Monday, 31 August 2015

Lush Summer 2015 Event

A cake date and Lush trip with some of the Southampton Bloggers, what more could you ask for? Luckily, that was exactly what I got to do this past Thursday. We were invited into Lush Southampton to preview the new Summer Collection, and to celebrate the long-anticipated arrival of some of the Oxford Street Exclusive products – at last!!
Photo credit Lush Southampton
Photo credit Lush Southampton
After a quick stop at Mettricks and a mooch round the shops with the girlies, we headed to Lush for an evening of sniffing everything in sight – admit it, you all do it! On arrival, we were greeted by the Layer Cake bar filled with fruit and drinks, inspired by the new arrival Layer Cake soap. This is a fruity concoction of raspberry, blueberry, wild grape, pineapple and orange juices, and it smells divine – just ask Jess! Once we were introduced to all the wonderful Lush Southampton staff, and given a breakdown of how the evening would run, we were free to wander round, take multiple pictures and of course, smelling all the wonderful products, old and new.
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I headed straight to the haircare. Having recently had some balayage added to my hair, the ends are in need of some love, so I wanted to see what Lush could offer. We were introduced to a variety of products, including Jersey Bounce shampoo, a product similar to the popular Big shampoo, and the Avocado co-wash, which smelt delicious. The solid conditioners especially caught my eye. Lush have released two new conditioner bars – Sugar Daddy-O and The PlumpsThe Plumps combines sea salt, honey, cedarwood, and sandlewood to create a gorgeous fragrance, and a conditioner to add volume to your hair – something we all crave I’m sure. It was the Sugar Daddy-O that caught my eye though, designed to work in conjunction with the Daddy-O shampoo, to brighten and soften hair, specifically blondes. As I mentioned earlier, I have added a bit more blonde to my hair and at times it looks a little dull, so I think I might have to pick up this Daddy-O duo soon! The most intriguing new release, in my opinion, is the new Hot Oil Hair Treatments. These come in three different formulas – DamagedKinky, and Tangled (which is the one I definitely need to get my hands on).
Haircare Heaven
Haircare Heaven
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After getting to know a little about some of the new products, we made our own Creamy Candy Bubble Bars. This was one of my very first Lush purchases, and something that I still repurchase now, so I was really excited! Lush have recently redesigned the recipe for this, making the scent even stronger, always a bonus. I cannot wait to use this, knowing I made it myself – feels like a little achievement!
All this goes in to a Creamy Candy Bubble Bar
All this goes in to a Creamy Candy Bubble Bar
Natalie (thefloralrepublic.blogspot.co.uk) made our Creamy Candy mixture.
Natalie (thefloralrepublic.blogspot.co.uk) made our Creamy Candy mixture.
My attempt at making a Creamy Candy Bubble Bar
My attempt at making a Creamy Candy Bubble Bar
Once our Creamy Candy bars were shaped and put away, we were free to browse, and of course, shop! The first thing that caught my eye was The Godmother, a product I was only introduced to on the night. This is a soap with the same scent as Snow Fairy, the Christmas favourite of everyone! I was lucky enough to get my hands on a piece of this from the last block that Lush Southampton had and ever would have, as it has unfortunately been discontinued. Lush Southampton have also received some of the Oxford Street bath bombs that caught my eye when I first took a trip to the London store. I picked up an Experimenter on this trip, on Jess’ recommendation. This multi-coloured bath bomb looks like it’ll be so much fun, and it contains one of my favourite things – popping candy! I also picked up a few older bits – Butterball (one of my absolute favourites), and Sakura.
Once I started shopping, I couldn't stop
Once I started shopping, I couldn't stop
There were so many new items, I was slightly overwhelmed if I’m honest. But I think I can narrow it down to a shorter wishlist.
The Frozen bath bomb - I first picked this up when I visited the Oxford Street store, and I definitely think I need to repurchase it soon.
Frozen Bath Bomb
Frozen Bath Bomb
The Intergalactic bath bomb - this multi-coloured bath bomb looks like it will be so much fun in the bath, especially with the popping candy.
Intergalactic Bath Bomb
Intergalactic Bath Bomb
The Pink Flamingo bubble bar - I love a reusable bubble bar, and the scent of this is just delicious, with it's Fifties-inspired cocktail-esque fragrance.
Pink Flamingo Bubble Bars
Pink Flamingo Bubble Bars
The Rub Rub Rub solid body scrub - I love a good body scrub, especially with my dry skin, and I think putting it in a solid block is ingenious.
Rub Rub Rub Body Scrub
Rub Rub Rub Body Scrub
The Yuzu and Cocoa shower cream - I love the scent of this. You use it and end up smelling like a chocolate orange - what more could you ask for!
Yuzu & Cocoa Shower Cream
Yuzu & Cocoa Shower Cream
The lovely staff from Lush Southampton also gifted us with a little goody bag with bits to try. I was lucky enough to walk away with another Experimenter bath bomb, a Kinky hot oil treatment, the Golden Handshake hand mask and The Plumps conditioner bar. We were well and truly spoilt.
Thank you Lush Southampton
Thank you Lush Southampton
Thank you so much to Lush Southampton for having us. I had a really lovely evening shopping and catching up with the Soton Bloggers, and it was so nice to get some one-on-one time with the staff so I could really learn about the products.
Photo credit @alicespake
Photo credit Alice
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Right I'm off to enjoy some Lush treats. Until next time,
Lexie
xo

Friday, 28 August 2015

ESPA Skincare Goodies

At the recent Southampton Bloggers' Meet-Up (you can read my post on the day here), us bloggers were lucky enough to have a mini one-to-one consultation with an ESPA Skincare consultant. We had a little discussion about our skin types, and what our main concerns were, and then we were gifted a little bag filled with some samples of the ESPA skincare, tailored to our skin type. I have got combination skin - with some very dry areas, but an oily T-zone - so I was recommended the Balanced Skin Collection.
Our lovely gift from ESPA - a sample collection & a facial voucher!
Our lovely gift from ESPA - a sample collection & a facial voucher!
Now, we all know I'm a bit of a skincare novice, but at 21, I figured now was as good a time as any to try out some different ranges and maybe find something I really loved. So, I dove straight in to this bag of goodies. The bag itself is stunning, and something I'll definitely keep hold of, and the contents were equally as good. The collection consisted of the Hydrating Cleansing Milk, the Balancing Herbal Spafresh, the Optimal Skin ProSerum, the 24-Hour Balancing Moisturiser, and the 24-Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturiser.
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cards
I really like the inclusion of these cards to really breakdown the process for me. As I've said, I'm a bit of a skincare newbie, and often get confused as to what products are supposed to do and what order to use them in. Although to many this might be second nature, I need a step-by-step guide until I get confident with what I'm doing, so I followed it to the letter.
First step is to prepare your skin, using the cleansing milk and the toner. ESPA describe the Hydrating Cleansing Milk as "an effective yet gentle cleanser to help soothe, calm and hydrate". While this smelt delicious and glided over the skin beautifully, I do think I prefer something a little thicker - I had been using a Clarins cleanser that was quite thick prior to this, and I think that's something I prefer. The Balancing Herbal Spafresh was something I really enjoyed though. This is "an aromatic, natural facial toner" featuring peppermint, Witch Hazel and elderflower to help refresh, decongest and protect the skin. This smelt so good, and I really liked how it felt on my skin.
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Step two - treat. This was my favourite step. I'd always been quite sceptical about serums, especially oily ones like the Optimal Skin ProSerum because of my oily skin. I was always of the attitude that if I already have oily skin, why would I put extra oil on my face? People saying that adding an oil into my routine just didn't make any sense to me. But, when I decided I was going to give this ESPA collection a go, I thought I would try it all, as the cards suggested. And boy was I glad I did! Enriched with Omegas 3 and 6, and Vitamins A and E, and natural extracts of Turmeric, White Lupin and Sunflower, this serum is intended to brighten and even skin tone, enhance elasticity, firm and protect against premature ageing - all things that I would like to tackle when it comes to my skin. As well as these benefits and great natural ingredients, the serum smells amazing and isn't too greasy feeling at all. This is definitely something I would consider picking up in the future.
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Step three is to moisturise. The 24-Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturiser comes first. This is billed as "a nourishing eye cream to ease dark circles and diminish fine lines". Hands up - who's concerned about dark circles and fine lines? I certainly am - and this eye cream seems to tick all of my boxes. Obviously, I haven't been using it long enough to be able to say categorically whether my dark circles have been eased, but for the time being, it feels nice. The 24-Hour Balancing Moisturiser is intended to soften, calm and clarify your skin, and it did feel very nice going on. The moisturiser features white thyme, lavender and chamomile, as well as lemon and Irish Moss, but the thing I couldn't get past is the smell of the moisturiser. The smell of the thyme is, in my opinion, quite overpowering, and it wasn't something I was particularly fond of.
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Overall, I really appreciated the opportunity to try some skincare products that I previously had not considered. Skincare is one of those very personal things, with different people preferring different products - just because something didn't sit nicely with me, doesn't mean it wouldn't work for you, so these are just my personal feelings about the items. I loved the serum and the eye cream, and definitely might have to pick these up.
Thank you to ESPA for attending the #sotonmeetup, and treating us bloggers to the sample kits and the complimentary treatment vouchers - I cannot wait to pop into my local John Lewis and see what other treats ESPA have on offer.
Have you tried any ESPA skincare?
Until next time,
Lexie
xo

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Daisy-Mae Jewellery

For a while, I’ve been lusting after multiple items from Daisy-Mae Jewellery. I’ve followed the lovely Daisy over on Instagram for a good few years, and every time she posted a new picture I always liked it. As my interest in fashion has increased, I have found myself more interested in statement jewellery, and I knew that now was the time to make an order.
When it came to making my purchase, I was spoiled for choice. Daisy offers such a wide range of necklaces, bracelets, and anklets, at affordable prices, and I wanted to buy everything. I don’t tend to wear anklets, so I opted for two bracelets and two necklaces – items I knew I would wear. The majority of the jewellery Daisy sells is silver coloured (not silver, and Daisy does warn you not to wear the jewellery daily or in the shower etc.), which I tend to gravitate towards, but there are a few items that are offered in gold colouring.
My delivery was so cute, with each item arriving in its own small bag.
My delivery was so cute, with each item arriving in its own small bag.
My favourite item that I knew I had to order was the Hamsa Evil Eye necklace. For some reason, I am drawn to this icon, so I was so pleased to see this being used in a pretty, dainty necklace. This necklace is my preferred length, but the chain has an extender so you can wear it shorter or longer than me. I can tell that I will wear this on plenty of occasions, and will definitely get my money’s worth out of it.
I'm so pleased with the items I ordered.
I'm so pleased with the items I ordered.
The other necklace I picked up was the Ampersand necklace. This was one that caught my eye as I was scrolling through the Daisy-Mae Jewellery site. I love the simplicity of this piece, and I think it will be something that works well if I wanted to layer it with other necklaces.
L-R: Lucky Clover bracelet, Hamsa Evil Eye necklace, Ampersand necklace, Dainty Bow bracelet
L-R: Lucky Clover bracelet, Hamsa Evil Eye necklace, Ampersand necklace, Dainty Bow bracelet
When it came to bracelets, I had no idea what I wanted so I just scrolled through the pages on the website. The first one I saw was the gorgeous Dainty Bow bracelet. I have quite small wrists, so anything too large looks silly, but this is perfect. You can see the charm, but as the name suggests it is dainty enough to not be too in your face. The second bracelet I picked up is the Lucky Clover bracelet, which, like the Dainty Bow bracelet, is dainty and perfect for everyday wear. I definitely think I’ll be wearing these on a regular basis, as they’re suitable for both work and play.
Having received these items, I am so pleased that I ordered from Daisy. The quality of the items is brilliant, with the chains for both the necklaces and bracelets appearing sturdy without being too thick. All the items over at Daisy-Mae Jewellery are reasonably priced, with the pieces I purchased ranging from £3.50 to £5 – affordable prices for such pretty pieces of jewellery.
I'm so excited to wear everything!
I'm so excited to wear everything!
The lovely Daisy has given me a discount code for you to use if I’ve tempted you to check out Daisy’s website and want to purchase your own items. If you enter the code LEXIE10 before 30th September 2015, you’ll receive a 10% discount – you lucky things!!
Do you like the bits I picked up? Let me know if you pick anything up!
Until next time,
Lexie
xo

Monday, 24 August 2015

Anticipating Autumn

With the weather taking an apparent turn for the worst, I am craving the arrival of autumn. From crisp mornings to autumn leaves, there’s just so much a winter baby like me to look forward to.
1. Boots – I’m a lover of boots, worn with jeans, with dresses, anything really. They’re cosy and stylish, what more could I want.
Primark boots
Primark boots
2. Pumpkin Spice Lattes – typical I know, but there’s something so festive about a good autumnal Starbucks.
3. Darker evenings – I love getting cosy of an evening, snuggling up in my pjs and dressing gown, with a good book.
4. Knitwear – an outfit staple for me throughout the autumn/winter. Layering is great, and looks so good. I definitely need to splurge on some new jumpers and cardigans.
Photo credit https://www.pinterest.com/pin/219339444327603850/
Photo credit Pinterest
Photo credit https://www.pinterest.com/pin/417990409143148264/
Photo credit Pinterest
Photo credit https://www.pinterest.com/pin/10766486586706030/
Photo credit Pinterest
5. Dark lipsticks/nail polish – there’s nothing I love more than a deep berry lip and winged liner look. Some of my favourites are Mac Creamsheen lipstick in Dare You, Revlon Colourstay Moisture Stain in Parisian Passion, and Bobbi Brown lipstick in Berry Punch. That teamed with some dark nails and I’m good to go.
Are you looking forward to autumn?
Until next time,
Lexie
xo

Friday, 21 August 2015

Page to Screen - The Longest Ride

Hands up, who likes Nicholas Sparks novels? I do! Well, I love them really, he’s one of my favourite authors. I’m currently working on collecting all his novels, and whenever a new film adaptation comes out I know that I’ll have to see it at some point.
As you can see, I love Nicholas Sparks
As you can see, I love Nicholas Sparks
This year, it was the turn of The Longest Ride. Originally published in 2013, I didn’t buy this book until this year because I knew the film was being released. I saved The Longest Ride until my holiday at the end of June, knowing that I always fall in love with Sparks’ writing style and stories. And I wasn’t disappointed – I gave it five stars on Goodreads, and fell in love with Luke Collins.
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Nicholas Sparks has a knack, in my opinion, for creating the perfect book boyfriends. His male characters tend to be gentlemanly, romantic, and yes – attractive. Besides his dreamy male characters, it is his female protagonists that I associate with the most. They tend to be quite quiet and shy, which I definitely am. This is particularly true of The Longest Ride. Our female lead Sophia is coming to the end of her degree, something I’ve just experienced, and is more focused on her academic pursuits than partying – which we all know describes me!
Photo credit http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-longest-ride
Photo credit Fox Movies
My favourite part of The Longest Ride was the dual narrative – the story of Sophia and Luke running alongside the story of Ira and Ruth. This is one of my favourite techniques used in fiction, so I was so pleased to see Sparks use it. This was one thing I was worried about when I thought about watching a film adaptation as I wasn’t sure how it would translate. I was pleasantly surprised. Understandably the film takes a slightly different path to the novel, with Sophia and Luke meeting Ira at the beginning of the film rather than towards the end of the novel. Although some people might criticise this because it strays from the novel, but I think it was essential to making the film work and tell the story.
Photo credit http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-longest-ride
Photo credit Fox Movies
Sophia reading Ira’s letters to him was also really well done, in my opinion. The film blended really nicely from Sophia reading to the visual representation of the letters, where you saw young Ira and Ruth’s lives. Ira and Ruth’s story was set in the 1940s (around the Second World War), and I do love a bit of a historical drama so I loved this aspect too – to both the novel and the film.
Photo credit http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-longest-ride
Photo credit Fox Movies
I think the casting was brilliant for this too – Scott Eastwood as Luke Collins was the perfect cowboy, and Britt Robertson epitomised the sweet Sophia Danko. I did read the movie cover edition of The Longest Ride which might have helped me associate the actors with the characters, but I still think both Scott and Britt match the character descriptions from Nicholas Sparks.
Photo credit http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-longest-ride
Photo credit Fox Movies
Overall, I think this was a really good book to movie adaptation. I only read The Longest Ride a few months ago as I said, but the film has got me wanting to reread the novel as soon as possible. I will definitely be picking up the DVD when it comes out to add to my Nicholas Sparks collection. It’s definitely one of my favourites! I could not pick a favourite between the book or the film; they similar but the film differs enough from the novel for you to be able to differentiate between the two.
Photo credit http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-longest-ride
Photo credit Fox Movies
Have you seen The Longest Ride? Or have you read it? Which do you prefer?
Until next time,
Lexie
xo

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Clinique #FaceForward

At the beginning of the month, I was lucky enough to be invited to Boots in Southampton for an evening with Clinique. This was my first official blogging event, and I was so nervous, but the girls I spent time with – AliceJess, and Charlotte, and our host Hana– made me feel so comfortable that I ended up really enjoying myself.
Alice, me, Jess, Charlotte Photo credit @jesssnook
Alice, me, Jess, Charlotte
Photo credit Jess
At the event we were introduced to Clinique’s new campaign #FaceForward. Fronted by everyday women rather than models, the slogan for the campaign is “make a promise to the future. And put it out there”, and is about making a promise to yourself about your life, and sticking to it.
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Hana welcomed us to the event, with mini cupcakes and glasses of bubbly, before jumping into a run-down of Clinique’s products. We started with the Clinique three-step programme. This included the liquid facial soap, the clarifying lotion, and the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. For a skincare novice like myself this seemed a little daunting, but as we were walked through the process, it seemed a lot easier. After trying the products out on my hand, I could easily see the difference it made to my skin. The clarifying lotion was probably my favourite of the three steps. There are various lotions, each given a different number, dependent on your skin type – I fully recommend popping into a Clinique counter and having a consultation to see which is best for your skin type. That’s actually a benefit of the whole range – once you’ve had a skin consultation, your whole routine can be tailored to your skin type, something I think I really need.
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I can't wait to have a proper skincare consultation!
I can't wait to have a proper skincare consultation!
The three-step programme
The three-step programme
As well as the three step programme, we got a chance to look at the new Sonic Cleansing brush – similar to the Clarisonic – as well as the new Turnaround collection, and a few other products. My favourites were the Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, and the Smart Serum. I was lucky enough to be given a sample of each of these to try – thank you Hana!
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Turnaround Day Creams come in two different shades - Rose and Golden
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Turnaround Overnight Cream
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Clinique Smart Serum
My #FaceForward promise to myself was to get a good skincare routine in place. I’ve tried my best, and I’m definitely getting there – after all it’s something that is going to take time to get used to. But it’s about time I started looking after my skin.
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It really was a lovely evening, and I learnt so much in such a short period of time. I can’t wait to try out some more of Clinique’s products.
What would your #FaceForward promise to yourself be?
Until next time,
Lexie
xo

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