Where I've Been - Health Problems and chronic illness Notebook with makeup and rose

[Insert Cliched Blog Title Here]…! // Chronic Illness

Hi everyone! Remember me? I’m Katie, I blog around here. Well, I used to – not so much for the last two months or so! I hold my hands up, things have been pretty quiet round here recently. I’ve still been trying to stay active on social media, but haven’t sat down to blog for ages.  Why? Well, as you know I have a lot of health problems and suffer from chronic illness. I’m always pretty unwell and spend a lot of time bedbound and/or housebound. But life has taken its toll on me in the last month or two.

A few family events, whilst lovely, have left me spending a long time recovering. I’ve been to a couple of beautiful family weddings, and the payback was worth every minute. But it does mean it’s taken me a while to get back to the health (or chronic illness) level I was at before them.

Where I've Been - Health Problems and chronic illness me at wedding

Me at my Uncle’s Wedding (Dress: Simply Be, Sprinkle of Glitter range)

When you have chronic illness, the slightest thing can have a knock-on effect.  Just one day of significantly overdoing things can leave you with weeks of symptoms – more fatigue, increased pain and a reduction in stamina.  I knew these weddings were coming up for quite a while beforehand, and they were of very close family members.  I generally try not to overdo it or push myself too far, but sometimes I have to take the decision to just go ahead.  When it’s something really important, that will leave me with memories for a lifetime, I think the payback is worth it.  Hell…. but worth it!

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Dr Botanicals Cleanse & Tone Review Outer Packaging

Multi-Tasking Skincare // Dr Botanicals Cleanse & Tone!

Hey guys!  How are you?  I hope you’re doing well…or better than me at least!  Safe to say I’m not dealing with the current heatwave in England very well!!  If you’re a regular over here, you’ll know that I am a proud Dr Botanicals ambassador.  They very kindly send me a product once a month, which I test out and report back to you guys about (along with a discount)!  I’m not being paid for my reviews and all opinions are totally honest and completely my own!  This month’s product is a great multi-tasker, the Dr Botanicals Cleanse & Tone.

 

Dr Botanicals Cleanse & Tone Review Outer Packaging

Dr Botanicals Cleanse & Tone (in Outer Packaging)


Who are Dr Botanicals?

Dr Botanicals are a 100% natural UK skincare brand, who use no parabens.  Even better, they are completely cruelty-free and vegan-certified!  They are based in London and aim to combine a passion for plant based traditional thinking with the latest science.

Dr Botanicals use a lot of natural oils and plant extracts, as they believe these can make a genuine difference to the skin.  I really like that they use 100% natural ingredients.  It’s very easy to claim to be a ‘natural’ brand, however most don’t use entirely natural ingredients, as it can be more expensive and difficult to source.  There are no harmful preservatives in any of the Dr Botanicals products.

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My 3 Favourite Beauty Trends for 2017!

Hi guys!  How are you?  I hope you’re having a good week.  I recently received a really good e-book from Ellisons (which you can read here) and it got me thinking about my favourite beauty trends for 2017!  There are so many different trends and themes in makeup (usually beginning on the fashion catwalk and filtering down pretty quickly to Instagram!)  


Beauty Trends for 2017

I have to say, I often see a beauty trend and think; “really?!”  I am pretty adventurous with my makeup and like to try lots of different colours and styles, but some trends are a little bit unwearable!

My favourite beauty trends for 2017 beauty trends makeup trends beauty fashions

The ones that seem unwearable though, often end up getting used in a much more watered down version in real life.  I’ve never personally been that into the nude trend that has been around for over a year now.  The nude, neutral lipsticks just don’t appeal to me (and don’t really suit me!)  Give me a bright pink or purple lipstick any day!

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Budget v High End Mascaras Benefit v Primark Mascara Match Benefit Rollerlash Benefit Bad Gal Mascara Primark Mascara Reviews

Mascara Match // Benefit Rollerlash v Primark Lash Defining Mascara // Can Budget Beat High-End?

Hi guys!  You may remember this recent post, where I pitched budget against high-end mascaras.  Well today is the next installment of Mascara Match!  Primark Volumising Ultra Black mascara beat Benefit Bad Gal Lash last time – can Primark win again?  Today, Primark’s Lash Defining Mascara is pitched against Benefit Rollerlash!  Let the battle commence…

Budget v High End Mascaras Benefit v Primark Mascara Match Benefit Rollerlash Benefit Bad Gal Mascara Primark Mascara Reviews


Budget v High-End Makeup

It’s so easy to assume that if a product costs more, it must be better.  After trying out loads of different makeup products and brands over the years, I’ve realised that’s really not the case.  Some of my favourite products that I use every single time I wear makeup are budget (otherwise known as cheap)!  I rave on to anyone I know ‘in real life’ about how great Primark mascaras are, and that they must try them.  So it’s about time that I share the secret with you guys!


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Budget v High End Mascaras Benefit v Primark Mascara Match Benefit Rollerlash Benefit Bad Gal Mascara Primark Mascara Reviews

Mascara Match // Benefit Bad Gal v Primark Volumising Ultra Black // Can Budget Beat High-End?

Hey guys!  You may remember one of my much older posts, Foundation Fight, where I pitched several different foundations against each other (excuse the crap photos, I’d only been blogging two months then!)  Well, I’ve been meaning to write a similar post for ages now, but this time about mascara.  Here comes….dun dun dunnnn…. Mascara Match!!  Today I’m pitting Primark Volumising Ultra Black against Benefit Bad Gal Lash!

Budget v High End Mascaras Benefit v Primark Mascara Match Benefit Rollerlash Benefit Bad Gal Mascara Primark Mascara Reviews

I’ve thought to myself so many times that people need to know how great Primark mascaras are!  They’ve been really upping their game with makeup recently, but two of the mascaras I love have been around for a few years.  I’ve been so impressed with them that I buy them over and over.  Another huge contender, and cult mascara-maker, is Benefit – who hasn’t heard of Bad Gal, They’re Real or Rollerlash?  Nobody, that’s who!

I was originally going to write about six mascaras in this one post, but it got a lil out of hand and long!  So I’ve broken it into three parts – the next two will be coming shortly, so stay tuned! [Part 2 is here!]

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Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer Trainers Review Floral Pattern Trainers Brantano

Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer Trainers from Brantano // Style & Review!

Hi guys!  How are you?  I hope you’re well, and if you’re not then I’m sending hugs your way!  I don’t often share style posts on here, although I post quite a few ‘outfit of the day’ posts over on my Instagram.  But these trainers are so beautiful, I had to show you them!  They are the Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer trainers, from Brantano.

I was very kindly sent these trainers by Brantano for review purposes, but as always, all opinions are truthful and entirely my own.


The Look

I’ve been wanting a pair of trainers like this for literally over a year!  I love black trainers with a flash of colour or pattern.  Ones which are smart enough to wear with jeans and not look like you’re going for a run (which I very definitely am not…!)  I wear a lot of ballet pumps and a lot of boots, but I wanted something in between the two.  Something waterproof and sturdy, but more suitable for all seasons (boots are usually left behind in the summer months!)  So the Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer trainers were the perfect fit for me 🙂

Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer Trainers Review Floral Pattern Trainers Brantano

Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer Trainers

I have to admit, it was the pattern that drew me to these.  They could have been any brand, I just loved the pink, purple and blue floral pattern!  Since pink and purple are my favourite colours, I wear a lot of them – so these trainers should go with most of my wardrobe!  I kind of wish they didn’t have the black stripes (they are a kind of rubberised finish), but that’s what you get with Adidas trainers.

I’ve worn these with leggings and a dress (as you can see!) and also with black jeans so far.  I liked them with both 🙂


The Shape

The first thing that struck me is how light they are – they are literally like picking up a feather!  They’d be amazing for taking on holiday as they’d take up so little of your luggage weight allowance.  They are a nice, streamlined shape with a fairly narrow toe.  The soles are white and really thick and bouncy.

Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer Trainers Review Floral Pattern Trainers Brantano


The Feel

Oh my days!  These trainers feel like walking on clouds – seriously!  They are so soft, light and bouncy.  Not that I can run any more, but I imagine they would be great for running in – super light.  

Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer Trainers Review Floral Pattern Trainers Brantano

They are more narrow at the toe end than any trainers I’ve worn before.  It makes them look less clumpy, but you can feel the tightness around your toes.  It is not uncomfortable, just something I was aware of.  You can adjust the laces to give you a bit more width around the sides too.


Where to Find Them

My trainers were from the Womens Shoes section of the Brantano website here (although they may have them in store too, depending on stock).  They cost £48 – although I think Brantano currently have 20% off.

Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer Trainers Review Floral Pattern Trainers Brantano


Do you wear trainers much?  What are your favourites?  Let me know in the comments!

Benz and Blanc Charcoal Whitening Powder 2 Review - Tooth Whitening Activated Charcoal Powder- Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder

BENZ and BLANC Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder // Review!

Hey guys!  I hope you’re feeling well and ready to enjoy your weekend.  Today, I’ve got a review of of BENZ and BLANC Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder.  What on earth is that?  Read on!

This product was kindly sent to me in order to review, but all opinions are honest and entirely my own.  This post is not sponsored and I am not an affiliate in any way.

 

Benz and Blanc Charcoal Whitening Powder 2 Review - Tooth Whitening Activated Charcoal Powder- Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder

Benz and Blanc Charcoal Whitening Powder 2 (photo credit: Paul De La Cruz)


Who Are Benz and Blanc?

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember this post where I visited BENZ and BLANC in Leeds.  I had my teeth whitened and we managed to get them 10 shades whiter!!  Well I’ve kept in touch with the lovely owner of BENZ and BLANC, Paul.  He got in touch recently to tell me he’d actually launched his own product – his first one.  I am so pleased for him, as he’s only been open since September 2016 and he’s doing really well so far!  If you know Leeds, BENZ and BLANC are on the top tier of the Corn Exchange (it’s beautiful in there!)

Paul told me that he wanted to bring his own product to market, which is excitingly part of a three step system!  That’s why you’ll notice there is the number 2 on this product.  Parts 1 and 3 are on their way, so watch this space.

BENZ and BLANC have worked with UK suppliers to ensure that this product supports UK businesses.  The charcoal teeth whitening powder is made in England, which is something that is really important to Paul.  The packaging is also made here.  I think that’s great – the UK economy needs all the help it can get!!


What Is Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder?

Charcoal has been used for centuries in medicine and studied by many dentists.  I have definitely noticed it becoming more of a ‘thing’ in the last year or so.  I wasn’t even aware of charcoal teeth whitening powder until last year but now it seems to be everywhere!  It can also be known as active carbon.  

Activated charcoal is charcoal that has been “activated” to increase it’s absorptive properties.  Some choose to use activated charcoal instead of fluoride, since long-term fluoride ingestion can potentially have harmful effects on your body.  It can also be handy if you want whiter teeth, but your teeth are too sensitive for chemical whitening procedures.

Benz and Blanc Charcoal Whitening Powder 2 Review - Tooth Whitening Activated Charcoal Powder- Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder

Benz and Blanc Charcoal Whitening Powder 2 (photo credit: Paul De La Cruz)

The key to using charcoal to whiten your teeth is leaving it on your teeth for a few minutes.  Don’t just quickly brush and run (as tempting as that is!)  Leaving it on for a while helps absorb colours and bacteria from your teeth.  Charcoal is also really effective at caring for your gums (perfect for me, as my dentist recently told me mine are receding a little bit – boo!).  This powder isn’t a replacement for regular teeth-brushing; it’s an additional step you use to help whiten the teeth.


How Does It Work?

To use the powder, you simply dip your toothbrush into it.  I dampen mine a little first, to help it pick the powder up.  You don’t need much powder at all, a little goes a long way!  Then gently brush over your teeth, spreading it evenly but concentrating more on the front teeth.  Word of warning: this is not going to be pretty!  You will pretty much look like a dirt-eating zombie.  But only for a few minutes!  

Benz and Blanc Charcoal Whitening Powder 2 Review - Tooth Whitening Activated Charcoal Powder- Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder

Benz and Blanc Charcoal Whitening Powder 2 (photo credit: Paul De La Cruz)

Leave the powder in your mouth for a few minutes to work its magic, then you can brush it away.  In my experience it takes a few good rinses to get all the powder out of your mouth.  Another word of warning: if you’re clumsy like me, it can be a little messy in your sink!  I have quite shaky hands so I drop it all over, but it’s fine – give your sink a good swish out and it doesn’t stain at all 🙂 (it probably whitens it, haha!)

It’s best to brush your teeth as normal, and then use the powder after brushing.  It’s recommended to use the powder once every other day or so, but depends on your needs.  As it’s so gentle and natural, you can use it as required really.

The BENZ and BLANC Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder is 100% organic, 100% natural and also vegan, which is a great plus in my mind.

Overall, I really like this powder for its gentle whitening effect.  It’s a little messy to use but easy to clean up and doesn’t make my teeth feel uncomfortable or sensitive at all.  It’ll also be handy to help my receding gums, hopefully!


Where You Can Find It

The powder is available here and in-store (Leeds Corn Exchange).  There are two sizes of the charcoal teeth whitening powder, to appeal to everyone:
 
30g is £9.99 – but on offer at £7.99 until 1 March!
 
15g is £6.99.
 
Also, I have a little sneaky exclusive for you… BENZ and BLANC are launching a mint version of the charcoal powder in March, which will cost £7.99 for 15g.  The regular one has no taste at all, so it’s fine, but mint fans will enjoy this fresh new version!
 
Benz and Blanc Charcoal Whitening Powder 2 Review - Tooth Whitening Activated Charcoal Powder- Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder

Benz and Blanc Charcoal Whitening Powder 2 (photo credit: Paul De La Cruz)

Paul also told me that a proportion of the profits will go to Operation Smile, a charity he has worked with since opening.  The charity raise money so that dedicated volunteers can repair childhood facial deformities.  They also advocate for sustainable healthcare systems for children and families.

I think that’s really nice, as he’s a small business owner and it’s not easy to give away profits when you’re starting out in business.  But Paul is a lovely guy!


Have you ever tried activated charcoal teeth whitening powder?  How did you find it?  Let me know in the comments!

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