then I will because I do like it. It works really well at removing your makeup, it doesn't smell of anything and when you look at the amount you get as opposed to my usual cleansing balms such as The Body's Shop's Camomile Cleansing Butter and Pixi's Double Cleanse (which I prefer the balm over the cream) then this works out at a good price.

The second product I was sent over is the Confidence in a Gel Lotion RRP £30* which I really liked the sound of because I definitely prefer a gel lotion over a thick cream any day. If I use a moisturiser that's on the thicker side then my skin will break out in no time. I've been loving the Patchology Aquaflash Daily Gel Moisturiser* over the past couple of months but it does work out more money than the IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Gel Lotion because you get less amount of product for the price.

The Confidence in a Gel Lotion is described as a fast-absorbing oil-free gel moisturiser which transforms into a water-light liquid when it's massaged into the skin providing 72 hours of hydration. It's formulated with moisture-retaining ceramides, softening glycerin and ultra-hydrating cactus flower extract. It also will work for all skin types. 

I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit obsessed with this lotion already. It really makes your skin feel super smooth and soft and it's a great base for makeup whether if it's a minimal look or a full-on look. It sinks in nicely and doesn't feel tacky on the skin either. I wasn't sure if my skin would agree with it being such a intensely hydrating product but my skin seems to be loving it, especially as I'm going through a weird dry skin spell because of the season change. I'm definitely going to be picking up another bottle when I run out because it's bloody lovely! I highly recommend picking this up if you're in the market for a new moisturiser/cream.

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I thought it was about time I did another "What I've Been Reading, Watching and Listening To Lately" post because I realised I haven't done one since May! There's definitely some stand out TV shows I've watched over the summer as well as some old favourites. I haven't got any films to add to this list because I've just not been into films over the past couple of months. My Netflix watch list is growing but I just can't be bothered to sit and watch a film if that makes sense? Anyway here's what's been keeping me entertained over the past couple of months...

I've only read one book all the way through over the past few months and that book is The Hormone Diaries: The Bloody Truth About Our Periods. When I found out that Hannah Witton was bringing out The Hormone Diaries as a book, I just had to pre-order it there and then. I followed her "The Hormone Diaries" on Youtube and it was really interesting and the book is just as interesting and funny as the YouTube series. It's mostly about period having people, hormones and how having a period and dealing with hormones affects our daily lives. It's informative, interesting and funny - I wish I had a book like this when I first started my period! It's from Hannah's perspective as well as people who sent in their thoughts and experiences about specific "womanly" things.

Brassic on Sky 1 (or Now TV) was so funny and I wish there was more episodes but if you're not a fan of long series and like to watch things in one or two sittings then I highly recommend Brassic if you're looking for a comedy. It reminded me of Shameless which I loved back in the day (although I was definitely too young to be watching it when it first came out haha). The show follows Vinnie and his five mates living in their hometown called Hawley which is in the north. They all commit petty crimes to keep some money in their pockets but some of them aren't happy about being stuck in their hometown and want to get out. It also touches on mental health a little in both a serious and kind of funny light-hearted way too. It only came out in August and I'm already looking forward to watching season 2 which will hopefully be out next year at some point.

I was looking forward to watching Sanditon when I saw the adverts before it actually came on TV, I've not read the book (well the half written book) so I didn't really know what to expect at all. I'll admit that you can tell that they're on a set sometimes lol but the storyline is pretty good and I think it's got a good amount of everything going on in each episode which I think is what keeps me hooked and wanting to watch the next episode. It follows Charlotte who is bored at home and doesn't have much life experience in anything but looking after her family. So when the opportunity of moving to a sleepy seaside town arises, she jumps at the chance. She soon realises that not everything is innocent in life and she meets a mixture of people from all walks of life. It's a good Sunday evening kind of TV show if you get what I mean. Would I sit and rewatch it? Probably not. But it's alright... I really like the comical characters like Arthur and his hypochondriac sister (I forgot her name) and I quite like Lady Denham because she's sarcastic and tells everyone how it is. 

Kathy Burke's All Woman deserved at least another 10 episodes because it was brilliant. In the three episodes she talks about and explores what it's really like being a woman in this day and age and she also shares her own experiences in the topics covered from beauty, sex and relationships, motherhood and more. Me and my mum sat and watched each episode together and we were both laughing our heads off. It was honestly one of the best shows I've watched this year and I really hope channel 4 team up with her again soon.

I've got to talk about Peaky Blinders because we've all waited two years for season 5. However I definitely think it was worth the wait! I was feeling a bit let down after the first episode because it just didn't seem to pick up but then I think it got better with each episode. THAT CLIFF HANGER THOUGH OMG. I can't believe we've got to wait another two years to know what happens next. Also if you haven't watched Peaky Blinders then what are you doing?! 

For music there's been a lot of good stuff that's been released since May. Foals have released three songs from their next album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2 and I love every single one so far. I definitely think Black Bull is my favourite though. I can't wait for the heavier album.

Bombay Bicycle Club broke my heart when they broke up... I was gutted. Absolutely gutted. BUT they came back this year with Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You) and it's been on repeat ever since they released it. It's more like old Bombay which I really like. It's an easy to listen to kind of song and I just can't get enough of it. I can't wait for the new album in January.

I've also been listening to The Cure a bit after watching their performance at Glastonbury. I've been brought up listening to the likes of The Cure so I already know most of their songs but I think because I couldn't believe how well they sound live all these years on, I just got a little obsessed. They are definitely one of my favourite bands without a doubt. I honestly can't pick a fave song by them because I like so many of them.

Lastly is a recent discovery and by recent I mean literally a few days ago. I stumbled upon Love Fame Tragedy on Spotify and was like... I know that voice? It turns out it's the lead singer from The Wombats and I've loved The Wombats since they first came about. He's started Love Fame Tragedy as a solo project but the songs still sound very similar to The Wombats (in a good way). He's only got an EP out at the minute but they're all so good! I love Backflip and Your Cheating Heart the most as I think they're the most catchiest.

What have you been reading, watching and listening to lately?

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-This post contains PR/Gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
It's safe to say that the Emma Hardie Moringa Light Cleansing Gel that was released earlier this year is now one of my favourite cleansers. It's great if you have an oilier skin type which sometimes gets dry patches, like mine is doing right now because of the season change and it's a great alternative to the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm which unfortunately doesn't agree with my skin at all. So when they released the new Exfoliating Brightening Tonic* I was really intrigued and to be honest I'm a bit bored of the exfoliating tonic I currently use which is the Pixi Glow Tonic. Don't get me wrong, it's a great product but I'm not super keen on the scent (I think it smells like old ladies perfume lol) and I also think my skin has gotten a bit immune to it lately. 

The Emma Hardie Exfoliating Brightening Tonic RRP £28* claims to provide a natural, gentle exfoliation which smooths and evens out skin texture (which I definitely need!) as well as brightening and evening out your skin tone and increasing elasticity too. It basically sounds like a dream in a bottle really, doesn't it?

The pomegranate enzymes in the formula work to release any trapped bacteria that can lead to skin problems as well as enhancing cellular renewal which should lead to a smoother, even skin texture. Sytenol A is what helps to stimulate the collagen production and Tego Cosmo C250 brightens the skin as well as helping to improve the skin's clarity and tone. The Aloe Vera is the hydrating and soothing hero that makes the skin look and feel calmer and refreshed. It's also dermatologically tested, cruelty-free and free from parabens, silicone, synthetic colours, synthetic fragrance, petrolatum, mineral oil, sulphates and animal ingredients. It also smells just like the Moringa Light Cleansing Gel which I bloody love! 

The application directions on the box say to apply the product by spraying it onto a cotton pad but I just feel like I'm wasting the product because the spray is very light, so you need a fair few sprays to get the cotton pad wet with the product and I just find that the majority of it sinks into the cotton pad anyway. So instead I've been applying it by spraying it into my hands and then applying it to my face that way. I guess it's just personal preference but if I'm spending £28 on a product then I want to get all my money's worth at the end of the day. 

So do I like the product? Yes! I can definitely see and feel a difference when I use it, especially if I apply it at night before bed. I wake up the following morning and my skin looks a lot more awake than usual, even if I've had a rubbish nights sleep. My skin just looks radiant without looking too glowy and I think it helps with spots and also healing old scarring aswell. I'm not super keen on the fact that it comes in a spray bottle as I've already addressed but again, I think it's just personal preference and I've found a way around it that works for me. So I think I will pick it up again when I run out. I definitely prefer it over my Pixi Glow Tonic right now and I prefer the lovely Moringa scent over the weird old lady perfume any day. 

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