-This post is in collaboration with Melissa Salons, any products marked with an * have been previously gifted to me-
I'm sure we've all got plans when the lockdown is lifted whether it's rushing off to top hairdressers in Manchester, booking in a gel manicure and pedicure, a full body massage or just having the full works and booking in the lot (I'm sure most of us will feel this way!). However, for now, we've just got to make do with what we can do at home and also what products we can buy during our essential shopping trips/online orders.
-If a product is marked with an * then it was PR/Gifted to me. This post contains no paid content-
I may be almost 26 (I actually turn 26 this week!) but I still have problems with my skin, I do feel like it's getting a little better as I'm getting older and also the fact that I'm finding products which seem to work for me along the way, but it still likes to act up and behave like I'm still a teenager at times too. So I'm always on the lookout for products that are aimed at oily/spot prone/sensitive skin. Over the past few weeks, I've been testing out two products from Dermalogica's Clear Start range which are vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free and contain no artificial fragrances or colours. So here are my overall thoughts after putting them to the test...
-If a product is marked with an * then it was PR/Gifted to me. This post contains no paid content-
-This post is in collaboration-
In this day and age, finding new clothes from the comfort of your own home has never been easier. However, in today's post, I'm talking about different places and ways you might be able to pick up a vintage gem or a bargain designer look-a-like you missed out on a few seasons ago, as well as other items of clothing you may be on the hunt for right now that you might not be able to afford to pay for in full right away. 
-This post is in collaboration-
-This post is in collaboration with The Man Van-
In today's post, I'm talking all about some things you should consider before moving house. It's been a long time since we last moved house but there definitely some things we would do differently if we were to move again in the future but there are also some things that worked well and we would do again too. So here are some tips that should hopefully help you if you are currently in the process of moving or planning on moving house in the very near future.
-If a product is marked with an * then it was PR/Gifted. This post contains no paid content but does contain an affiliate code-
Handmade in California, Fat & The Moon whose products are available to buy from Live in the Light produce herbal body care for those who are seeking natural and effective alternatives to chemical-filled products made with age-old ingredients and recipes. They're also cruelty-free and make sure to use reusable and recyclable containers for their products. I love that they are all about healing as well as believing in self-care and self-love. I'd say the main thing that made me want to try some products from Fat & The Moon is the fact that they are natural and all about healing, as well as their cute, unusual packaging which is just packaging goals really, isn't it? It kind of reminds me of LUSH but well, better in my personal opinion.
Like most people, I'm currently watching what I'm spending my money on and prioritising the essentials, especially as I'm self-employed via blogging and everything's gone pretty quiet and I'm not going to lie, it's pretty scary. I also don't know where I stand with brands/companies who owe me money and if I'm going to be paid on time/at all, given what's going on right now. So I thought instead of spending money I technically don't have right now, I'd do a Spring Wishlist and show you what I've got my eyes on. However, if and when I get paid/get more work in, I'm definitely going to be picking up a few things on this list. April is also my birthday month so I think comfort shopping + my birthday is a good excuse to treat myself (hopefully in the very near future!). 

ASOS Curve Sweet Tooth Pyjama Shorts £10  / REN Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser £25Joanie Bobby Dream Lover Slogan Tee £22  / Too Faced Born This Way Turn Up the Light Skin-Centric Highlighting Palette - Fair to Light £34

First up is some cute AF pyjamas shorts from ASOS which have lollies and all sorts of other sweets allover. I really like ASOS pyjama shorts, they fit nicely and the elasticated waistbands never dig in my stomach and set off my stomach/pelvic pain like some other brands pyjamas do. Next is the REN Jelly Oil Cleanser which I've had my eyes on since it was released back in January (I think it was January anyway?). I find the concept and formula really intriguing and I also like that REN's packaging is all recyclable and that you can use it on bare skin or you can use It to remove your makeup. My wardrobe is basically being taken over by clothes from Joanie and I don't think the obsession is going to stop anytime soon if I'm being honest. Although I'm trying to stop buying as many stripe t-shirts, I really like the Dream Lover slogan tee. It'd look nice paired with an oversized cardigan and leggings/jeans or underneath a pinafore dress. I can definitely see myself buying this tee v soon. I also love the look of Too Faced's latest highlighter release. The palette comes with three highlighters which go from a natural sheen, a middle glowy highlighter and a super in-your-face kind of highlight. 

Daisy Street Plus Crop Sweatshirt with Dolphin Graphic £19.99 / FOREO Luna 3 Cleansing Brush £169Joanie Joyce Daisy Print Frill Wrap Dress £45 / Revolution Pro CC Cream Perfecting Foundation SPF30 £10

I also really like the look of the Daisy Street Sweatshirt, although I'm not a fan of it being cropped as I prefer a normal length sweatshirt that covers all my lumps and bumps. But I think the vintage-looking design is cute and it'd be a nice comfy sweatshirt to wear around the house. I'm very intrigued about trying a FOREO cleansing brush and comparing one to other "dupe" kind of cleansing brushes I have. I have seen some good results on instagram/youtube when people have consistently used a FOREO brush to cleanse their skin every day and I'm just interested to see if using one would help with my skin. Another piece from Joanie I really like the look of is the Joyce Daisy Print Frill Wrap Dress which is new in. It's so pretty! They also have a jumpsuit with the same daisy print design which is cute but I don't think jumpsuits suit me personally. I think we all know what the new Revolution Pro CC Cream Perfecting Foundation is trying to be, right? I'm definitely intrigued and want to try it, although I still wouldn't give up on my It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream because it's my go-to base and has been for almost two years now and it's saved me from being super self-conscious when my skin isn't looking so great so many times. I have tried a couple of the wannabe IT CC creams and none of them have blown me away.

Boohoo Waffle Knit Cardigan £18 Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Mask £30 / Boohoo Fit Side Stripe Running Legging £15 / Drunk Elephant Nice To Meet You Set £19

I've come to realise that a lot of my comfy cardigans look a bit well-worn now, even after getting a Minky bobble remover on them lol. So I've been on the lookout for a couple of new cardigans that aren't too thick nor too thin and I really like the Waffle Knit one from Boohoo. Although it does seem to have shot up in price within a week because it was £12 when I first came across it (hmm). I'm still yet to try anything from Ole Henriksen but if and when I do purchase something from them, it's 100% going to be the Cold Plunge Pore Mask. It sounds so nice and I know Emma's Rectangle swears by it and says it's one of her fave masks and her skin always looks nice! I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit bored of wearing standard black leggings so I'm thinking of picking up some leggings with stripes down the side just to change things up a little. I know it's not very exciting but it's still a little refresh I guess. I'm also really intrigued to try some products from Drunk Elephant and the Nice To Meet You Set from Cult Beauty contains three mini's which are the Protini Polypeptide Cream (15ml), Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser (22g) and the Bamboo Booster which comes in a little sachet. I just want to see what they're about and if their products are really worth the money. I am interested in a few other products from DE but I'll talk about those in another blog post soon.

Nuthing Pink Shimmer Hair Removal Jelly £9.99 ASOS Curve V-Neck Linen Mix T-shirt in Charcoal Stripe £14Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil £34 / REN Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream £49

I've seen a few fellow bloggers receive/talk about Nuthing on their Instagram and/or blogs recently and I'm definitely interested in giving them a whirl. This is TMI but since I switched my pill last year, my leg hair and underarm hair grows so fast! It's such a pain in the arse to keep on top of. I also like the fact that they are vegan-friendly too. The ASOS V-Neck Linen Mix T-shirt looks super comfy and perfect for lounging around the house, which let's face it, it looks like we're all going to be stuck in the house for a while longer yet and I'm not really into loungewear sets, I'm more of a comfy oversized tee and leggings/pyjamas kinda girl. Another cult skincare brand that I'm still yet to try anything from is Sunday Riley. I have been shying away from using oils since the end of last year, but I've just started to use a Dermalogica oil recently and I'm enjoying using it and I feel like I'm seeing good results. So I'm interested in trying out a few different oils in the upcoming months and I like that the U.F.O. oil is clarifying. Lastly is another product from REN which is actually their latest release. It's their Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream and I've seen some before and after photos of people using this and I'm really impressed. I feel like it would work well at getting rid of acne scarring on my forehead and cheeks and just even out my complexion nicely whilst obviously moisturising my skin at night.

What's on your Spring Wishlist?

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In a blog post back in January I talked about how I want to change up what I talk about a little in terms of beauty and lifestyle and not just be known mainly as a "skincare blogger" because although I do love my skincare and talking about new in products and brands, I also want to talk about other beauty products and lifestyle topics too. So when I got an email about Paul Mitchell's Dream Texture Invisiblewear range, I was really intrigued and thought it would fit in well on my blog and the new structure. I also like the fact that they are cruelty-free and vegan-friendly too.

I don't think I've actually tried anything from Paul Mitchell before so I was excited to give the products a whirl as soon as they arrived because my hair is definitely in need of some help. If I leave it to its own accord, it's just a wavy, frizzy, flat-on-the-roots mess.

The Invisiblewear Dream Texture Trio contains the Invisiblewear Air Gel*, Invisiblewear Velvet Cream* and Invisiblewear Cloud Whip* (all available to buy separately) and each product has been designed to effortlessly create texture, volume and definition.

The first product I tried from the range is the Invisiblewer Velvet Cream* (RRP £21.95) which they claim smoothes and tames your hair with a feather-light definition. It also has a really nice fresh, clean scent which I like a lot. You apply a small amount to damp hair (I would say I use two pea-sized blobs) and then blow-dry or leave your hair to air dry to get a nice, smooth but textured result. This has actually become my new go-to hair product to use after I've washed my hair because it works sooo well and my hair always looks and feels smoother than usual but with a nice amount of definition going on too. I love it and I've already made quite a dent in the tube because I've been using it that often! I will 100% be picking it up again once I run out.

Next up from the trio is the Invisblewear Cloud Whip* (RRP £21.95) which is an unusual texture with it being a whipped formula and not something I've come across before from any other hair brand but the whipped formula is what makes it lightweight which is great if you have greasy or thin hair. You can use it on both damp and dry hair to add definition and it dries down quickly and doesn't leave any sort residue or crispiness to your hair like some products can do. I've been using this on second-day hair if I've curled my hair or if I'm trying to make my messy bun hair look less crazy when it's down and to add some definition once the curls have dropped a little. It does definitely help to a certain extent and if you hate the feeling of product in your hair but want a lived-in textured look then this might be something for you to try. 

Lastly is the Invisiblewear Air Gel* (RRP £21.95) which again is an unusual formula because it's almost like jelly and not like your standard gel hair product. You can use it on wet or dry hair and you can also revive the product by using their Boomerang Restyling Mist on your second-day hair. The aim of the product is to add volume and piecey texture with a light, touchable hold. Once again, it doesn't leave any sort of residue, crispiness or stickiness. I've used it twice and I personally think this product would suit someone who has got either shorter hair or hair which has a lot of layers. I have only used it when I've curled my hair and then I've run the product through my hair to see how it works with curls and it works okay holding the curls but it's not wowed me enough to want to pick it up again.

Have you tried any of the products above? If so, what did you think? I'm definitely intrigued to try more products from Paul Mitchell after trying these.

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-If a product is marked with an * then it was PR/gifted to me. This post contains no paid content but does contain an affiliate link-
Upcircle are a 100% natural, cruelty-free brand who are also sustainable and vegan friendly too. They use leftover natural ingredients that would otherwise be going to landfill and bring them back to life by creating beauty products your skin will love. I really like that they are a small business doing big things in the world of beauty. 

I was kindly sent over a couple of products to try out and given what's going on in the world right now, I'm not only eating a lot of chocolate, I've also found myself starting to use a lot of chocolate-y products too (kind of strange, I know) but I think it's just a comfort kind of thing I'm going through right now to be honest haha. So I chose two products that contain Cacao which are the Coffee & Cacao Body Scrub RRP £14.99* and their Chocolate Charcoal Soap Bar RRP £6.99*.

The first product I'm going to be talking about is their Chocolate Charcoal Soap Bar* which smells absolutely delightful which is why I put in the title how these products would be good to treat yourself or someone else to this upcoming Easter. The best way to describe the smell is spicy dark chocolate - it's so nice! You can use the soap on both your face and your body and it contains activated charcoal which draws out toxins and tightens pores and Cacao extract which boosts circulation and brightens up your skin. It's also made with residual chai spices used to create chai syrup. I've used this on both my face and body, but mainly on my face and it is a really nice facial soap that leaves your skin feeling deeply cleansed. With it being a soap bar and also containing ingredients which tighten your pores, it does leave your skin feeling a little bit tight after use but as long as you have a nice, nourishing moisturiser to put on afterwards, it's completely fine and I've already seen some improvements in my skin since using it and I'm not breaking out ~as much~ anyway which is pretty good going considering the amount of junk food I've been eating recently. I can imagine this being a good product to use if struggle with acne on your body with it being exfoliating and detoxifying. Also if you're struggling to get your hands on soap, particularly if you're cruelty-free/vegan then I would 100% recommend picking up one of the soap bars from UpCircle. It turns out that a simple soap bar is one of the most effective ways to combat a virus because it dissolves a virus' structure (find out more here). Also, something else I've noticed since switching to a bar of soap to wash my hands is that my hands haven't been drying out as bad! So it's a win-win.

I also chose the Coffee & Cacao Body Scrub* to try because it sounds right up my street. It's made with repurposed coffee grounds from artisan London cafes and contains sea salt, palmarosa and coconut oil. It's also blended with shea butter which moisturises the skin post-scrub. I'm not going to lie when I think of a coffee body scrub, I think eurgh sounds messy but it's actually no messier than a normal body scrub and rinses off your skin easily, I think the fact it contains coconut oil and shea butter helps with this too. Talking of oils, after using the scrumptious smelling scrub, you could definitely go without moisturising your skin if you had to or can't be bothered to because the oils leave a nice amount of nourishment behind. The high levels of antioxidants can help with minimising the appearance of the signs of ageing too. Overall I think it's a lovely scrub to use and it's definitely a good product to use to wake you up in the morning with the strong coffee scent. At first, it smells more like coffee than coffee and chocolate but once you start rubbing the scrub against your skin, the chocolate-y smell comes through too. 

(Kind of a weird "swatch" photo I know but I wanted to show you what the scrub looks like)

I also received two samples in my parcel of their the Face Moisturiser and Cleansing Face Balm but I haven't got around to trying them just yet but I'll do a mini-review over on my insta stories when I try them out, so keep a lookout for that.

If you're interested in buying any of the products above or fancy seeing what other products Upcircle offer then you can get £10 off your first order (min spend £15) by using my affiliate link here. You also get free UK Shipping on orders over £20.

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-If a product is marked with an * then it was PR/Gifted to me. This post contains no paid content-
I thought I'd talk about some skincare products that I've been using recently as I know the majority of us are stuck at home pretty much 24/7 at the minute with what's going on and I've seen a lot of people kind of joke about how this is the perfect time to really get stuck into their skincare routines. So here are 4 products I've been testing out over roughly about a month on/off and I'd thought I'd let you know what I think about each of them and if they suited my skin. 

First up are two products from Alpha H which are the Balancing Cleanser with Damask Rose (limited edition)* and the Micro Cleanse Super Scrub with Glycolic Acid*. The Balancing Cleanser with Damask Rose is a cream cleanser and although it's not aimed at oily skin types like my own, I thought this would be good for when my skin is acting up and being more on the sensitive/dry side because it does go through spells sometimes. It's aimed at normal, dry and sensitive skin types and they claim it removes makeup as well as toning and re-balancing the skin's natural pH level. The first thing I've got to talk about is how nice the product smells because of the aromatic damask rose scent, it makes you feel like you're in a spa. The product itself is of a creamy-milky consistency which is easy to apply and wash off. I do like this cleanser but it's definitely not one I can use when my skin is being oily because it feels a bit too rich on my skin, although the product itself is lightweight, it's really strange. So I've passed the cleanser on to my mum to use daily as she has quite sensitive skin and if my skin does go through a dry/sensitive phase then I'll try it out then but my mum was happy to take it off my hands. It does work well at removing eye makeup (including waterproof mascara!) so I may steal it off her when I'm having issues removing certain mascaras.

The Micro Cleanse Super Scrub with Glycolic Acid is the perfect scrub to use first thing in the morning with its peppermint scent. The consistency kind of reminds me of the Pixi Peel and Polish which is one of my all-time favourite skincare products, however, the Alpha-H scrub doesn't contain lactic acid. I would say it's quite a gentle scrub (with eco-friendly jojoba wax beads) but it packs a punch because of the concoction of ingredients from caffeine, cucumber, peppermint, glycolic acid, jojoba oil and more. Because of the peppermint, it also leaves you with a tingly, cooling sensation which definitely wakes you up first thing in the morning as I've already mentioned. I've also noticed that my skin looks visibly brighter after using it which is a good sign of it working to remove any debris and blocked pores. I definitely agree with their claim of it being the nearest thing to microdermabrasion in a tube. I'm a big fan!

Next up the KAESO Brightening Vitamin C Drops which I actually won in a giveaway on Lily England's instagram in which they had teamed up with KAESO. I won their Marble Luxe Makeup Brush Set and Bag and some skincare products from KAESO. I haven't got around to trying everything yet but the first thing that caught my eye was the Brightening Vitamin C Drops because I mentioned in a blog post not long ago about how I wanted to try more Vitamin C containing products to see if it helps to boost my skin. I've only used the drops from KAESO a handful of times so far but I have seen a difference when I use it in my skin, especially if I apply it after having a rubbish night's sleep (which is apparently the norm lately). So if you're in the market for some Vitamin C drops that work then I would recommend.

Lastly is a product that I've been a bit scared to use since it arrived which is the Dermalogica Barrier Defense Booster* which is for sensitive, dry skin and it helps to create a barrier against future irritation. The reason why I've been afraid to use it is because it's a concentrated oil and I've actually stopped using (most) oils on my skin now because I just don't think they help drastically and I hate feeling extra oily when I already have an oilier skin type if that makes sense. However, I decided to give it a whirl because I do already like a few products in the UltraCalming range which I never thought would've actually suited my skin. I'm not going to lie, although it's a concentrated oil, it's still pretty oily and it takes a long time to sink into my skin (I'm talking easily an hour, maybe more) and I really do hate feeling like a product is sitting on my skin, so I don't like that aspect of the oil booster. However, I've got to say, the following morning after using this my skin definitely looks less red, my recent breakout on my forehead looked less irritated and my skin had a nice glow about it. I also like the mess-free packaging because instead of it having a dropper, like most oils, you just press the bottom of the product instead and then it "drops" the oil out.

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How Long Should Perfume Last? *

in , , , , by Kirsty Milward, 2.4.20
-This post is in collaboration with Copy Cat Fragrances-

How Long Should Perfume Last? The concept of how long perfume lasts can be examined in a cross section of ways. This includes the fragrance formulation, its concentration, application, expiration date and even how it is stored. Below, you will find a detailed overview of each point. Fragrance Formulation And Concentration When you are trying to pinpoint how long your perfume will last, this is the first factor you should consider. When you look at the fragrance concentration, this is a good indicator of how long your perfume will last upon application. Parfum holds the highest fragrance oil concentration and thus, it lasts longer. Eau de Fraiche on the other end holds the lowest concentration and therefore, lasts less long. Typically, parfum contains anywhere between 20 to 25% fragrance oils and will last up to 24 hours. Eau de parfum contains 15 to 20% fragrance oils and will last anywhere from 8 to 12 hours. Eau de toilettes contain 10 to 15% fragrance oils and will last for several hours and so will eau de cologne, which is normally a lighter variant of Eau de parfum, with up to 5% concentration. Eau de Fraiche, also known as fragrance water or body mist, boasts the lowest concentration at 3 to 5%. Eau de Fraiche will last you within the hour. In addition to the fragrance concentration, the perfume formulation itself also determines how long the perfume will last as well as how it will interact with the surrounding storage environment. Shelf Life AKA Expiration Date Generally, most perfume makers recommend retiring your perfume anywhere between one to three years after usage. Yet, the special formulation of perfume doesn’t resemble that of food. Thus, using it beyond the recommended period will not result in any dire consequences. As such, there are several ways you can preserve your perfume so it can last longer. Your perfume will not alter its intensity yet; you will notice a slight change on the scent after it has been used for long. The scent becomes a tad bit acidic or metallic. This is because, over time, more and more oxygen enters the bottle to oxidize it. This is especially quite significant for perfumes that integrate citrus notes or other similar aromatics. You will also notice an accelerated dry down rate of your perfume. Fragrance Types And Longevity Certain fragrance types will naturally last longer than others. Stable fragrance types such as woody, amber or leather fragrances tend to last longer due to their chemical stability. Additionally, natural ingredients tend to be less stable than synthetic ones. You will not notice significant changes in these fragrance types even after the recommended years of use. In addition, perfumes that bear higher alcohol content tend to also last longer. This is because the increased alcohol content delays the rate at which aromatics are oxidized. Consequently, it is regarded as an important preservative for perfumes. So, you can expect perfume types such as eau de toilette and eau de cologne to last longer than Eau de parfum and parfum. Fragrance types such as clean alcohol free, oil-based and patchouli or citrus-based fragrances on the other end will have a shorter shelf life or scent intensity. So you have to choose to prioritize either the clean aspect of the fragrance or a longer lasting shelf life and intensity. Environmental Factors In addition to the ingredients and fabrication, you should also consider external factors to the longevity of your perfume. Light Light plays a great role in the longevity and intensity of your perfume. You will also notice on your perfume package or bottle that it says, store in a cool and dry place. Thus, as much as it looks attractive on the window area with natural light coming in, it is not a good idea to store your perfume under direct light, this is because the light rays will break down the perfume molecules, ultimately affecting the scent. This is because the breakdown of the molecules makes it unstable and more susceptible to oxidation. Heat Just like light, you should also avoid storing your perfume in places that are too warm. Avoid areas such as your bathroom cabinet, even though it looks appealing. Your perfume should be stored in an area that boasts a temperature of not more than 15 degrees Celsius. This is because excessive heat is more likely to alter the chemical makeup of your perfume and ultimately making it susceptible to oxidation. Stick To One Bottle As much as it is difficult, it is advised to stick to one perfume bottle until it is empty. It is not always easy to do so. On average, many people have at least two to three different fragrances they are using simultaneously. Yet, leaving your perfume idle for too long also increases the risk of alteration by the already absorbed oxygen. Especially for highly concentrated fragrance, it is a good idea to stick to one until it is finished. How To Improve Longevity Apart from its chemical makeup and concentration which cannot be altered, you can still enhance the longevity of your fragrance through storage. As mentioned above, you should always store your perfume in cool and dark areas. Store Your Perfume In A Close Space Your closed cabinet and the closed section of your dresser were probably built just for this. These spaces make an excellent place to store your perfume as they effectively shield it from direct sunlight. you can even invest in those cute vanity boxes or leave it in its original packaging if you want an element of d├ęcor in your room. Store Your Perfume In a Chilled Area You want to maintain your storage temperature. there's no point in shielding the perfume from light if the alternative storage space is too hot. If you reside in warm climates, then adopt a DIY craft to further preserve the perfume. For example, before tossing it into its box or vanity box, you can wrap it with aluminium foil. You can even store it in a refrigerator if it’s safe for your household. Remember, this can be hazardous if you reside with a child in your home. and you don't have to worry about it freezing thanks to the alcohol component. In addition to the storage, you should also adopt other practices that help to preserve its longevity even during application. For example, avoid rubbing it during application and apply it to pressure points for longer lasting results.

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