Saturday, 15 July 2017

Tropic: the all natural skincare brand

Tropic may be a name not many of you have heard of, however it is slowly but surely breaking itself into the beauty industry. You may remember it from appearing on The Apprentice a few years back, and although the brand didn't win the show, they are quite proudly the only company that despite not winning, were still invested in by the man himself - Lord Alan Sugar!

Driven by a love of all natural products, this brand was born when a young girl Susan began experimenting and mixing her own ingredients together sourced from the Tropical North Queensland in Australia. Fast forward over a decade and this vegan, cruelty free brand now offers a huge range of products from facial cleansers to body scrubs, makeup and much more and the best part is, there is absolutely no harsh chemicals involved.

I had heard of Tropic briefly through an old work colleague but it wasn't until recently, when my Mum held a Tropic 'party' that I had the chance to see and test some of the products, and I was surprisingly really impressed. All of the makeup products look great, the concealer has incredible coverage (it can even hide tattoos) and they also do a stunning self tan oil that adds a gorgeous glow and instant shimmer to your skin that is perfect for holidays. Every single product smells amazing as well, just how you would imagine 'tropical' products to smell - they are tempting to eat but that's obviously not recommended..

The one product I purchased was the Deep Hydration Cooling Soothing Mask. Having normal-dry skin I always opt for anything hydrating, and the fact that it was cooling made it an easy pick with the hot, humid weather we've been experiencing lately.

The mask can be used as often as you require, I tend to use it 2/3 times a week. It has a soft, creamy texture that is quite thin when you apply it but it doesn't need a lot to work its magic. It smells delicious and doesn't make a mess which is always good, it kind of weirdly reminds me of a yogurt because of its texture and sweet smell!

It is suggested that you leave a thin layer of the mask on for around 20-30 minutes, but apparently you can also leave it on overnight (I haven't tried this yet though as I fear it would go everywhere). Once the time is up, simply wash off with warm water and a flannel. I have been loving the handy Tropic headband that I also got which is great for popping on beforehand so you don't get any product in your hair.

My thoughts on this mask are that it is simple yet effective. It is easy to apply, doesn't make a mess and if you leave it in the fridge it does offer a lovely cooling effect. I also found that it did add a lot of moisture back into my skin as I found my face was looking a little dry and sorry for itself after the constant use of chlorine from my weekly swimming sessions. This mask definitely helped hydrate my skin and improve its appearance after a couple of uses.

I would also say a little goes a long way, as you only need a thin layer, the tub should last you a good while making it great value for money. If you're looking for an all natural alternative to other face mask brands, Tropic also do two other face masks, a Clear Skin Blemish Fighting Mask and a Face Lift Brightening Tightening Mask, so there is definitely something to suit all skin types and tackle all problems!

Overall I am definitely impressed with my first Tropic product, and after looking through their brochure I already have my eye on a few things that I might just have to treat myself to in the next few weeks.

Have you heard of Tropic or tried any of their products? What did you think? 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Favourite pamper picks

Every gal loves a good pamper, whether it's a mid week pick me up, or the soothing end to your evening, with a huge selection of products available, looking after yourself has never felt so good. 

Now I'm not a huge bath lover, but I'd say once a week a relaxing soak is the perfect way for me to chill, unwind and clear my head. With Lush being one of my all time favourite shops, their products of course make it to the top of my pamper picks list.

I definitely prefer their bubble bars to the bath bombs, and anything pink/bubblegum scented is always a winner in my eyes. My absolute staple Lush item has got to be The Comforter Bubble Bar. Not only does it provide you with a pretty pink, bubbly bath it also smells amazing and has Bergamot Oil in which is great for uplifting and cleansing.

As I love skincare, face masks always find their way into my routine, even if it is once a week. Lush face masks are full of skin loving ingredients and all have fab benefits targeted towards specific skin types/problems. I have normal-dry skin so always opt for anything soothing, moisturising and calming. The mask I have on the go at the moment is Oatifix, made with fresh bananas and illipe butter this mask moisturises, nourishes and exfoliates all in one!

At first I felt really strangely towards this, as it has a sort of play dough scent and unlike the other Lush masks I have tried, it has a really thick, hard-to-spread texture. It takes a good few minutes to apply and despite it looking like I have covered my face in porridge/vom it really does work wonders. My skin feels super soft, cleansed and looks a lot brighter after using this. Priced at just £7.25 Lush face masks are really worth investing in, and you even get a free one if you collect 5 empty Lush tubs and take them back to your nearest store; bonus!

It may not exactly fall under the 'pamper' category, but I always find when I'm relaxing or having some well deserved 'me time', having a candle burning in the background really adds to the whole experience. I tend to go for fruity or fresh fragrances, and sometimes you just can't beat something simple. I am currently loving the Yankee Candle in 'Soft Cotton' it just makes my room smell so clean and isn't overpowering.

Exfoliating my body is a step that is often missed in my day to day routine, mainly because it seems like such effort and is quite time consuming, however when I feel like it I really love the benefit of a good old scrub.

 I recently tried a Charcoal Scrub that I received in my May GlossyBox. Charcoal products seem to be huge at the minute and are loved for their naturally detoxifying effect so I thought this would be a great option for my dry skin. I used it alongside the body scrubber I also received in my GlossyBox, which I found really easy to use and effective. The scrub was also surprisingly good, it is gentle (a little messy) but seems to do the trick. It also doesn't have a super strong scent so I'm assuming it is suitable for sensitive skin.

What are your favourite pamper products? Do you have any recommendations? 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Current goals

After an exciting, rather busy start to the year I have not only managed to secure myself a job that I absolutely love, but I am steadily falling into some sort of routine, and I have to say I'm actually enjoying it.

The thought of being an adult is daunting, and is something I have long tried to avoid accepting since graduating university last summer, however I have now found myself having different goals, slightly different priorities and I'm generally spending my days differently. Change isn't always that bad, and I can honestly say I am extremely happy at the moment, and am looking forward to striving towards new goals/targets no matter how small they may seem.

My first goal for the upcoming months is to focus more on my blog, I find leading a busy life and working full time, it is far to easy to abandon writing posts but I always hate myself for it. I started this blog for a reason, and I think with me being a perfectionist I either give it my all or nothing. I definitely want to start planning posts more, and practising my photography, I still feel very overwhelmed with the whole blogging thing, but I am determined to stick at it, mainly because it's something I enjoy and can see myself improving.

I have been trying to shift a few pounds by making small, simple changes to my day and so far I have (somehow) managed to lose a stone. I still have a long way to go until I'll feel satisfied and comfortable, and although I am yet to see a significant difference in myself, it's crazy how much motivation it gives you once you realise that something can be done once you put your mind to it.

*Sips green tea and pretends to be healthy* 

With making better eating choices, comes the obvious following goal. I struggle to push myself to go to the gym, and I really should get into a routine of going because once I do I feel fab but to be honest I find it boring. Maybe I need a gym buddy?? I have been going swimming a good few times a week, as well as going for long dog walks now the weather is improving and these are also things I want to stick to. I want to make it a goal to go on a nice scenic walk somewhere new at least once a week, living somewhere as pretty as North Wales; this shouldn't be difficult.

Saving money is next on my list. I have a couple of holidays on the pipeline for the duration of the year, and I want to ensure I am fully prepared for them so I can enjoy them as much as possible, also I think it's so good to have money stashed away in case of any emergencies (by that I don't mean buying a pair of heels).

Being organised is something I am good at if I plan in advance, otherwise I'm a bit of a last minute larry. This goes for everything, like keeping my room tidy/organised, preparing my meals for the week, and trying to stay in some sort of a routine. I kick myself when I'm unorganised and it only leads to being unproductive, so I am definitely going to focus on being more organised. I love to make to do lists and visually plan my weeks with a weekly note pad, it is so sad yet so satisfying!

Last but not least, I just want to put myself first and do more things I enjoy. I find the more I surround myself with happy, positive people the happier I feel. It really is as simple as that, but I genuinely don't want to waste my time on things or people that stress me out, because life is far too short.

Do you have any goals in place for the next few months? I'd love to hear more! 

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Beauty on a budget: my current favourites

Being a lover of beauty has it's fair share of downsides, the main negative being the cost of constantly stocking up on your favourite/essential items. Over the years I have tried and tested so many different beauty products from high to low end, and I have to say sometimes the price tag isn't reflective of the quality.

When it comes to putting on my face and generally getting ready each morning I seem to have resorted to a quick and easy, budget routine consisting of lots of impressive affordable buys that I honestly think beat some higher end products.

Here are some of the beauty bargains I am loving at the moment, and have found to have been fab switches from more luxury brands, either in an attempt to save a few penny's, or to simply save my nicer makeup for special occasions.


Ever since the widespread teen disaster that was Dream Matte Mousse, I seemed to stay well away from 'drugstore' foundations as I just felt that they were cheap and nasty. As I became more interested in looking for bargains (I got it from my mama) - I managed to fall in love with a few more affordable formulas. At the moment I have been using Rimmel London's Wake Me Up Foundation. As I have normal to dry skin, this suits me perfectly. It really does brighten your face and isn't too light or heavy, it offers a great amount of coverage making it my current choice for every day.

For a lighter coverage, if I'm having a chilled day on the weekend or for daytime on holiday I love No 7's BB cream. It's really light, easy to blend and gives a 'no makeup makeup' kind of glow. It also has SPF and is full of skin loving ingredients; bonus!

Under eyes 

As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently discovered Maybelline's Fit Me Concealer and it has slowly but surely become a staple in my makeup kit. I have gradually waved goodbye to my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer as I find this to be so similar, at a fraction of the cost. It covers any imperfections, is creamy, full coverage and a dream to blend.


My absolute favourite affordable lip glosses/products have to be NYX - their range is unbeatable in terms of price, quality and colour range. I adore their butter glosses, and my go to shade is Tiramisu (coincidence it's also my fav dessert..) These glosses aren't sticky, and they come in so many colours that you are sure to be spoilt for choice! I have to say I'm not a huge fan of their matte lip creams, but I think I may have to give them a second chance sometime soon.


Everyone's been there, payday seems miles away and you're down to the last few drops of your signature scent. Perfume is pricey, and not always something that you can just pick up - especially if you're cursed with expensive taste (woops). I find if I'm low on perfumes, I either switch to using Victoria Secret's Body Mists, or another alternative I love is Zara perfumes. They are so cheap and if you choose wisely, they smell amazing. One of my top choices is 'Apple Juice' is smells so fresh and a lot like Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh - which is one of my favourites. I got so many compliments wearing this and will definitely be stocking up again shortly.


When it comes to hair care, I do think that choosing slightly higher price tags does pay off. You can definitely tell the difference between a cheap shampoo and a good quality one. Although they seem expensive, I like to try and get the salon sized Bed Head Duo bottles (750ml) and I always manage to find these on offer somewhere. The huuuge bottles means they last so much longer, so technically you are saving money (kinda). Feel Unique currently have half price on these including lots of other hair care products, I will definitely be treating myself!

What are your favourite budget beauty buys? Do you find your self switching to cheaper products when times are tough? 

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Self care: building yourself back up again

When things become overwhelming, whether it be family issues, work related stress, or even small, daily struggles it is so easy to let them consume you. It's easier said than done to simply shrug it off, and I have to say that doing so does. not. work. Attempting to ignore your feelings can result in a backlash that is ten times as worse. I am definitely one of those people that tends to bottle up their feelings, and I find it very difficult to openly speak about how I'm feeling as I hate to be a burden to others.

For example, I have faced many obstacles over the past few years and have realised that when it is an issue that effects anyone else i.e another family member, I cannot bring myself to show emotion or be upset as I feel as though there is always someone that feels worse, and I can't help but consider their feelings first. However it is crucial to remember yourself.

In the words of good old Aibleen 'You is kind, you is smart, you is important'. 

I had a bit of a meltdown the other week, due to the build up of various different thoughts and feelings that I had previously tried to contain (as well as feeling unwell). Something as small as feeling under the weather, and being completely overtired resulted in me experiencing a surge of emotions, that I didn't quite know how to handle. I also suffered from a panic attack (something I luckily don't regularly go through) and I just could not stop crying. This is really unlike me, but after a good, hard cry, a restful few hours sleep, and a huge hug off my Mum; I eventually felt relieved.

This brought me to thinking about the best ways to pick yourself back up when you have a rough patch like this, and what simple yet effective steps you can take to refresh yourself, in order to feel better.

Cry, as much as you need to and get it all out of your system, it honestly does help and it's human! Even if it is something that seems silly or small, when you're faced with stress crying is a natural reaction and it seriously isn't something to be embarrassed about.

Rest and listen to your body, don't feel guilty for having a nap, or simply slumping on the sofa with a hot drink when things seem a bit too much to handle, it is so important to look after yourself. Take a few minutes out to just breathe without worrying too much about what everyone around you is doing.

Exercise really isn't my best friend, and when I mention the dreaded E word, it doesn't instantly mean go to the gym or have an intensive work out but go for a long walk, or go for a swim, it will really help invigorate you and even better; it releases hormones that uplift you instantly. As much as I sometimes don't want to work out, once I do I never regret it.

Pamper yourself, enlist a few products, and maybe put together a box of go to beauty items for when you're feeling like you desperately need some TLC. A few of my favourite tips are to have a long soak in the bath with some candles on, do a hair mask, go makeup free for a day (honestly you will feel fab for it) and also - look after your skin. As I've mentioned before in previous posts, I'm all for skincare. Stick to the basics when it comes to looking after yourself, cleanse, moisturise, maybe do a face mask and don't forget to take care of your body too.

When I am run down or upset, I tend to get extremely puffy, swollen eyes that can feel sore and I also suffer from headaches. When I feel like this, my cooling eye mask is a miracle worker. I simply pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes and lay on my bed in darkness wearing this, it feels like heaven! It definitely helps and is yet another way to help me relax and calm down.

I have recently bought a new Clarins Body Balm, which smells incredible; it is exactly like the products used in a spa and has a slightly menthol effect, that cools and tingles on your skin once applied. I gently massaged this in after a bath, and it was so calming and made me feel super refreshed and soothed. You can't go wrong with a good old lip balm, the rose tinted Vaseline is one of my favourites as I find it to be simple and affordable yet so effective. I slathered some of this on after I had cleansed my face.

Treat yourself, whether it is something insignificant or something more pricey, you deserve it! My go to treat is more often than not makeup, however I find that even buying yourself flowers, or your favourite food/drink is such a small gesture, yet it goes a long way. I'm lucky I have a fab family that treated me to all these things post meltdown, however doing so yourself is just as rewarding.

The power of a good cup of tea is so underrated, they seriously do seem to solve many problems. For those extra anxious times, try a cup of Chamomile tea, it really helps to calm any worries and is perfect for sipping straight before bed as it clears your mind, and enables you to drift off easily. This was my go to drink when I was juggling my dissertation and driving test(s)!

Write things down. As I said, I find it very hard to express my feelings a lot of the time, but I have actually found writing this blog post in itself to be very therapeutic, if you struggle to voice your emotions, then get a notebook, and write it all down. Have a rant, or write a positive 'to do' list of things that will have you on your way to feeling yourself again. I love to positively plan my week and ensure I will make the most of it by putting myself and my needs/wants first.

Last but not least, start each day fresh. Forget the previous day, it doesn't matter how crap you felt, or how much of a mess you were, wake up in the morning with a clear mind, and think of the day ahead as another chance for a successful day. Nobody is perfect and things don't always run smoothly, just remember to take the bad with the good, and don't be too hard on yourself, too much self pressure will push you to breaking point. Allow yourself a day or two of being 'selfish' it really is essential sometimes, and if you have understanding people around you, then you will be sure to bounce right back!

Do you have any self care tips? What do you find yourself turning to when you're feeling down or overwhelmed? 

Sunday, 12 March 2017

My travel essentials

Whether it's a long weekend or a break in the sun I am not very good at packing light - yes I'm one of those girls that takes half her wardrobe and the kitchen sink in her suitcase (always a suitcase, bags are too small of course..) However, I do try my very best to narrow it down to the essentials and I thought I would share a few of my all time favourite items that I always take with me when travelling.

A good sized makeup bag 

This is obviously one of the most important on the list, making sure you have a practical, travel friendly makeup bag that has plenty of room in makes life a whole lot easier. Having all your toiletries and makeup in one place helps you to feel organised and also takes up less room in your case. I have a Victoria Secret's one that has lasted me years, it has lots of room in it and was definitely a good investment as I get so much use out of it.

Phillips Sonicare 

A toothbrush might seem like a strange thing to include on here, but after switching from a standard brush to an electric brush, I feel as though my whole routine has improved. I have had the Phillips Sonicare toothbrush for nearly a year now and I can't imagine not using it. It honestly gives a dentist clean feel and has a range of different settings such as 'white' and 'sensitive' which all give amazing results. It is easy to use, the charge lasts around 3 weeks and it even comes with a travel charging case making it perfect for taking on the go. Of course I got it in pink.

An eye mask 

Everyone seems to laugh when I tell them about my little obsession over eye masks, but I genuinely find I have a much better sleep when using one. They block out every bit of light, are great for if you fancy a nap when on a plane, train or coach and are just as good when it comes to bed time. I have a bit of a collection of these, my favourite for travelling is this satiny pink padded eye mask, and my favourite for night time is an 'eye cushion' I bought from TK Maxx which has two padded cushions that rest on top of each eye made from a super soft, fleecey material. It also has a lavender scent that helps you relax and aids a good nights sleep.

Portable phone charger 

How many times have you been out and about with low phone battery, or needed back up for a long journey? Portable phone chargers are a life saver, they're compact and lightweight making them the ideal travel item to throw in your handbag.

Garnier Micellar Water 

When travelling, it's not always sensible to take your entire skincare collection so having a fuss free alternative is key. I love the Garnier Micellar Water especially in this handy, on-the-go size it is fab for easily removing all your makeup with minimal mess and effort. I also love to take a sleeping mask with me, which is a super simple way of adding hydration to your face and is great for using on flights to prevent dehydration. The Body Shop Vitamin E range does a gorgeous sink in moisture mask that I can't be without.

A good read 

I love nothing more than a good book when going on holiday, I don't find enough time in my day to day life to just sit and fully immerse myself into something, but I always make sure to take a book away with me. I tend to go for something easy to read, like a soppy romance novel, or something typically girly that I can easily get into when I'm relaxing. 

The perfect pair of lashes 

I don't tend to opt for false lashes every day, but when I'm away I love to take a versatile, high quality pair that I can wear at night time to instantly change my look. At the moment I am in love with Lilly Lashes they are so soft, fluffy and look incredibly natural. They do a huge variety of styles but I like something that adds length without being too bold. Luxe are definitely a favourite.

Travel sized toiletries 

Trying to narrow down your toiletries can be such a pain, which is where travel sized goodies are a godsend. I love that you can find near enough anything in a cute, miniature sized version meaning you can easily take them away with you without having to carry round huge bottles.

I absolutely adore all Soap and Glory products, so their minis are so useful to me. I always try and take the few bottles I know I'll use such as a body wash, body butter and hand cream for the flight or journey. I am also loving the small sized perfume I received from my February Glossy Box it is the perfect size for popping in your bag and smells amazing.

What are your travel essentials? Do you have one or two items you cannot go away without?  

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Makeup staples for spring

Spring is fast approaching, which means we can drop the winter wardrobe, as well as heavy, full coverage makeup. Light, fresher looks are more favourable, and subtle skin is definitely my favourite switch that comes with the change of seasons! 

I thought I would mention a few of my go to products for achieving a simple, stripped back look. 
For a base, I like to have as light a coverage as possible in spring and summer (as my skin will allow). I recently discovered Charlotte Tilbury's Light Wonder foundation and absolutely fell in love with its creamy formula. It glides on like a dream, and provides just enough coverage to even out your skin tone and softly hide imperfections. It has a dewy, sheer finish and is gorgeous for every day. 
If I feel I need slightly more coverage, or want to set my under eyes I love the Ben Nye Translucent powder in 'Pretty Pink'. It has a lovely, brightening effect thanks to its pale pink colouring and is a great finishing touch, without being too heavy or 'cakey'. 

Unless I am going out at night, I tend to keep things simple with my brows, as I get them regularly threaded and tinted I like a pencil type product for easy application and a natural finish. At the minute I am obsessed with the Benefit Goof Proof eyebrow pencil, the nib is the perfect size for thickening the appearance of my brows, without being too heavy. I love how quick and simple it is to use, and it has become one of my essential makeup products. 

I personally feel as though my makeup isn't complete without blusher. I think it gives such a healthy glow, and everyone looks better with a flush of colour on their cheeks! The current colour blusher I'm using is Mac Mineralize Blush in 'Warm Soul'. This is a stunning shade described as a 'mid tone beige with gold pearl', but I would definitely say there is a soft, hint of pink. I find myself turning to this product a lot as it's just such a versatile shade that goes well with any other makeup look. 

As I have mentioned before, my all time favourite lipstick is Charlotte Tilbury's Penelope Pink, and I finally repurchased it the other day. I just love how moisturising the K.I.S.S.I.N.G formula is, making it ideal for day to day wear. For me this is the perfect nude shade, with just the right amount of pink. It is subtle but really compliments my fair skin and I think I will struggle to find a lipstick that will beat this. 

Mascara is one of my most important beauty products as I think it makes the biggest difference to your face and overall look. Eyelash curlers also improve the performance of mascara, and really help give an eye opening effect, making you look refreshed and wide awake. I have actually had the same eyelash curlers from Primark for about 3 years, I simply replace the pads every few months and I have to say it surprisingly does a fab job! Maybelline mascaras are such great value for money, and I find their formulas to be so impressive. My current mascara is the Maybelline Falsies in Dramatic Black which I will be doing a post on soon, sharing exactly why I love it so much.

What are your favourite makeup products for a simple look? Do you make any switches to your routine for spring?