Crowd Colour Personalised Palette and Lipstick

Crowd Colour // Personalised Makeup // Review!

Hey guys

This is just a quick post – it wasn’t something I was planning on blogging about, but I’m so pleased with mine that I wanted to share it with you.  Share what?  Well!  I joined a Kickstarter campaign a few months back, by a company called Crowd Colour.  If you haven’t heard of Kickstarter, it’s basically crowd-funding and if the campaign hits its target total, you receive whatever incentive you’ve signed up for.  It’s great as if they don’t reach the target, you never pay any money, so there’s very little risk of losing money.

Crowd Colour Personalised Palette and Lipstick

Crowd Colour Personalised Palette and Lipstick

Anyway!  More importantly… Crowd Colour are offering something I personally haven’t seen on the market before.  They produce various sized makeup palettes and then allow you to customise them with  your own photos/designs/wording.  I chose the medium white palette, which came with a free personalised lipstick.  The Kickstarter got fully funded really quickly, so they actually expanded their goal and included an extra incentive of a matte liquid lipstick.  I haven’t had mine yet but should hopefully get to make my choice soon.

Customising your palette is really easy – they have a simple system where you upload any photos you want to use.  You can easily resize them and move them around.  You can also add extra text to the palette if you wish.  If you’re feeling a bit creatively-challenged, they do have some of their own designs you can use too!  As you can see, I decided to theme mine around this blog – I have my logo, some collages of photos I have taken and a cute makeup quote.  There was quite a short limit on the characters you could use to personalise your lipstick (no images, just text).  I chose to simply have my blog name on the tube.  There were loads of colour choices – I went for this pretty mid-toned pink.  The formula is lovely and creamy!

Crowd Colour Personalised Palette and Lipstick

Crowd Colour Personalised Palette and Lipstick

The palette is magnetised, so it can hold any loose makeup pans without the need for glue or adhesive.  This is absolutely perfect for some of my favourite loose eyeshadow pans by Mac, Makeup Geek and Morphe!  The small palette plus lipstick is £8, the medium plus lipstick is £10 and the large is £12.  This is a bargain, as similar Z-palettes are double that price (plus most don’t have a big mirror either, so this is great!)  As you can see, I’ve started to fill my palette with my Mac and Makeup Geek shadows.  Love it!

Crowd Colour Personalised Magnetised Palette

Crowd Colour Personalised Magnetised Palette

You can find more details on their website – I believe they are planning to start offering the service on there soon, once the Kickstarter has completely finished.  Keep your eyes peeled!

What do you think of these palettes?  Would you get your own, and if so what would you put on it?  Let me know in the comments!

Lush Bunch of Carrots and Golden Egg

Fluffy Eggs & Unicorn Horns // Lush Spring Event // York!

Hey guys! Wednesday found me making my way to the pretty York City Centre, to see Lush’s new Spring products.  I was very kindly invited to a blogger event there, where we were introduced to their Spring, Mother’s Day and Easter products.  I had a great time, and wanted to share my thoughts on the event with you!

This was apparently Lush York’s first ever blogger event – one of the Lush girls, Louisa, confided that she had been really nervous about it… well she needn’t have been because they did a fantastic job and all the bloggers had a lovely time!  What I liked about the event was that it was really well structured.  We played games, broke the ice with introductions and went to different stations to learn all about their various products.

      Continue reading

Hydrotherapy Treatment for ME Fibromyalgia Chronic Pain

MY HYDROTHERAPY TREATMENT // PART 2 // CHRONIC ILLNESS POST

Hey guys! If you haven’t read Part 1 of my hydrotherapy journey, that would be a good place to start so that this post makes more sense.  Go on, have a read… I’ll wait! 🙂

Hydrotherapy Treatment for ME Fibromyalgia

Waiting Time

I’m back with part 2 a little quicker than I expected.  After my ‘dry assessment’, the physio told me I would see him again in 3 weeks time to see how I was getting on with the exercises he gave me.  He told me to expect to wait around 6 weeks for my first actual in-water hydrotherapy session (due to a waiting list).  Well I got a call a couple of days ago, saying they had managed to get the waiting list down a little bit.  Instead of having the second dry assessment, I will be going to hydrotherapy on 1 March (2016). Continue reading

Primark Nail Polish and Essence On Air gold glitter nail polish!

Nails of the Day (NOTD) // Taupe and Gold // Primark & Essence On Air!

Hey guys

It’s been two weeks since my last nails of the day post, so I’m back with your next nail fix!  It’s not quite time for Spring bright colours yet, but I’m getting a little bit bored of the winter berries and dark tones now. So I went for something in between – toned down, but lighter.  I chose this combination of taupe and gold sparkles!

Primark Nail Polish and Essence On Air gold glitter nail polish

Primark Nail Polish and Essence On Air gold glitter nail polish!

 

Annoyingly, I can’t tell you what the Primark nail polish is called as it never came with a name on it.  I don’t know whether this is intentional as they don’t name them, or whether it should have had a label or something.  However!  It’s a lovely minky-taupe colour with really subtle, fine gold glitter running through it.

Essence On Air! Gold Glitter

Essence On Air! Gold Glitter

 

I chose Essence On Air! for the accent nail, as that is a really opaque, glitter-packed polish so it goes well with the fine glitter in the Primark varnish.  The Essence polish you can see here is just one coat on the accent nail – I love it as it’s so densely packed.  I hate glitter that’s really spaced out and you have to layer loads on to get it to show!

NOTD - Primark Nail Polish and Essence On Air gold glitter nail polish!

NOTD – Primark Nail Polish and Essence On Air gold glitter nail polish!

 

The Primark nail polish is pretty good quality for just £1, it lasts about 3 days before it starts to chip (this is with one coat of Revlon Diamond Top Coat over it).  The Essence polish is also great quality for less than £2!

What do you think of this combo?

Insta Natural Skincare // Retinol Moisturizer and Serum // Review!

Hi guys!  I was very kindly sent the following products free of charge, to review on Amazon.  As I really enjoyed them, I thought I’d give them a quick review on here too.  This is not a sponsored post (and I was not sent the products to blog about) – all views/opinions are my own.

Insta Natural Skincare – Retinol Range

Both products are cruelty-free – they are not tested on animals and hold the leaping bunny badge.  They are made in Florida, USA.

Insta Natural Retinol Moisturizer and Insta Natural 2.5% Retinol Serum

Insta Natural Retinol Moisturizer & 2.5% Retinol Serum

Insta Natural Retinol Moisturizer

The moisturiser contains 2.5% retinol, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, shea butter and green tea – all together a pretty good collection of things that are beneficial in skincare.  I don’t know a whole lot about retinol, but the basics are that it is a powerful anti-oxidant, derived from vitamin A.  Once absorbed, retinol is converted into retinoic acid, which helps restore skin and diminish the signs of ageing, sun damage, wrinkles, age spots etc. Vitamin C is another anti-oxidant which helps battle the early signs of ageing.  The rest of the ingredients are good for nourishing and hydrating the skin, to actually keep it moisturised.

The main thing I like about this moisturiser is that it is fairly light and doesn’t leave my skin oily at all.  I can be quite fussy about day creams, as if they leave any detectable layer on my skin, my makeup tends to go oily which I really don’t like!  I have oily/combination skin and like a matte makeup finish.  The lotion is actually pretty thick and white, but a little goes a long way (really, you can use such a small amount!) and it absorbs really quickly.  It has a very light, almost indetectable scent.  You get 100ml, which is a very generous about for a face cream.

Wear SPF!!

One thing to bear in mind is that using retinol products can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so you should use a sunscreen or SPF if you will be using this during the day.  As I spend most of my time bed or housebound, this isn’t too much of an issue for me, although if I have an appointment or anything, I will tend to use foundation and powder with SPF.  If I was taking this on holiday somewhere sunny (chance would be a fine thing!!) I would make sure to actually use a proper face SPF… or maybe just use a retinol-free moisturiser during that period.

My Results

I can’t really tell whether it has had any lasting effects on my skin but it’s something I’ve really enjoyed and would continue using.  I personally wouldn’t buy it at full price (£39.95) but it is very frequently on sale at £17.95 which I would happily pay as it’s huge and will last months with the small amount you use! You can find it on sale at the time of posting here.

Insta Natural Retinol Moisturizer and Insta Natural 2.5% Retinol Serum

Insta Natural 2.5% Retinol Moisturizer and Retinol Serum

Insta Natural Skincare – 2.5% Retinol Serum

I believe the two retinol products are safe to use together, but I chose to try them separately so that I could see how my skin responded to each product.  This serum also contains 2.5% retinol, together with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and CoQ10. The blend of ingredients aim to nourish your skin, whilst helping it look younger and healthier.  As you can see, it contains a lot of the same active ingredients as the moisturiser.  CoQ10 helps to protect against free-radical damage.

The serum is orange, and also smells like oranges (the vitamin C theme I guess?)  It’s actually a really nice, refreshing smell so it makes it pleasant to use, especially in the mornings.  The glass bottle has a screw top with a built in pipette, so you ‘suck up’ some of the product, and then dropper however much you want onto your hands (around 6 – 8 drops seems to do fine for me).  It has a light, non-oily texture and absorbs really nicely, leaving your skin feeling quite matte and velvety.  Again this is a massive plus for me, as I will happily use it before makeup, with it being so non-greasy. The same applies with sun protection as I mentioned above with the moisturiser – please make sure you use SPF if using it during the daytime, out of the house!

My Results

This is another product I really enjoy, and actually prefer it to my Superdrug Vitamin E serum (which I really liked before, but now seems a bit oily in comparison to this).  As with the moisturiser, I wouldn’t purchase this at full price (£49.95) but it’s very frequently on offer at £17.95, which I would buy it for.  The bottle is 30ml, which goes a fairly long way as you don’t need much. You can find it on sale at the time of posting, here.


Once again, this post is not sponsored and all views/opinions are my own.

Have you ever tried any retinol skincare?  How did you find it?  Let me know in the comments!  

Birchbox February 2016 - Contents

Birchbox // February 2016 // Review and Unboxing!

Hi guys!

Sorry this one is a little bit later than usual – I haven’t been too well (even more than usual!) so it’s taken me a while to be able to photograph the box and write this.

Birchbox February 2016

Birchbox February 2016

This month’s Birchbox theme is ‘shine bright like a diamond’.  In line with their 2016 theme of ‘best year ever’, they want this box to remind us how brilliant we are, and how to shine.  Alongside the diamond theme, 2 boxes this month also contain real diamond necklaces!  Unfortunately mind didn’t… But here’s what was in it!

Birchbox February 2016 - Contents

Birchbox February 2016 – Contents

Spectrum Tapered Powder Brush

Spectrum Tapered Powder Brush

I was so excited about this!  Spectrum are a great makeup brush company, as they make good quality, cruelty-free makeup brushes.  Plus… just look at it!  Isn’t it so pretty?  This tapered brush can be used for any powder products – setting powder, highlighter or bronzer.  There’s not much to say about this other than I love it!  It works really well.  I’m planning to get one of their eye brushes in the near future, to replace a non cruelty-free brush I already have.

Value: £7.99.

Love of Colour (LOC) Shadow Stick in Perfect Cents

Love of Colour (LOC) Shadow Stick in Perfect Cents

You may not recognise the brand LOC… that’s because it’s Birchbox’s brand new in-house makeup brand!  There will be more products to come, but this is their first released one.  We actually had a choice of two colours prior to receiving the box – a champagne colour and this copper colour, which I chose.

This is a creaseless, waterproof eyeshadow crayon which claims to last for 11 hours.  The idea is that it negates the need for primer, brushes and blending.  Although that’s a good idea in theory, I’ve never come across an eyeshadow stick that truly doesn’t need priming or blending (the closest I’ve come is Maybelline Color Tattoos, which are amazing!)

The stick glides on easily, but does need a little blending out around the edges – which is not a problem at all, as it can be done in literally 10 seconds.  The colour of the one I chose is beautiful (see the swatch above) – I love wearing copper so I’ll get tons of use from this.  I’ve already worn it as eyeshadow, but I’ll probably give it a try smudged under my eyes too.  This is a great first product, so I look forward to seeing what LOC release next!

Value: £8.

Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream

Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream

I’ve never heard of Eslor before.  They seem to be relatively new from what I can tell (although their website doesn’t have an actual ‘About’ page).  They are all about paraben free, science-driven, naturally derived products.  My first impression was… the tub is beautiful!  It’s a beautiful rosy-copper colour that will look really pretty on my vanity desk… priorities right?

This day cream contains hydrolysed marine collagen (which seems to be a big thing in skincare these days – Elemis and other high-end brands use the same ingredient).  The cream aims to lock in moisture, restore elasticity and boost radiance.  Although it’s called a day cream, the instructions say to use morning and evening.  Personally, I found it a little bit on the heavy side to use in the morning (especially before makeup, as I like a very matte finish), but it’s great as a richer night cream.  If you had dry skin it may be fine as a day cream, but mine is combination/oily.  It is creamy white with a very light lotion scent. It’s not something I would purchase just because of the price – it’s £50 full size.  However it does contain quality active ingredients.

Value: £50 full size (we received a 10ml sample).

The Balm Cosmetics Frat Boy Blush/Shadow

The Balm Cosmetics Frat Boy Blush/Shadow

I’ve had a few The Balm samples before and I currently own a full sized Mary-Loumanizer (best highlighter ever!)  I’ve never tried this blusher before.  It’s a baby rose pink, meant to replicate the look of a natural flush.  It’s fairly subtle in colour, but actually quite pigmented, so a little goes a long way.  This is exactly the sort of blusher colour I suit, as I’m very pale, so I love this!  It reminds me of Benefit Hervana but more pigmented.

They say it can also be used as an eyeshadow but I really can’t see myself using it as that – I don’t think it’d be a very flattering tone on the eyes for me (although could look gorgeous in contrast to darker skin I reckon).

Value: £15.50 (we received a small sample).

Ayes Body Butter in Patagonia

Ayres Body Butter in Patagonia

This is a luxurious, plant-based body lotion containing shea butter, vitamin E and antioxidants, to soften and hydrate the skin.  It smells lovely, with a mix of jasmine, lavender and ylang-ylang.  I actually really dislike lavender, but it’s not too strong in the scent of this.

The packaging has a very traditional, old-fashioned apothecary style.  Again, it’s a brand I haven’t heard of before.  Although we got a small sample, it goes on nicely and spreads quite a long way – I reckon you’d get 2 full body uses from this tub.  What I really like is that it doesn’t leave any greasy residue on my skin.  I hate body lotions that leave you all sticky for ages after applying!  This is another one I wouldn’t actually purchase myself as it’s £19.50 – there are so many great, cheaper body lotions out there.

Value: £19.50 (we received 28g).

Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris Eau de Parfum

Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris Eau de Parfum

The beauty bonus item was a perfume sample.  If you’re a regular reader, you’ll probably know I hate getting perfume samples.  I’m not that fussy but for some reason I usually dislike about 90% of the ones they send!  Luckily, this one is actually quite nice!

It is created by fashion designer Catherine Malandrino, and is described as sophistocated yet fruity.  It contains notes of mandarin, red grapefruit and pear (sounds like breakfast, lol!)  It’s quite a strong, heady scent but the citrusy fruit notes save it from being too old-fashioned.  It’s probably something I’d keep in my bag in case I needed to freshen up whilst I was out, but I definitely wouldn’t buy it.  Hey, it’s progress though, at least I don’t hate it!!

Value: £50 (we received a mini sample vial).


Overall, another great box!  I always really enjoy my Birchboxes.  It was nice that they went for a slightly different theme this month, instead of going for the obvious of love and Valentines.  The box is gorgeous, with the quote in gold script, so yet another box I’ll be keeping!  I’ll run out of room for boxes soon haha.  Most of all, I LOVED getting a makeup brush in the box – that’s something I’d love to see again in future.


What did you think of this month’s box?  Have you tried any of the products?  Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Hydrotherapy Treatment for ME Fibromyalgia Chronic Pain

My Hydrotherapy Treatment // Part 1 // Chronic Illness Post

Hey guys!  I thought I would share my hydrotherapy journey with you, in case it helps anyone else decide whether or not to try it – and if they do, what to expect.  I suffer from ME and fibromyalgia, and did some research in early 2015 into hydrotherapy.  I am in a few chronic illness groups on Facebook, and several people said hydrotherapy had been helpful for them.  There isn’t a lot of scientific research either way but I decided it was worth a try!

Hydrotherapy Treatment for ME Fibromyalgia


A Bit of History

So first for a bit of history… I actually made the decision to try hydrotherapy in early 2015.  I didn’t think I would get it on the NHS (the GP made no offer when I discussed it with him) so I decided to find somewhere public in Leeds and book in there.  We have a good hydro pool only a few miles from me, which was built initially for use by paralympians but is open to the public at a cost.  It is around £10 per session (1 hour in total, 20 minutes in the actual pool). I rang them to book a session and discussed why I wanted to use it, and they refused to let me book without a doctor’s letter to confirm I was safe to use hydro.  I’m not sure if this is standard procedure, as I wasn’t expecting, it, but I assume it is due to insurance on their part. Continue reading