Lately I’m Loving…Skin Special

Lately I’m Loving…Skin Special

I’ve not done a post like this before but I see a few on blogs I read so I thought I’d share my favourite products of the moment. 

Superdrug Vitamin E Spray On Body Lotion – I am really lazy, and hate mornings, so any shortcut that does the same trick is fine by me. This moisturiser in a can is great – especially for doing the backs of my legs as it sprays upside down too. 

Superdrug Vitamin E All Over Body Cream – in the evenings this is perfect for smoothing over tired, dry skin. It’s also really good at soothing my eczema after being irritated all day by clothes. 

Soap & Glory Rushover Dry Shampoo – I try not to rely on dry shampoo too much but I’m still lazy so… this was a total bargain at the time, and there’s always offers on S&G. This is also a great dry shampoo, slightly fragranced with the signature scent, no dandruff-like residue, no sticky roots. 

Ladival Sun Protection Factor 30 – this is my current go to sunscreen, as a very pale blonde my skin needs all the protection. This spray is super easy to apply, doesn’t smell funny, absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a tacky residue. 

Superdrug Simply Pure Micellar Water – Micellar Water is something I use daily to lift the top layer of grime and make up before a thorough cleanse. This one is inexpensive and doesn’t smell weird or contain alcohol. Plus it’s cruelty free and hypoallergenic. 

Bio Oil – my mum swears by this and I’ve started using it on some of the odd scars and marks. It takes a while but it seems to help them fade. 

Nip+Fab Kale Fix Make Up Removing Pads – I use these when I’ve got slightly heavier make up on that the Micellar Water alone won’t start to budge. 

L’Occitane Vervaine Agrumes Eau de Toilette – this is my favourite summer perfume, a mixture of verbena, orange and lemon essential oils and grapefruit extract. It’s light and fresh, and the essential oils mean it stays on the skin for longer. 

So those are my current favourites – any that you love too? 

Let me know what you’re loving below. 

Book Preview: Love and Other Consolation Prizes – Jamie Ford

Book Preview: Love and Other Consolation Prizes – Jamie Ford

If you’ve read Ford’s previous works – The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet or The Song of Willow Frost, you’ll know his milieu is the Chinese and Japanese diaspora on the West Coast of America – chiefly Seattle and San Francisco. 
Ernest Young is sold by his starving, heartbroken mother and sent by ship as a small boy from China to Seattle in the early years of the twentieth century. There, after a tough few years, he is sold again, given as a raffle prize at the World Fair in 1909. 

His winners are the owner and manager of a notorious brothel where he falls in love, twice. 

Looking back from 1962, when the World Fair rolls round again, Ernest charts his life and loves for his daughter, a reporter, keen to learn about the boy won at a raffle. 

Ford’s writing is beautiful, you are totally transported into Ernest’s life as a young man, the sights, sounds and smells of the world he inhabits is vividly brought to life. 

I’m a bit biased because Hotel is one of my favourite reads of the last few years, but this is a strong contender to pip it. 

The book will be published on the 12th of September, which seems apt for a book about recollections of summers past.

Book Preview: Lady of Magick – Sylvia Hunter

Book Preview: Lady of Magick – Sylvia Hunter

Read the review of book one – The Midnight Queen here

Lady of Magick picks up two years after the events of the first book with Sophie and Gray ensconced at Oxford, Gray teaching and Sophie finally studying magic. 

When Gray is invited to guest lecture at the university of Dun Edin in the neighbouring Kingdom of Elba, Sophie quickly agrees to go with him, but something else is going on and it isn’t too long before the Marshalls are tangled up in intrigue and terror. 

Now I thought the first book was great but this one is a corker – new characters, new adventures, the return of some of my favourites from the first book. 

Hunter’s writing is gripping and the plot is fun and clever. This is a fantastic piece of not only fantasy but mystery and adventure. 

The book is currently available in trade paperback but will be officially released on 21st September – plenty of time to read the first book. 

Stay tuned for the third in the trilogy. 

The Allergy & Free From Show 

The Allergy & Free From Show 

This past Saturday my mother and I went on one of our increasingly common outings. This time we went to Kensington Olympia to explore free from foods and allergy busters. 

When my mum isn’t buying me lunch (thanks!) she’s an incredibly hard-working and somewhat brilliant nurse working in public health and school health. She recently celebrated 40 years in nursing and is my go to for any ‘should I take this weird thing to a doctor’ query (lucky her).

We had free tickets because the event gives loads away every year – I will share the link for next July once I get it. I did however miss the blogger meet up because I was too busy sampling cakes, oops. 

I also failed miserably to take any photos of use, although I will include the entirely random few I did manage at the end. 

Seriously I blame all the free cake samples and the abundance of dairy free treats. I had a truly delicious magnum style caramel ice cream and got chocolate all over my white top – I shouldn’t be allowed out. 

We did stop for actual lunch too – the prices in the Olympia’s cafes are eye watering for two salads and two drinks. 

My mum became pals with an allergy nurse from a children’s asthma charity – discussing epipens and inhalers. Joy. 

I located the make up stand and got a bit of a makeover while I was at it – once a beauty blogger, always a beauty blogger  (this will be getting it’s own post so stay tuned). 

I even came home with not just a goody bag full of snacks but some little purchases including gluten free samosas, rocky road mix, vodka cocktails (mum and I split 4 between us, she enjoys the odd tipple and free samples) and a few other little bits and bobs. I also found some new and some familiar brands to add to my shopping list. 

There was some live music from the imaginatively named Thomas and Thomas who played cover versions of a range of songs that definitely had at least one fan – the little boy dancing away in front of them! They were actually quite good but the dancing was very entertaining and quite distracting. 

We were ambushed by the man from the WWF and spent the rest of the day not walking past him again. I know why charities rent stands at these events but I wish they wouldn’t. 

I managed to get us lost finding the cocktails stand when we decided to make our purchases before leaving, thank goodness we found them again! Maps are very much not my strong point, though I can scent a goody bag at 500 paces it seems. 

Anyway, it was really interesting to see how far the free from and allergy market has come along since I was a sniffly asthmatic kid with eczema now that I am a sniffly asthmatic adult with eczema. 

Me & the Mothership and a giant samosa
Thomas & Thomas doing Jessie J’s Price Tag
The Green Sisters’ amazing free from samosas
Wedding Wednesday – Magic Wedding Box 

Wedding Wednesday – Magic Wedding Box 

Guides for Brides is a great wedding planning resource and they very kindly sent me a box of bridal inspiration to review, curated by Sprinkle of Magic. Full of samples from independent companies to help you plan your wedding. What more could any bride to be want! 

Guides for Brides originated the #WeddingWednesday tag and their app is a great place to keep track of your planning.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the delicious smell of this cute little wax melt from Lubylu. It is so yummy. You could use these as favours or as suggested, to thank your bridal party. 

Of course I was then drawn to this cute candy favour – like a slice of seaside rock with a message for your guests. I love the idea of a pretty bowl of these by the guestbook so people can treat themselves as they write their message. 

No wedding would be complete without confetti – it has moved a long way since I threw handfuls of brightly coloured paper in the air as a child at my cousin’s wedding. And I have to say I much prefer real petals like these, and not just because they’re environmentally friendly. 

Another great idea in the box is this sweet medallion – I’m not having a flower girl but if I was I think this would be a perfect memento. 

I wasn’t sure what this next item was at first – my bridal brain wasn’t quite in gear. It’s a sample of veil – something I haven’t got round to looking at yet. This is really pretty and I like the idea of a little bit of flair on the netting. 

One of the things that has been a bit of a headache is wedding stationery – and Magic has smartly included samples to give you some ideas and potential suppliers. 

Now, all brides get stressed out, whoever you’re marrying, and we deserve some pampering, which the lovely team at Magic have addressed with these beauty samples, all of which are available through their website shop or from the independent suppliers – I love showing new brands some support, if you haven’t spotted that already.

If you would like to order a box or take out a subscription to help with your wedding planning, please click this link* and follow the instructions on the site. 

*Affliate link – I will receive a small percentage of every box ordered.

I received the box in exchange for an honest review, all views and opinions are my own. 

Glossybox – Hello Summer

Glossybox – Hello Summer

I know, I know, I said I was done with Glossybox but I kept seeing increasingly good boxes on other blogs and I just couldn’t resist. If they kept this gorgeous sunburnt pink as well it would be so good.

Inside are five summery beauty bits, four of which are fullsize. 

☉Bellapierre Cosmetics Banana Setting Powder – I am so fascinated by this, the yellow powder is designed to offset redness and discoloration on pale skin and add highlights to darker skins. 

☉Spectrum Collections Small Fan Brush – partnered with the setting powder, this brush evenly distributes the powder with cruelty free, synthetic bristles that are super soft. 

☉Monu Professional Skincare – Monuspa Soothing After Sun Lotion – a generous 100ml ‘sample’ of this summer essential. Try as I might I always get burnt somewhere. 

☉Cute Balms Macaroon Tint Balm in Crushed Berry – a fruity smelling balm for lips and cheeks. This is most likely going to be added to my collection of lipbalms I keep forgetting I have and then I buy more. 

☉Papanga Spiral Hairbands (pack of 3) – try as I might I can’t seem to get on board with these, they may not tangle other people’s hair but they snare up might like nobody’s business. 


I rather liked this box – but I will only be sticking with this subscription if the quality remains high. I cannot afford more crappy boxes of cheap and unwanted make up. 

My Little Box – Seashell

My Little Box – Seashell

June’s box was so late I didn’t bother to blog it but July’s arrived on Saturday so I thought I would share it with you. 

I’ve been a bit unsure whether to keep subscribing, June’s box was quite disappointing (read about it here) but I quite liked this one. 

The summery beach inspired box is rather pretty, utilising the red, white and blue of the French (and UK) flag – a colour scheme MLB have used before. 

Inside is the usual sticker and art print, as well as a pair of postcards to send from your spot on a beach somewhere. 

I’m loving the beachy vibes – closest I’ll be getting this summer. 

This might be the quirkiest thing in a box I’ve come across – the plastic shell contains what is basically a lollipop minus the stick! It tastes rather nice – which since it’s basically flavoured sugar isn’t a surprise. Apparently in France these are known as ‘roudoudou’ although in all the summers I’ve spent there I’ve not come across these before.  

 Now I love candles, although I’ve switched to electric was melters recently as they’re safer, so this cute kit is very me. I am definitely making use of this at my next barbecue. The little paper bags easily transform into lanterns with the addition of the tea lights. Casting a pretty blue glow. 

This is such a fun item – it’s an inflatable beach bag that doubles as a pillow for snoozing in the sun – you can make sure to avoid sunburn by popping your factor 50 in the bag. I do love an item that can multitask. And if the tide comes in (or you get rained on in the park) the bag inflated will float. 

The little canvas bag containing this month’s beauty treats is also decorated with seashells, keeping with the box’s theme. Inside are three items for summer skin. 

🐚Institut Karitè Paris – Rose Mademoiselle Shea Hand Cream. This shea butter rich hand cream smells gorgeous and it’s handbag size. Normally I roll my eyes ‘not another handcream’ but this has come at a good time, the tube in my bag has just run out! 

🐚Garnier SkinActive 3 in 1 – I don’t personally like this particular scrub/mask/wash as my skin is freakishly sensitive but my partner loves it for his spot prone skin, so has already pounced on this bottle for his wash bag.

🐚My Little Beauty Sandy Shore Body Scrub –  this lightly fragranced tub of sea salt and white Polynesian sand with essential oils is also a great item in the box. Summer is the skin season- and exfoliation is key to happy skin. A good scrub in the shower is a great way to slough off old skin cells and encourage cell regeneration. 

Overall I rather liked this box – definitely an improvement on some of the previous ones. It also seems that this box is identical to the French one, which is nice as sometimes they vary wildly.