A Tourist in my own City; London Instagram Walk with

22 Feb 2015

A few weeks ago, on what felt like the coldest day of the year, I went on a London Instagram walk with Zinita from Beauty and the Payroller. It was hosted by and we were also joined by the fabulous Alan Brutenic, who is huge on Instagram. This was my second Instagram walk, both very different, but both thoroughly enjoyable! It's not often that I am a tourist in my own city, so it's nice to explore and take in just how beautiful London is!


We started near Waterloo and walked all the way along the Southbank, ending at London Bridge. Along the way Alan shared his photography tips, including a few recommended apps for the iPhone (Snapseed and camera+) which I instantly downloaded. My favourite tip that Alan shared was using the reflection of puddles to take an interesting photo, of which I will definitely be trying - just search google to see what I mean!


We finished in a pub, sharing the photos we took with one another, (which you can check out on the hashtag #matchinstameet) whilst Alan picked his favourites. Thank you both to for hosting the event and Alan for being a great host!

Have you been a tourist in your own city recently?

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Sleek I'm Conditional Mascara

19 Feb 2015

Sleek are well known for many products, blushes, eyeshadow and pout paint, but I don't often read too much about their mascaras. I'm Conditional* is the most recent mascara released by Sleek, and not only does it aim to thicken and lengthen lashes, it also claims to promote strong, long and healthy lashes, whilst conditioning them and helping them to grow - a pretty bold claim I would say! So, what did I think?

Firstly, I must comment on the brush. It is a doubled edged brush, one side quite dense, to build volume and the other more sparse, to lengthen lashes. This makes it much easier to reach the inner and outer lashes, without it going everywhere, producing a dramatic yet natural effect that is not too over the top. The picture above says it all really, it is an intense black that both lengthens and volumizes without clumping and I am very pleased with the effect.

Like all Sleek packaging, It's Conditional is very plain yet sleek - and I love it, it reminds me a little of NARS. As for the claim of helping lashes to grow, I cannot comment as I use a different mascara most days and therefore didn't see a difference. But in terms of its application, I love it. At £7.99 this mascara is a bargain, available online at Sleek and in store at Superdrug. It lasts all day long without any drop out, nor do I have issues with it transferring to the top of my eyelids.

What is your favourite drugstore mascara?

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Caspari Ostrich Diary

17 Feb 2015

So, I'm a bit late on the bandwagon, however I finally got my 2015 diary. I am not usually one to keep a paper diary, I make note of everything on my phone, but this year I decided I wanted one (albeit a bit late). A few weekends ago I was out shopping, not looking for a diary, and was instantly drawn to this one by Caspari. It was originally £15, but reduced to £7.50 due to the time of the year - bargain!

This beautiful turquoise diary is covered in faux leather Ostrich, with soft off white paper and gilt edges (love, love, love). It contains your usual information at the beginning - holiday dates, metric information and world time differences, with space for birthdays, addresses and notes at the back. It also has a monthly overview page, followed by your typical week by week view. There is a space to hold notes/receipts on the back page and a very useful ribbon page marker to find todays week.

I purchased this from a local independent store, but I did manage to find it online at Amazon, in a variety of different colours.

Have you got a diary this year?

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Nails Inc Express Nail Polish Remover & SOS Nail Pen

15 Feb 2015


As you may have seen Nails Inc have recently re-branded many of their products, including the Express Nail Polish Remover and the SOS Nail Pen. Both these products are staples in my nail polish routine are a bit of a life saver when it comes to keeping nails neat and tidy!

The Nails Inc Express Nail Polish Remover* is very similar to the Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover, which I reviewed here, but better. This magic little pot is essentially just a sponge in a pot, soaked in nail polish remover. You just dip your finger into the pot, twist 2 or 3 times and remove and your nail will be nail polish free - super quick and very effective! It does not smell like your typical nail polish remover, but instead has a light vanilla scent that is not overpowering. 

The main difference between the Nails Inc and Bourjois remover is that the Nails inc sponge is more dense, which I find removes the polish much much better. At £8.00 a pot it is more expensive than you typical nail polish remover, but it is so much easier to use and much more convenient when travelling as there is no need to carry a bottle of nail polish remover and cotton pads. It also does not leave any residue on your nails, unlike some removers.


I used the Nails Inc SOS Nail Pen* once I have painted my nails to remove any mishaps (in my case, many mishaps!). It looks much like a felt tip, allowing you to accurately remove any excess polish and create a smooth line by the nail bed. The lid contains two replacement nibs and doubles up as a mini nail file and an orange stick, which is handy when out and about.

I found this very easy to use, and unlike some nail pens, the nib is nice and moist making it easier to remove nail polish. It is enriched with jojoba oil, and does not contain acetone, therefore it is gentle on your nails and skin and does not tug. This has made my nail polish application look a lot neater than it actually is, which I am very thankful for! At £12 it is a little more than I would personally like to pay, but compared to cheaper versions I would rather pay that little bit more for the quality of the SOS nail pen.

What are your nail must haves?

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New iPhone case: Paperchase

12 Feb 2015

Paperchase iPhone 5 Case | £12.00

I'm not someone who changes my phone case too frequently, however the other day I felt it was time for a change. Whilst out shopping I popped into Paperchase and picked up this pretty little number. What I liked most about it was the clear part of the case as it is quite unique and would look very different depending on the colour of your phone. The casing is hard, providing sufficient protection, but has a soft, velvety feel - which I love.

For £12 I felt it was reasonably priced and they had so many other pretty cases. So if you are in need of a new phone case, I would recommend you check them out!

Where do you buy you phone cases from?

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Roget & Gallet Rose Imaginaire and Rose Hands & Nails Cream

10 Feb 2015

Roger & Gallet is a brand that are not spoken about enough in the blogging world, particularly when they are made from good quality ingredients at very affordable prices. I spoke about the Fleur de Figuier oil in my August favourites, and I am currently enjoying using both The Rose Imaginaire Eau Fraîche Parfumée and the Rose Hands & Nails cream.

If you didn't know, Roget and Gallet first opened its doors in 1862 and was known as the Boutique du Bonheur - the Boutique of Happiness! The main focus of the brand is on the creation of a unique sensory experience around perfume, toiletry and body care and they ensure that their products contain as man natural ingredients as possible.

So, perfume is what Roger & Gallet are really known for, and the Roger & Gallet Rose Imaginaire Eau Fraîche Parfumée (Fresh Fragrant Water) is an absolutely beautiful scent. It is inspired by the wonders of nature and three exquisite gardens around the world, taking you on a journey of different scents.

As the name would suggest I had expected a rose scent, but instead was met by fruity top notes, floral middle notes and woody base notes – producing a beautiful delicate sweet scent. This is the perfect everyday fragrance, that I have yet to get bored of. The packaging is simple yet beautiful, and perfect for any age. It retails for just £16 for 30ml (which I think is great value), and is currently on offer at Escentual for just £13.60.

Next, the Roger & Gallet Rose Hands & Nails Cream, which is my favourite hand cream to use at the moment. It contains 96% natural ingredients and the 2 active ingredients are Shea butter which is ultra-nourishing and protecting, and Rose petal extract which soothes to protect skin against irritation.

The formulation is just right, and although it contains Shea butter (which can sometimes be a little thick) it is a light consistency. It therefore absorbs quickly without any sticky residue, leaving your hands nice and soft. It has a light, delicate scent which is very relaxing, and again I was surprised by just how much I love this scent. This is also very affordable at £6 and is currently on offer at Escentual for £5.10!

What Roger & Gallet products have you tried?

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My Top 3 Rimmel Products

8 Feb 2015

Rimmel is one of my favourite drugstore brands, their prices are very reasonable and no matter what they always deliver. The products that I am most enjoying using at the moment are the Wake Me Up Concealor, the Match Perfection Foundation and the Stay Matte Primer. I use all three on a daily basis, and for less than £19 it creates the most perfect base for your face.

The Wake Me Up Concealer (£5.49) is the newest addition to my collection, following on from my love for the Wake Me Up Foundation. This highlighting concealor works to illuminate the under eye area, whilst also providing medium coverage. I use this mostly under the eyes, however I find it works just as well at concealing blemishes. I am beginning to like this more than the Collection Perfection Lasting Concealer, which can be a little drying under the eyes but has been a favourite since 2011.

Next up is The Match Perfection Foundation (£6.99). This has been a firm favourite since I featured it in my March favourites last year. It has a medium coverage that feels very lightweight on the skin, and leaves a nice dewy finish. Combined with the following product I find it lasts all day long and at £6.99 this is such an affordable foundation - I recommend you try it!

Lastly, the Stay Matte Primer (£5.99) - I absolutely love this primer. It reminds me very much of the Max Factor Facefinity Primer, with its glue like features, but for a fraction of the cost. My make up lasts all day long, without the need for touch ups and it keeps the shinyness at bay.  It has a nice consistency that smooths over my skin nicely, creating the perfect base for your foundation. This is high on my list of my favourite primers.

What Rimmel products do you recommend?

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Neal's Yard Remedies Beauty Sleep Concentrate

5 Feb 2015

I was first introduced to Neal's Yard Remedies a few years ago and I quickly loved everything about them - their ethics, their products and their well known blue packaging. Neal's Yard Remedies focus on natural organic health and beauty and look at using more natural and less synthetic ingredients. The Beauty Sleep Concentrate was one of the first products I tried and I was instantly hooked - I like to call it magic in a blue bottle! This light weight concentrate contains a blend of essential oils that help to replenish and recharge your skin overnight, whilst helping you to relax.

I use 2 to 3 pumps alone or with a serum if my skin is feeling particularly dry. It melts into your skin on contact and does not leave a sticky residue. The scent of this concentrate is just heavenly and although I am not sure how much it helps me sleep, it certainly helps me feel more calm and relaxed. By the morning my skin feels plump and hydrated and so very smooth. At £31.50 it is high end, but most definitely worth the price, so definitely worth a try.

What products do you like from Neal's Yard Remedies?

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Currently Reading : The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

3 Feb 2015

Last month I joined a book club, and the first book that we are due to discuss is The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (Book of the Year 2014 by Waterstones). The Miniaturist is set in 17th Century Amsterdam, a time of incredible wealth and religious repression. 18 year old Nella moves to Amsterdam to live with her new husband Johannes, a wealthy merchant. Johannes is kind but distant - not what Nella had expected. 

One day, Johanne purchases an expensive wedding gift for Nella, a cabinet sized replica of their house. At first she is slightly offended, she is not a child, but eventually she comes round to the idea and commisions a miniaturist to furnish it. The first parcel arrives and the furniture is eerily similar to that of their own home and mimics the tales unfolding within the house. Secrets are being told, and danger is near. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? 

So far, I quite like it - I am not finding it to be as gripping as I had hoped, however I am only 30% of the way through. Have you read The Miniaturist? If so, what did you think?

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Sleek Eye & Cheek Palette; Dancing Til Dusk & See You at Midnight

1 Feb 2015

Sleek introduced the Eye & Cheek Palette into their collection last year and they have proven to be very popular. The multi-functional palette contains four eyeshadows and two blushers from their best selling i-Divine and blush range. Dancing Til Dusk is a neutral warm palette, whereas See You At Midnight is a cool dark palette. I only own one other eye and cheek palette by Barry M, which I was a little disappointed with, Sleek on the other hand have killed it! The pigmentation is great, the shadows are velvety soft and the packaging is very sleek.

Dancing Til Dusk contains Mirrored Pink and Sahara blush along with four popular eye shadows from the Au-natural i-Divine Palette; Taupe,  Regal, Cappuccino and Mineral Earth. This is my favourite palette of the two because it is so versatile, it can be worn day or night and I get a lot of use out of it. Cappuccino is my least favourite shade, however it does works well as a base shadow. The blushers are very different to what I would usually pick, however with a light hand I have found them both to work well with my skin tone.

See You at Midnight contains Antique and Pomegranate blush, along with popular eyeshadows from the Vintage Romance i-Divine Palette; Bliss in Barcelona, Forever in France, Meet in Madrid and Romance in Rome. I love to use this palette when creating more of a smokey eye and love the way Antique looks. Pomegranate can be hard to work with on a pale skin tone, but would look great on darker skin tones.

At just £9.99 each I think these palettes are great value. As you can see the pigemntation is second to none, and they do last. I do not have any issues with creasing when paired with a primer and they blend very easily.

What is your favourite Sleek product?

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