27 February 2014

Empties // February 2014

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Paco Rabanne Lady Million Perfume // There's been a tiny amount of this sitting in the bottle for a month or two as I couldn't bring myself to finish it but I finally did. I love this scent and it's the perfume I get the most compliments and questions about when I wear it. This is my second bottle and no doubt I'll buy another bottle soon.

Alison Claire Mango Body Butter // I'm not normally a huge fan of body butters as I find them too thick but I completely fell in love with this one. Although it's a body butter and is still quite thick, it sunk into the skin easily and very quickly. I also really loved the mango scent and the packaging is really nice. I will be buying the full size of this once I've finished the other body moisturisers I have. 

Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence Conditioning Spray // I bought this mini bottle completely on a whim while ordering other Philip Kingsley products without reading any reviews on it. I'm pleased to say, I really loved it. I sprayed it all over towel dried hair to condition as well as detangle. I have a couple other leave in conditioners to use first but this is on my repurchase list.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo // I loved this when I bought it and completely raved about it since it really helped to clear my skin. Recently though it's been causing really bad breakouts so I stopped using it. I'm pretty sure it's the fragrance in it that my skin doesn't like as I've reacted to other products in the Effaclar range which is a shame. There's a tiny amount left but I know I'm not going to use it again so there's no point keeping it.

L'Occitane Pivoine Delicate Hand Cream // Peonies are one of my favourite flowers and I really loved this hand cream. It was quite a light hand cream so great for during the day. I have a million other hand creams to use so don't need to repurchase just yet.

Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara // I'm a huge fan of the original High Impact Mascara so was really excited to try the Extreme Volume version. I really loved how it made my lashes look and I would definitely buy it again but it dried up pretty quickly.

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Lush Ponche Shower Gel // This is a Christmas limited edition I bought in the sales in 2012. I tucked it away in my room and completely forgot about it till the other month when I started using it again. It smells of oranges and tequila and one that I use in the morning. It isn't available anymore but will definitely buy another bottle if it comes out again this Christmas. 

Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel // This is another one that I completely forgot I had. I also bought enough bottles the other year I didn't need to buy any this Christmas! I love using this shower gel for bubble bath as the scent is so strong it fills the whole house and creates a lot of bubbles. I tend to use this at night as the scent lingers on your skin for a long time. I still have another bottle to use so don't need to worry about it till next Christmas.

The Body Shop Almond Conditioning Hand Wash // I was quite disappointed with this hand soap. It is very moisturising and nice to use but it never felt like it was washing my hands especially if they were greasy or dirty from cooking. I bought this using a 40% off voucher so never paid full price which I'm pleased about and I wouldn't buy it again.

La Roche-Posay Micellar Solution // I really enjoyed using this micellar solution from La Roche-Posay and it didn't irritate my skin like other LRP products have. It still doesn't beat bioderma and I don't think I'd buy another bottle.

Mario Badescu Cream Soap // I had about a quarter of this cleanser left but after the hole Mario Badescu Control Cream having unlisted steroids in it I didn't really want to finish it off. Mario Badescu not listing every ingredient in products has really made me think about buying their products in the future. I still have two masks from the brand which I'm still not sure if I'll use or not.

balance Me Rose Shower Gel // I love the scent of this shower gel as it's a fresh rose scent and not a horrible old lady rose. It's also great for sensitive skin and doesn't irritate my eczema. I do find myself going through it quite quickly though which is it's only downside.

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26 February 2014

Skin Care Diary // February 2014

Through out each month I'll be keeping a skin care diary and jotting down what I use on an every day basis. At the end of the month I'll tally up what has been used the most and share the products with you. 
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This month my skin overall has been pretty good and I think it's down to drinking a lot of water and finding a routine and products that work well. The standout product from February has to be the Una Brennan pre-cleanse oil which has really helped to get rid of dry patches. I'm impressed with how long the Dior micellar water has lasted as I've been using it for two months now. Other micellar waters I've used have only lasted me a month so despite it being more expensive, it does last a lot longer. 

Dior Instant Cleansing Water // Super Facialist By Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Miracle Makeover Facial Oil // RMK Cleansing Balm // Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner // Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum // Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet // Clinique All About Eyes // By Terry Baume De Rose

What's been your most used skin care product this month?

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24 February 2014

Week In Photos 165 & 166

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Spoilt cat & how we have to eat our breakfasts // Painting glass jars // Rediscovering old favourites // Weekly brush clean // Looking forward to Spring // Sneaky purchase, ignoring the spending ban // Putting together Ikea buys // New dressing table // Inside still needs a lot of work // Fresh bedding.

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21 February 2014

Beauty Box // Glossybox February 2014*

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Nougat London Sparkling Body Shimmer // This is the one product I know I just will not use. I feel like body shimmer, especially when it's a body lotion, is a bit 90s, early 2000's. At least I used to have a roll on body shimmer that I used to apply everywhere when I was 10 or 11 and thought I was really cool.

Maybelline Big Eyes Mascara // I've heard good things about this mascara and the bottom lash part will come in handy soon as my Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara is drying out.

Eldora Eyelashes // I'm not normally one for false eyelashes but it's always nice to have a pair or two in your collection just in case. I've tried Eldora lashes before and really liked them.

Giovanni Eco Chic Ultra Moist Shampoo, Conditioner & Mask // This hair trio will be put in my travel sample stash as it will be perfect for a long weekend away. It's also from a brand I've never heard of before.

Ciate Nail Polish in Pocket Money // This is such a nice colour for spring and one I'm looking forward to wearing.

As a little extra and for Valentines day, Glossybox included a bar of Lindt chocolate which is one of my favourites.

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20 February 2014

Project Sample Use Up 015

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You can probably tell from these six empties but my skin has been extremely dry at the moment so I've finished body moisturisers very quickly. I'm not normally a fan of applying moisturiser as I hate waiting for it to sink in before putting clothes on but I've just had to recently. My eczema has been quite bad which means my skin is even drier than it normally is in the winter.

Aveeno Cream - This is a staple for when my eczema flares up and I've gone through countless bottles of the full size. I prefer the lavender version as I find it a relaxing scent to use before bed.

Liz Earle Nourishing Body Cream x2 - This is a slightly thicker version of the Energising Body Lotion from Liz Earle and I prefer to use this in the winter when my skin is at it's driest.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP - I already have the full size version of this and it's perfect to keep my eczema under control. I completely forgot I had this mini tube tucked away so I took it on a long weekend away which was perfect.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Lait x2 - This is a lighter version of the aforementioned. I used this when I didn't have any eczema flare ups so needed a lighter moisturiser but still wanted all the benefits of the lipikar cream. Since I already have the other version I don't think I'll be buying the full size of this one.

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19 February 2014

Vs 002 // Cleansing Oils

una-brennan-super-facialist-cleansing-oil-origins-clean-energy-cleansing-oil-review-comparison-skin-care-cleanser-rottenotter-rotten-otter-bog It was only six months ago that I had never tried a cleansing oil before but that has all changed since then. So far I've tried four cleansing oils from different brands but today I'm comparing two of them.

Le me introduce you to Super Facialist By Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil and Origins Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil. On a side note, do we think companies compete to create the longest name possible for beauty products?! 

Packaging // As you can see both oils look very similar and it's what made me purchase the Origins so I could compare the two as I had already bought the Una Brennan oil. Although it doesn't come with it, you can buy a pump from Origins that fits the cleansing oil. I bought two of them, they're only about £2, in the hope that it would fit the Una Brennan bottle. Unfortunately it didn't fit which really is a shame as it would put me off repurchasing it. The packaging really is terribly designed as you have to pour the oil into your hand which means you're probably using more product than you're meant to as well as making the bottle oily. Whereas you simply need one or two pumps of the Origins cleanser, completely fuss free and no mess.

Scent // The Una Brennan cleanser smells like oranges which you'd expect with it being a vitamin c cleanser. The Origins cleanser smells more herbal, sort of like rosemary or thyme.

Cleansing // As far as cleansing goes both products are very similar and the results are too. You massage it onto dry skin, emulsify with a little water so it turns milky and then rinse off completely. They both feel the same on the skin although the Origins oil is slightly thicker and both rinse off in the same way. Neither dry your skin out or leave it feeling oily, just cleansed and soft. They also remove make-up really nicely although I like to remove it with a micellar water before cleansing.

Price & Availability // The Una Brennan cleanser is £10.99 for 200ml but can often be found on offer (currently £7.33) or 3 for 2 where as the Origins cleanser is £21 for 200ml. A big price difference there and the overall winner would be Una Brennan if it weren't for the packaging. Here's to hoping they alter the lid and add a pump and I'd repurchase it.

Have you tried either? Have a favourite cleansing oil?

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18 February 2014

Beauty Box // Birchbox February 2014

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Gilchrist & Soames The London Collection Shower Gel // This shower gel smells really nice and is from a brand I haven't heard of before. 

Urbanveda Radiance Exfoliating Facial Polish // I'm not so bothered about this face exfoliator as my skin just doesn't seem to agree with manual exfoliators.

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner // I'm excited to have another mini Eyeko Liquid Liner as I've used it in the past and really loved it. It's incredibly black and the nib allows you to create a thin or thick line. 

Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Instant Abstract // This is my favourite product out of the five, it's a mix of different sized black and white glitter. It sort of reminds me of China Glaze Worlds Away.

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil // Although I'm in no need of another hair oil at the moment, I'm trying to use what I have before opening anything new, this will be put into my travel stash as the small bottle would be perfect for a week away. 

There was also a tiny bar of Green & Blacks dark chocolate but I ate it the other night before I took this photos!

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14 February 2014

Fresh Sugar Trio

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I haven't shared what I got for Christmas this year as I thought I'd just talk about the products as and when they come up on the blog. Two of my presents were from Fresh and I'm so happy to have a lip scrub in my life that I actually like. If you read my post on the Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub then you'll know how much I hated it. Thankfully I finished it in October but it did mean I was without a lip scrub until Christmas day.

Although I've had the Sugar Lip Treatment for over a year I thought I'd include it in this post as it really does make a nice little trio of products. It's one of my favourite lip balms, it's incredibly moisturising and smells of lemons. Plus I love the metal packaging.

I much prefer the formula and texture of the Fresh Lip Scrub to the Lush version. It's more like your traditional sugar body scrub and is easier to use. It's more of a paste rather than dry sugar which the Lush scrub was like. This version is a bit more gentler on the lips but it's still just as effective at removing dry skin. I also find it hydrates my lips instead of drying them out like the Lush scrub did. Overall I couldn't be more happy with it!

Now onto the Shine Lip Treatment which was a complete surprise present as I only asked for the scrub. It's a lipgloss with all the benefits of the lip balm. It isn't sticky and has a subtle shimmer to it. I really like applying it after the lip balm if I'm just rushing out the door.

Although not readily available in the UK, there is a shop in London. If you don't live in London then you can order over the phone and they price up what the postage will cost depending on what you buy.

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11 February 2014

Wish List 001

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So I'm forty-two days into my spending ban, not even half way through, and I have a wish list longer than my arm of the things I'm so tempted to buy. In the hopes that I don't cave and order everything I thought I'd put together a little online window shopping selection of the things at the top of my list.

The things I've been lusting over aren't completely beauty related, although the majority are, but I've still stopped myself from buying them. The wellies I currently have are at the end of their life and they're not even water proof anymore and incredibly uncomfortable. They've been to three festivals, countless camping excursions and a lot of snow days but it's definitely time for a new pair. I really like shorter wellies but I'm having a hard time deciding which colour I like best from Hunter. They also have a mint pair but at the moment I'm leaning towards the grey which will go with more outfits. Anyone know what the sizing is like of Hunter wellies, are they narrow or wide?

For the past month or so I've been dreaming up new make-up storage/dressing table ideas and this metal stool from Tolix would be perfect for it. I want something small that will inject a bit of colour into the room. At the moment I'm thinking the yellow although I really like them all. I've also been imagining using these white Ikea trays to display some of my perfumes on said dressing table.

My skin has been really dry recently and I'm finding it pretty hard not to go out and repurchase Hydration. Instead I'm trying to use up the other serums I have and then allow myself to buy it. I am still yet to buy a Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder as the one I want, Diffused Light, is always out of stock which is probably good for my bank account and spending ban!

What's at the top of your wishlist?

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10 February 2014

Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oils

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Lately I have become obsessed with bath oils, you will have seen the couple I bought in the sales, but it all started with the Espa Bath Oils. Since then I've finally tried Aromatherapy Associates after reading countless posts raving about them. I ordered this set before Christmas and have been enjoying using all the different scents and discovering which are my favourites.

Inner Strength // Clary sage, frankincense and cardamom
Relax Deep // Vetivert, chamomile and sandalwood
Relax Light // Lavender, ylang ylang and petitgrain
De-Stress Mind // Wild chamomile, petitgrain, frankincense and rosemary
De-Stress Muscle // Lavender, ginger, rosemary and black pepper
Revive Morning // Pink grapefruit, rosemary and juniper berry
Revive Evening // Geranium, ylang ylang, patchouli and sandalwood
Support Breathe // Eucalyptus, pine, tea tree and peppermint
Support Lavender & Peppermint // Lavender and peppermint
Support Equilibrium // Geranium,rose and frankincense

My favourites have to be Support Breathe and Support Lavender & Peppermint and are the two I want to buy the full sizes of. Saying that though there isn't a single scent I don't like. You don't need much at all to totally fill up the bathroom with the scent. A cap full in running water creates such a relaxing bath that you'll want to stay in it for hours. They're not something I use every day but once a week they make a really nice treat and they also turn the bath water very moisturising.

If you've tried these oils, which is your favourite?

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08 February 2014

Week In Photos 164

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Finally a bit of sun! // Whoops! So much for being on a spending ban // My life this week, making bunting for work! // This week the cat discovered the fish despite both living in the same house for years. The cat is not allowed in the front room now!

Post // Kate's post about how her baby monitor is broken, had me laughing while reading it.

Video // The Shaytards. I've watched their videos for years but I stopped for a while and have started back up again a couple of months ago. I love watching their videos as I get ready in the mornings.

Book // Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Product // Space NK Laughter Nuit Perfume

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07 February 2014

NOTD // Red Carpet Manicure Red Carpet Reddy

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Supplies used... 
Red Carpet Manicure Prep
Red Carpet Manicure Structure Base Coat
Red Carpet Manicure Red Carpet Reddy // two coats
Red Carpet Manicure Brilliance Top Coat

Today at work we're taking part in Ramp Up The Red to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. We're having a cake sale and all wearing red. I don't own any red clothes though, the colour really does't suit me, so I'm wearing red shoes and sporting red nail polish instead.

I never used to be a fan of red nails, especially on my hands, but over the last couple of months that has definitely changed. Red Carpet Reddy is the polish that I got in the Red Carpet Manicure set and the red I reach for the most. The polish itself is a better consistency than Parisian Chic. It's opaque in two coats, it does have a slight jelly finish to it but it's not streaky like it needs another coat, and it applies more evenly.

I'm still amazed that I can get a week to two weeks wear out of my polishes when I use the RCM base and top coat! It's nice not to have to worry about my nail polish chipping and having to paint them every other day.

Are you taking part in Ramp Up The Red?

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06 February 2014

NOTD // OPI I Have A Herring Problem

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Supplies used... 
Opi I Have A Herring Problem // three coats
Red Carpet Manicure Brilliance Top Coat

I Have A Herring Problem was from the Spring/Summer 2012 Holland Collection. Despite having it for about a year, this is the first time I've actually worn it. When I was applying it, I was surprised at how thin the formula is and even after three coats, it still wasn't completely opaque. Not what I was expecting from an OPI polish and from looking at other swatches on Google.

Ignoring the formula, it's a really nice colour although I think I prefer I Don't Give A Rotterdam! which is from the same collection but it's more blue. It also dries down slightly darker than what is in the bottle which I'm not a fan of. The lack of sun at the moment also doesn't help show off the gold shimmer in it very well.

A Roll In The Hauge | Did You ‘ear About Van Gogh? | Dutch ‘Ya Just Love OPI? | Gouda Gouda Two Shoes | I Don’t Give a Rotterdam | I Have a Herring Problem | Kiss Me on My Tulips | Pedal Faster Suzi! | Red Lights Ahead…Where? | Thanks a WindMillion | Vampsterdam | Wooden Shoe Like To Know?

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05 February 2014

The Tube Squeezer

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As far as getting the most out of your products, this tube squeezer is probably the best thing I've bought. I've used it on normal things like toothpaste and hand cream but also to get the last of the tomato puree out of the tube! It's not often you see a tube squeezer in the shops so I thought I'd post about it. Before I bought this one I didn't even know they existed! I bought mine from Ebay for only a couple of pounds and I've already gotten my monies worth from the amount that I've used it. It also makes a really nice pattern when you have a metal tube like the Aesop Hand Cream.

Anyone else use a tube squeezer?!

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04 February 2014

The Exception

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I first head about this dry skin fighter when I was watching one of Amelia's videos and it immediately went to the top of my wish list. It's not cheap so I didn't buy it straight away. Fast forward a few months and my eczema and dry skin wasn't getting any better so I went ahead and ordered it from Space NK as I had some N.dulge points to spend. The only thing is, I'm still meant to be on my spending ban but have made an exception as when it comes to my eczema, I can't wait a few months to buy something as it'll only get worse in that time.

Let me introduce the Marula Intense Skin Repair Body Balm from African Botanics. This 58ml glass jar will set you back £40 so it's definitely not an impulse buy product. First impressions are that I love the packaging but I'm not sure I like the scent. If a product works though I can ignore the scent. The balm itself is very thick and solid so it takes a while to warm and melt down before you apply it. A mini spoon or spatula is the best thing to get the product out of the jar if it's still solid, especially in the winter. A tiny bit goes away and it sinks into skin really nicely although your skin is left feeling a little greasy so probably best to use this at night.

I'll report back once I've tested it for long enough and tell you what I think about it and if it's worth the price tag. Anyone tried this before?

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03 February 2014

Discovering Diptyque

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I love perfume and I wear it on a daily basis and have done for years. It's only since blogging though that I first heard about Diptyque but since there isn't a Space NK near me I haven't had a chance to smell or buy any of the perfumes. I've read all the scent descriptions but it's quite rare for me to order a scent without smelling it first, especially when I'm paying between £50 and £80 for it.

Whilst browsing the Space NK Christmas sales there were a lot of Diptyque perfumes at really cheap prices since they were the old packaging. The new packaging is rounder which I do prefer but I'm not going to pass up a bargain because of this.

The one perfume I knew I wanted was Philosykos as it's the only scent I have tried in person so that quickly went into my basket. Over the last few months I've become a huge fan of fig scents and this one is no exception. Philosykos is more of a fresh fig scent than other fig products I've tried. It also has a hint of coconut which makes a perfect summer scent although I'm wearing it throughout the winter at the moment. It's completely different to any other perfume I have, something a bit different and unique and slightly more grown up.
In the heat of a Greek summer, “to get to the sea,” recalls Yves, “you had to walk through a natural orchard of wild fig trees.” Returning from Paris, Desmond brought back a few leaves of these trees in a little box. Years later, the leaves had lost none of their fragrance. Philosykos, which in Greek means “friend of the fig tree,” is an ode to the entire tree: the green, pungent freshness of the leaves, the wood warmed in the sun, the milky flavor of the fruit.
Whilst browsing the site I saw that Tam Dao was also part of the sale, this being one of the other scents from my Diptyque perfume wish list I decided to order it as well. Did I really need two more perfumes? Not really but I just could not resist. When else am I able to buy a 100ml bottle of Diptyque perfume for £20 and £35?!

Tam Dao was a risk taker though as I hadn't actually smelt it before. Sandalwood is one of my favourite notes in a perfume and this is what Tam Dao is based around. I also remembered Anna talking about pairing Tam Dao and Philosykos together to create a spicy-woody-fig scent, a blog post that has been at the back of my mind since she wrote it. The two perfumes really do go so well together and the addition of Tam Dao turns Philosykos into more of a Autumn and Winter perfume.
The mountains of Tonkin tremble under the weighty steps of elephants carrying uprooted trees of precious wood through the vines. Majestic sandalwood breathes out its redolence in the sweltering heat of the jungle...Tam Dao pays tribute to the most sought-after of the sacred woods: the sandalwood of Goa.
These two perfumes have definitely started a new obsession and I'm thinking I just need to try one of their candles.

What's your favourite Diptyque perfume?

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02 February 2014

Sunday Pamper 013

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A very simple Sunday Pamper for me today consisting of only one product. Despite it being very sunny and nice out today, I've spent the day in the house cleaning, doing laundry and cooking my meals for next week so all I want to do tonight is have a long bath and read.

I bought this Floral Milk Bath from Fig + Yarrow at the end of December along with a lot of other bath and body products so it's only just being used for the first time. You simply scoop some of the powder, I use a mini wooden scoop from Ebay, into running water and it turns your bath milky which you'd expect. Since I haven't used it before I'll report back on how it works and if I like it or not in the next week or so.

As I mentioned in my Week In Photos post earlier on in the day, I'm currently reading Output by Ann Aguirre and this will be the book I'll be reading while I'm in the bath. It's the second book in the Razorland trilogy and if you're a fan of dystopian novels and want a quick and easy read then I'd really recommend the series.

What products are you using for your Sunday pamper?

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Week In Photos 163

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Blogging behind the scenes // Room Decoration // Another book to add to my Goodreads 2014 challenge and I can finally watch the film // Monster under the bed // Organising my diary.

Post // Rebecca's sharing the love post - firstly for giving me a shout out ,thank you!, but I've also discovered a lot of new reads and some great people to follow on Instagram. Definitely check out her post if you want some new blogs to follow!

Video // My favourite video from this week has to be Elle's closet tour, not only does she have a lust worthy collection of shoes and handbags, her video also made me want to organise my wardrobe and have a good sort out.

Book // I'm currently working my way through Outpost by Ann Aguirre and am loving it.

Product // By Terry Baume De Rose - featured in my January favourites, I just cannot put this lip balm down!

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