alpha-h liquid gold
Alpha-H Liquid Gold – £31.50 for 30ml

I’ve been sitting on this review of Alpha-H Liquid Gold for quite some time now, mainly because I wanted to give it chance to work, but also because I couldn’t really see any remarkable difference and felt quite underwhelmed and disappointed. However the longer I’ve been using it the more I’ve come to like it.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold is a treatment containing Glycolic Acid which is an AHA. It is a resurfacing and firming treatment to help diminish wrinkles, pigmentation and sun damage. It contains silk proteins, licorice extract and Glycolic Acid and exfoliates the skin to leave a brighter, clearer complexion.

Ok I’ll say this now, this product is seriously hyped up, so if like me you are expecting it to perform miracles on your skin, well you’ll be disappointed. It doesn’t miraculously remove acne scars (if sessions with a nurse and a dermaroller can’t then I seriously doubt that a little OTC glycolic acid will). Saying that though it’s far from a useless product, in fact it’s very good at what it is originally aimed to do, it’s just been hyped up too much.

I apply at night and it tingles a bit, especially around my nose but it’s not uncomfortable or irritating. It also doesn’t dry my skin out either. I don’t have dry skin at all but I’ve used this on Harry (begrudgingly) and the dry skin on his face had completely disappeared and he woke up with lovely skin.

When I wake up the day after applying it my skin is soft and smooth and I notice that it’s brighter, more even and with repeated use it helps to fade my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (red) marks. Now I always notice the difference after I’ve used this, my skin just looks better and more even.

One thing you have to be careful with is that after using this product you should use an SPF as it makes your skin more photosensitive and those marks and sun damage you just got rid of will be back and so much worse.

I definitely will be repurchasing, I’m really happy with the difference it makes to my skin when I’ve used it. Yes it is expensive and I do use it very sparingly, ensuring I don’t waste a drop but I’ve not found anything on the market that works in a similar way for cheaper.

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Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing lip balm
Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing lip balm
Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing lip balm

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm – £9.50

Nuxe Reve de Miel ultra nourishing lip balm is a bit of a cult product, so chances are you’ve probably heard of it, if not tried it yourself. I’ve had this in my shopping basket for a while now but with Escentuals French Pharmacy deal on at the moment I couldn’t resist.

The lip balm doesn’t have any parabens in it and 79% of the ingredients are from natural origin which is good. It comes in a lovely glass pot, which makes it feel quite luxurious. I’m not sure whether this will go out and about with me, it’ll probably sit on my desk at work.

It’s quite a thick lip balm with a texture of creamed butter and sugar (I know that’s strange but its the closest I could get to describing the texture) but not too thick that you can’t wear anything else. I love the smell of it too. Despite it being a honey lip balm, it doesn’t really smell of honey, more like an orangey-lemony scent (even though there’s no orange in it).

After applying the Nuxe lipbalm it leaves quite a matte finish, which is different to other lip balms I’ve tried. I also noticed that it actually does last and last, after eating and drinking it still stayed put and I didn’t have to top it up. When I use this my lips are so much softer and hydrated even after just a single use, which I find quite difficult to achieve with other lip balms.

I definitely will be repurchasing the lip balm as it’s one of the best I’ve tried. My lips are instantly softer after one use and it lasts so long on the lips, but I will wait until it’s on offer before picking it up.

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kale chips recipe
Recently I’ve heard about ‘Kale Chips’ popping up everywhere. Before embarking on my Kale experiment I was never a big fan, gagging at the thought of the fact it was seaweed. However I decided to give them a go seeing as they are super healthy and surprisingly enough, I loved them. If you’re wondering about the taste, it tastes a bit like crispy seaweed (which ironically I love) but healthier!

What you’ll need:

  • Curly Kale – washed and torn into bite size pieces
  • Olive oil or Sesame oil (about 1 tsp depending on amount of kale)
  • Salt
  • Baking Tray
  • Bowl

How to make it:

drying kale

  • 1. Make sure your curly kale is washed and dried thoroughly. Tear into bite size pieces and remove the hard stalk at the centre.
  • making kale crisps

  • 2. Put in a big bowl and drizzle either olive oil or sesame oil over them. You only need the tiniest amount or they won’t go crisp, probably about 1tsp will be sufficient and toss them in the oil. Add some salt if you like (this is delicious but if you’re being super healthy!) Toss again and then place on a baking tray.
  • 3. Bake in the oven at about 190°C / Gas Mark 5 for 10 minutes or until they’re just brown at the edges.
  • 4. Put onto some kitchen roll (optional, if you’ve been a bit heavy handed with the oil)
  • 5. Serve

I promise you they are so delicious. If you’re a big fan of crispy seaweed then these taste the same but with none of the fat. I can’t get enough of them at the moment, they’re quick and easy to make and so healthy too.

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ideal home show
ideal home show
ideal home show
ideal home show
ideal home show
ideal home show
ideal home show

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Ideal Home Show at Event City at the Trafford Centre with my parents. We had gone for my mum’s birthday and managed to get free tickets so was a lovely day out!

The Ideal Home Show is an event to give home owners ideas and inspiration. It has lots of different categories- Home Improvements, Garden, Shopping, Women, Technology, Food and Interiors. It is the first time it’s ever been held in Manchester so it was quite exciting.
There were hundreds of stalls to visit so it was quite overwhelming when we arrived, however the first thing we did was grab a goody bag after learning from past events we’ve attended. The goodie bag was quite impressive too, with sample sizes of mouthwash and toothpaste (ok that doesn’t sound exciting right now, but the fact I was going on holiday meant it was travel samples I didn’t need to grab!) There was also a box of Nescafe Azera Cappuccino and some Ariel Liquitabs.
We also grabbed a goody bag from the Bonne Maman stall which had some Lemon and Poppy Seed Galettes in and a couple of madeleines which were delicious as well as a reusable shopping bag!

I didn’t really buy anything from the show but I did enjoy walking round seeing what each stall had to offer. I did go to the Yankee Candle stall (what can I say I’m glutton for punishment) but they didn’t really have any candles that I didn’t have or liked the smell of. My dad bought me some matcha tea from the Teapigs stall, which I will be reviewing soon so look out for that!

Some of my favourite parts of the show were seeing different companies styling their home (definitely giving me ideas for when I get my own house). I also enjoyed watching the cooking demonstration with Aldo Zilli and also the demonstration of the Vitamix! That thing is bloody amazing and I really want one but they’re £599. Seriously impressive though I tell you! I was a little disappointed with the woman’s section as I thought there would be more stalls I would have been interested in but sadly not.

The only thing that put a slight dampener on the day was the parking. It was horrendous! I don’t live far from the Trafford Centre but it took us an hour to get home! It took 45 minutes to get out of the car park, it was a nightmare people were getting out of their cars and shouting at stewards, and beeping. It was honestly chaos, so I promise if I go to an event like that at Event City again, I’m leaving at 9am!

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animal print fashion

Cat print dress – AX Paris (old)
Black and white cat print dress – H&M (old)
Swan Print dress – £35 Dorothy Perkins
Zebra Vest – £6 Florence and Fred at Tesco

I am slightly misleading you all with the title animal prints, as I’m not talking about leopard, zebra or any other kind of animal print clothes. I’m talking about actual animals on my clothes.

I was in Tesco with my friend the other day when I realised my wardrobe largely consisted of spotty, stripy and kitsch animal print clothing. Needless to say while I was there I picked up this super cute zebra print vest.

I have a thing for animals on items of clothing. It started off with a cat dress I picked up for a laugh- not realising how much I would love it- and that descended into another cat dress (yes I have two, I’m a bit of a crazy cat lady) along with some cat pumps. Then my most recent purchases have been this gorgeous blue swan print dress from Dorothy Perkins. I don’t normally shop much in DP but this dress was most definitely a must have, and the aforementioned zebra print vest which I picked up from Tesco (they are on fire with their clothing at the moment- want!)

Do you have any animal print clothing?

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holiday beauty travel essentials

It’s officially summer on the 21st June and everyone will be off on their holidays, including me! I’m away next week on a well earned break and today I’ve put together a little post of what will be in my suitcase.

sun protection for your holidays
Sun cream
Sun cream is probably one of the most important items to pack in your suitcase. Although I’m not going to a hot country, suncream is still necessary to protect your skin from those harmful rays. In my case I got badly burned on a beach in Wales last year so to me it’s essential no matter where I’m going. I like this Nivea Pure and Sensitive SPF50 as it comes in a spray, it’s not too greasy and is a nice high protection.

I’ve also got my Bioderma Photoderm Spot SPF 50 to put on daily, which although I bought for my holiday I will be using daily in the upcoming months whilst we have this glorious summer sun.

summery holiday nail polish
Nail Polish
Summery nails are so lovely when you go away so I’ll be taking these Essie nail polishes in Sunday Funday and Watermelon as they will look great with a tan.

travel size beauty essentials
Travel Minis
With weight limits and restrictions in place when flying, I’ve picked up lots of travel minis to lighten the load a little. I definitely had to pick up a travel mini of my favourite Original Source Tea Tree and Mint Shower Gel and the Batiste Dry Shampoo in Tropical is a staple in my beauty regime so I definitely needed a mini version to take away with me.

taking electricals on holiday
Ipad
Yes I am one of those people that bring their Ipads away with them. Whilst I hope to have a bit of a technology break whilst I’m away, I hope to catch up with my reading and I have quite a few books on the Kindle app which I hope to read.

Sunglasses
Sunglasses are one essential I can’t live without on holiday. Not only do they protect your eyes from the sun, but they hide a multitude of sins and personally I like people watching and nobody knows! shhh!

makeup to take away on holiday
Makeup
I’ve pared my makeup back quite severely because I still like to wear a bit whilst I’m away, especially if I’m going out in the evening. In my makeup bag will be my Urban Decay Primer Potion, my Naked 3 Palette which I’ve worn pretty much daily since I got it at Christmas (that’s how much I love it!), my Shu Uemura eyelash curlers, L’oreal Miss Manga mascara, which I’ve actually come to like. I’ll be keeping my base light, simply using my favourite YSL Touche Eclat Foundation, probably with my Bobbi Brown CC Cream which I have absolutely grown to love – you can read my review here – and a touch of Nars Creamy Concealer on any blemishes and dark circles. My Nars Laguna bronzer, which I recently rediscovered will add a little bit of a bronzed glow and for a summer dewy look I’m taking my Bourjois little round pot cream blush in Rose Tender. Finally to finish off my look I’ll fill in my brows with my HD Brows Palette and pop a couple of the Revlon Matte and Lacquer balms in my bag.

Are you off on holiday this year and what are your holiday essentials?

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Bioderma Photoderm Spot SPF50

Bioderma Photoderm Spot SPF50

Bioderma Photoderm Spot SPF50 – £15.50

Another item I picked up in the Escentual French Pharmacy deal was the Bioderma Photoderm Spot SPF50 Cream. I previously received a sample of this and loved it so much I decided to purchase it full size, ready for me to take away on holiday.

Bioderma Photoderm Spot is designed especially for the face and has UVB and UVA protection to protect the skin from sunburn, sun intolerance and premature ageing. It’s also Non-comedogenic, water-resistant, photostable and fragrance-free.

I opted for this one over lower protection as I’m quite militant now about sun protection and ensuring my skin doesnt age prematurely or put me at risk of cancer. Also I have some post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which as you may know only gets worse with sun exposure so I use this to stop them becoming any darker.

It’s quite a thin fluid consistency, which honestly I’m glad about as I think the fact that it’s quite thin means it goes on under my makeup quite easily. My makeup still lasts as long and doesn’t slide off and it doesn’t make my skin greasy or break out which is quite important to me as I often find suncreams can clog my pores and make my skin worse.

Definitely a winner suncream, my only gripe is it is a little on the expensive side at £15.50 for 30ml but apart from the price I really like this suncream for my face and I probably will keep repurchasing this.

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Original Source Mint & Tea Tree Shower Gel
Original Source Tea Tree & Mint Shower Gel – £1

This is less of a review, but more of an ode to my favourite shower gel. I’ve tried and liked many throughout the years but I keep on going back to the Original Source Mint & Tea Tree shower gel. I just cannot get enough of it’s scent so when I saw it on offer in Boots recently for only £1 I knew I had to pick a bottle up again.

Original source are a natural company so they use natural fragrances and essential oils, don’t test on animals and most of their products are vegan so if you’re looking for natural product then you definitely should consider Original Source.

I love how bright the gel is and as I said before the scent is my favourite bit of this shower gel, it’s so fresh and minty which I love. I also love how tingly and fresh it makes you feel afterwards and I always feel clean- not to mention invigorated- it’s definitely one to pick up for those bleary mornings where you need something to slap you in the face to help you wake up.

One other thing I like about it is that it’s unisex. It means that I don’t mind Harry using it, although he doesn’t get much chance with me!

What’s your all time favourite shower gel?

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learning to make a Cosmpolitan

my very own cocktail

A couple of weeks ago I went to my very first bloggers event which was a cocktail making event called #ToastOfTheTown at the Millennium Copthorne hotel in Salford Quays.

I was really excited to go and meet other bloggers and do something different, but a little bit nervous as well as although I’d been chatting to some other bloggers on Twitter, I didn’t really know anyone that was going.

Once I arrived I was handed a raspberry bellini (yum!) and a name tag that irritatingly wouldn’t stick on and I went off to mingle.

I sat with a group of bloggers and a few minutes later I met a lovely blogger called Bea. Like me, she didn’t know anyone else there either so we stuck together throughout the night.

Just before our cocktail making session started we were offered some delicious canapés of duck and plum and goats cheese and beetroot, which I thoroughly enjoyed, although I was glad I’d had something to eat beforehand as alcohol and empty stomachs don’t mix!

a Kentucky mule cocktail

We then split off into tables of four ready for our cocktail making lesson. Each person was going to make a well known cocktail as instructed by the barman. I went first and made a Kentucky Mule which was a cocktail with lime, bourbon and ginger beer. I didn’t really like it that much though!

A Bramble cocktail

Next Bea made a Bramble which is a gin cocktail with blackberry liqueur. We also learned how to make a Mojito and a Cosmpolitan although at the end warming the orange peel was quite tricky for a lot of us to master!

a Mojito cocktail
A cosmpolitan cocktail

After we’d all mastered the art of making cocktails, we took a little break where we met a few more lovely bloggers Beth, Katie and Donna. We were then asked to make our own cocktail that represented Manchester using the ingredients they had given us and the best one would win a two night stay in one of their hotels. I made quite a delicious cocktail using vodka, lime, strawberry jam, cranberry juice and blackberry liqueur but I gave it a bit of a rubbish name.

Unfortunately I didn’t win, but I had a wonderful time learning how to make cocktails, meeting some other lovely bloggers and I got a nice little goodie bag too.

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I’m always banging on about how I try to live healthily and I think it’s quite important to start now whilst your young not just when you’re getting older. When I was recently contacted by Simply Health about their healthy ageing report I thought it was important to get the message out there.

It’s no secret that people are now living longer than they used to thanks to better medical care and quality of living. People aren’t dying in their childhood and early thirties to easily treatable complaints such as infections, but because of this other ailments are now becoming more prominent. You might hear your parents and grandparents complaining about their back as they get out of a chair or that they can’t read without their glasses although I have to say I complain of these at the grand old age of 23 so I don’t hold out much hope for me!

But the one thing that the report highlights is the importance of exercise. I hear ya! It’s boring and effort and there’s a million other things you could be doing that’s infinitely better. I won’t lie sometimes I’d rather be in bed with a big bar of dairy milk and a film than go to the gym but there’s so many benefits to exercise.

Exercise can slow down ageing. By doing cardiovascular activities you are keeping your heart muscle nice and strong and burning off that burger you’ve just eaten (or trying to anyway). There’s hundreds of ways to get your cardio in as well, you don’t have to slog away on a treadmill, run outside, play your favourite sport, swim, or even probably the best most suitable exercise for all- walking.

Sometimes if you’re already overweight or you find it difficult to exercise or for those who are older and less active, the thought of jumping around in an aerobics class makes you want to sit down and take a nap but walking can be the solution. It’s low impact and a great way to build up your stamina, plus if you take a friend and walk in the park it doesn’t even feel like exercise.

I’ve just started playing badminton with my friends. I’d forgotten how much I loved it in high school but it reignited my love for it and I also got a good workout too, I was sweaty and my heart rate was up, plus for the next few days I could definitely feel the workout in my muscles.

Doing weights can also help as well. Don’t think you will get big and bulky because you wont. One of the results of ageing are bone and muscle loss. By performing weight bearing exercises you can keep strong and minimise the risk of breaking something if you fall.

So however old you are and whatever ability you are I think there is definitely always time to start exercising, even if you haven’t up to now, and even if it is just a little bit it’s a start! If you want to check out Simply Health’s ageing report you can check it out here.

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