Friday, 31 July 2015

A Brighton Getaway

Brighton Travelodge

Brighton is one of my favourite places to go, in all of the UK.  In 2001 (about 4 months before meeting my hubby), I came to Brighton for a big holiday with my close school friend.  We booked into a backpackers for a week and spent a week discovering the city and the amazing open culture it has.  At the end of the week I couldn't face leaving quite yet, so I stayed on for an extra 3 days and experienced the Gay Pride festival, such an experience!

My old job took me to Brighton a couple of times too and I couldn't have been happier to go.  So when the chance cropped up to go again, this time taking the hubby and baby, I couldn't say no.  We stayed at the Brighton Travelodge (not the seafront one) opposite an enormous and beautiful park.

Our room was basic, but clean.  It had everything we needed: kettle, tea, coffee, cups and lots of space - we had a family room.  The staff were amazing, all were very friendly and bent over backwards to help us.  The breakfast was very basic in terms of vegetarian options for the cooked breakfast (scrambled eggs and baked beans) but the food they had was cooked well (the eggs were lovely!).

Our only qualm was that our room was on the first floor, right above reception at the front of the hotel, and since it was during a heatwave, we really needed the windows open - the hotel had a couple of stag and hen parties, so on the Friday night, every half hour from about 1am - 5am we were woken up by groups of drunk people out the front.  So, if you're there with a baby or children, I'd recommend asking to be at the back of the hotel :)

Our hotel room in Brighton

We drove down on a Thursday and had the full Friday there before heading home on Saturday morning, so we made the most out of Friday.  We decided to walk in from the hotel (a decision we both later regretted considering we hadn't had breakfast, Squidge was close to needing a feed, and it was boiling hot and not a short walk!).

Close to the hotel was this field full of beautiful wild flowers, it was so beautiful I took about a gazillion pictures!

Wild flowers

 Right next to the field was this lovely cafe.  We were going to stop here for breakfast, but there was a big queue, the place was empty and service seemed very slow, so we moved on.
Lovely old cafe sign

We passed this lovely viaduct too, thought it was a good photo opp :)
A viaduct

Just beyond that was an open market, we were planning on walking back and were going to stop here, but after walking all the way there, and spending hours walking around we were too knackered to walk back so we got the bus.
A retro sign

We also saw a real Banksy!!!!!
A Banksy in Brighton
Such a beautiful building!
Beautiful buildings in Brighton

The little man was cwtched up in his pram and was happy there most of the time :)
Squidge in Brighton
We also stopped off at the Sea Life centre, Squidge absolutely loved it! He loved seeing all the fish, and all the colours.  He also took a nap on the pier :)
An assortment of pictures from Brighton

On the Saturday morning, we got up early (as we always do with Squidge) and had breakfast downstairs in the Travelodge, as I mentioned above, it was simple but lovely - the hubby loved his meaty breakfast :)  After that we packed up the car and checked out about 10 am.  About half hour away was a lovely National Trust place called Nymans (more on this over on my mummy blog soon). Squidge needed a feed at about 10:30 so we thought it would be well timed.

It was absolutely beautiful, one of the nicest National Trust places we've been to.

Nymans
Hubby at Nymans

Greenery at Nymans

Picturesque trees and sky

Squidge eating with food on his face

Nymans path

We had a lovely couple of days, although it did seem like travelling there and back took longer than we were actually there for (6 hours there, 7 hours back - for a 3.5 hour journey if we didn't have a baby!).  I'm hoping to bring Squidge back to Brighton when he's older, it's such a wonderful city, we both felt really safe there.  Our only issue was that we struggled to find The Lanes, well, we didn't - mind you, we didn't make a whole lot of effort to find them :P
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*The accommodation was provided free of charge, all opinions are my own
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Thursday, 30 July 2015

Nanokeratin Befri Brush

Nanokeratin Befri brush

Nanokeratin Befri brush

Side of Nanokeratin Befri brush

I know what you're thinking "what a crazy looking brush"... yep, that's exactly what I thought the first time I saw it too.

This Brefri brush is by a brand called Nanokeratin, and it really is something very different.  Here's what they have to say about it "a Next Generation professional brush that brings immediate hair relief. BeFri Brush, based on revolutionary patented technology, features a unique Kinematic structure with eight free-moving arms that glide through your hair and smooth it out. Indulge in wonderfully gentle yet effective brushing that actually conditions and strengthens your hair, leaving it healthy, shiny and full of body. So stop pulling at your hair and start pampering it. With BeFri Brush".

What really surprised me about this brush is how each of the eight arms move about, I've never used a flexible brush like this before.  For me, there was two main ways I found it to be really good for my hair.  Firstly, thanks to how it's designed, my hair dried much more quickly with this brush as the air could flow through and around it much more easily.  Also, again because of the moving arms, when I had a knot it didn't tear my hair like a normal brush would.  It forced me to stop, and brush differently and more focussed so not to damage my hair.  It's also really lightweight.

If I was a hair dresser I can see that having a really lightweight brush would really help.  I've really liked this and it's become my go-to brush for when I'm drying my hair, I love that it's more gentle on my hair too, something I've become more concious of since I lost so much hair after having Squidge (don't worry, it's growing back!).

Here's the catch, this lovely brush is $65.  While I'm super grateful that I've been able to try this as a gift, and feel that it's definitely the best hair brush I've used, I will say that I don't think I could ever part with that much money for a hair brush.  However, if I was a hairdresser then it really is something I'd consider for my professional kit.
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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

My Little Road Trip Box | July

My Little Road Trip Box

You know a month is going fast when the July My Little Box landed on my doorstep in what felt like a week since the last one (it wasn't, it was a month).  Needless to say, I was pretty darn gleeful when I saw it (this time I hadn't even looked for spoilers online!).

When it arrived, I did sieze the opportunity to do an unboxing on Periscope and was VERY happy with the contents, and bemused (I'll get to that).  Here's what was inside:

Summer Sorbet - After sun body geleĆ© - £9
After the love I have for the sea salt scrub that was in last month's box, I'm pretty excited by this. I don't tend to let myself get any/much sun as I'm so pale and moley, although I am rocking a pretty epic hand tan right now (true story).  I've had a quick whiff, and yeah, it smells great :D

Garnier Micellar water - £1.99
This is where I was bemused.  So, this arrived on Friday morning.  Rewind back to Tuesday when I popped out at lunch to get my £15 high street challenge stuff for July, and as an impulse buy, I picked up that very same bottle of micellar water in Boots when it was on offer for £1 - so now I have 2 bottles of this which I'm yet to try, lol.  Lets hope I like it!  If nothing else, it'll definitely be used on swatches :)

Essie nail polish - £7.99
Ok, this I was seriously happy about.  When I was live on Periscope, I saw a picture of an Essie nail polish when I was looking through the big leaflet, which made me wonder if there was a bottle inside. I figured if there was, it would be a small bottle, but this my lovelies is a full size bottle! How fab! I love the colour too, burgundy, perfect for the end of summer and going into Autumn (my favourite season, I cannot wait for scarves and warming lattes with cinnamon.... mmmmmmm).

Products inside the July My Little Box

Oh it doesn't stop there! There were also some gold tattoo transfers, you know the ones that go on your wrist?  I'm actually really looking forward to trying these and layering them with some bracelets :)

Gold transfer tattoos in the July My Little Box

This cute little travel journal was also included by BIC with a pen.  There's a cute little illustration on the cover, and inside is blank paper for you to write your travelling thoughts on - how cute!

Small travel journey by My Little Box

Inside a lovely box, was this - it's a travel pouch organiser.  It's waterproof with a zip lock.  When you unfold it there's space for currency, ID/credit cards and your passport - I'll most definitely be using this next time we go abroad (god knows when that'll be!).

Travel Pouch by My Little Box

Inside of a travel pouch

It wouldn't be a My Little Box without a cute little postcard now would it :)

My Little Box July - Postcard

What a beautiful box, and so thematic.  I love how everything is either beautiful, or useful for anyone travelling this Summer.  Such beautiful boxes!  If you want to give these a try, they're £11 plus P&P, you can sign up here.
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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

BOURJOIS | Summer Releases

While this might not be breaking news to some of you, I still think the Bourjois Summer line up is pretty exciting and wanted to share some of the pieces with you, as well as what I thought of them.

Bourjois are pretty much my favourite high street makeup brand.  The quality is fantastic, I think they're often overlooked by people in favour of other brands, but in my opinion, Bourjois is one of the most exquisite and luxurious high street makeup brands.

To kick off this post, lets take a little look at their summer lip offering.  The Rouge Edition Aqua Laque lipsticks.  They're liquid lipsticks which are very much like a stain in their texture (think like a watery gel with intense pigmentation).  You can see in the swatch underneath, the pigmentation on the red shades is impressive (the lighter shade isn't swatched, but shown on my lips underneath that pic).  The other shade is a 'your lips but better' shade, and is very beautiful, most definitely an every day colour, or one you could wear if you're really trying to draw attention to the eyes but don't want to ignore the lips :)  You can shop these at Boots.com for £8.99* each.
Bourjois Rouge Edition Aqua Laque's

Swatches on the back of my hand

Bourjois rouge edition aqua laque's on the lips

Next up, the La Laque nail polishes.  I really love the shape of these bottles, take 4 of them and you can make a little circle of them :)  Again, colour saturation is great.  You could probably get away with one good coat of this, although I have favoured 2 coats (I find nail polishes last better with that extra coat).  As much as I'm not typically one to wear white nail polish, I do think it's fab to put under paler or bright colours as it helps really make them pop.  You can shop these at Boots.com for £6.49* each.

Bourjois la laque nail polishes
Finally on to my favourite product, the Nude Sensation foundation in 41, Fair Nude.  On looking at this in the pot, I did think it was going to be too dark for me, but it's actually really lovely and works really well on very pale skin.  It blends in beautifully giving a soft matte almost-airbrushed finish on the skin (you can see me try it out in this video here)

I've found that it's lasted really well on the skin and surprisingly didn't show up my dry patches - whether this was down to good skin days or using a good primer first I don't know, but it's given me very happy skin :)  You can shop this at Boots.com for £9.99*.

Bourjois nude sensation foundation with the lid off

Overall I've really liked this collection - all the products are great, but the ones that really stand out are the foundation, and the lip laque's - both really gorgeous.
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Monday, 27 July 2015

NEVE COSMETICS | Yumtint lip balm

Neve Cosmetics Yumtint

Yumtint with the lid off

Yumtint swatch

Me wearing Neve Yumtint on Instagram

As you're probably aware, I'm a great big fan of Neve - they're an Italian cruelty free fun makeup brand with excellent quality products.

Well, a good 6 weeks ago they sent me this little beauty in the post, it's a tinted lip balm called 'Yumtint' how cute is that!?

When I say 'tinted lip balm' it's pretty much a lipstick, but really hydrating like a lip balm.  It has impressive pigmentation (hence why I say it's more like a lippie) with equally impressive staying powder.  It glides on really well, giving your lips a beautiful flush of colour, but also keeping them hydrated and moist.

This has been a little handbag saviour for me over the past few weeks.  The weather has been really changeable which keeps giving me dry lips and this has really helped stave off proper dryness.  It comes in this shade pictured, and costs €9.90 (at current exchange rate, that's about £6.89).  If you're looking for something a little different from the norm, then I'd really recommend this, I've really enjoyed using it, and still am :)

You can read all my previous Neve Cosmetics reviews here.
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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Freedom Makeup London

Freedom Makeup London

A few weeks ago a certain makeup brand made waves in the beauty community once again.  Cast your mind back a good year or so, to when Makeup Revolution launched.  In the years I've been blogging, I've never seen a brand hit the ground running in the way that they did.  They involved bloggers and threw themselves into their community and connected with their customers.

A year later, the brand is massive.  They've amassed hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook and Instagram and have an impressive presence on Twitter.  

A year on, and they've launched another makeup brand, Freedom Makeup London, again, a budget brand, but this time it's focus and target market are professionals, like a high street version of MAC.

I was a very lucky blogger and received a lovely bundle of makeup from them to try.  I've tried most of it (not all) and wanted to share with you some of the bits I've had, and what I thought of them (where possible).

Of all the lovely things they've sent to me, their Pro Bare Lipstick Collection has been my favourite, specifically the pinkest shade, Sooner or Later.  They're pretty much matte, but not drying (they're not exactly hydrating either) and they're long lasting.  What's also great is that they're only £1 each! (they've also got a pro red collection I have my eye on).
Lipsticks

Freedom Makeup London lipsticks

Freedom Makeup London Pro Bare lipstick collection

Freedom Makeup London pro bare lipstick swatches

A picture of me wearing Freedom Makeup London lipstick from Instagram
Me wearing one of the Freedom Makeup London Pro Bare Lipsticks

I've also really liked the fixing spray and the contour kit - both really good products.  I love that the contour kit is matte, I've never been a fan of shimmery bronzers, especially as I only use them to contour with.  The fixing spray really does help to keep my makeup in place all day, definitely worth checking out :)
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Saturday, 25 July 2015

Maybelline | The Nudes palette

Maybelline The Nudes

Maybelline The Nude palette

Maybelline the Nude palette

Swatches of Maybelline The Nude palette

I think it's safe to say that 99% of bloggers know of this palette, and are probably either lusting after it or have it.  I've belonged to both camps.  

This, as far as I'm aware, is Maybelline's first proper eye shadow palette and, it's NUDE! Yes, you know I love my nude palettes, so seeing this excited me very much!

The palette is fantastic for so many reasons.  First off, the eye shadows are a really lovely quality, they're soft and blendable.  There's a great varity of shades, and finishes, so nudes through the spectrum (cool to warm) and mattes and shimmers.  The pigmentation is fantastic, I mean HELLO just look at that black!

What's more, and possibly what I love most about this, is how much effort Maybelline went to when thinking about the structure of the palette.  They've positioned the colours so you can work them as duo's, trio's or quads (or as a whole palette).  All the duo's and trio's are together, so for duo's they're the top left two, then the middle two, then the top right two etc.  Trio's are split to top left, top right etc, and then quads are the 4 on the left (top and bottom) then the middle 4, then the right 4.

Each of the segments and pairings work really well together.  I've honestly never seen a palette so well thought out.

I really love seeing big high street brands like Maybelline and L'Oreal bringing out proper palettes (not just quads etc), I think they've realised just how popular they are and that people will pay a bit extra for them.

I can't wait to see what colours they release next, especially considering what a hit this one has been. If you'd like to purchase it yourself, you can pick it up at Boots and Superdrug here in the UK for £9.99*.
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