Where Have I Been? – Moving House as a Spoonie

Hi guys

Sorry I’ve been MIA from the blog for a week or so.  We have a lot going on at the moment!  We have finally got a completion date to sell our flat and are in the process of moving to our temporary home with my in-laws.  We will be there a few months until our new house is ready to move into – very exciting!

As you will probably know, being chronically ill, anything involving stress or change can affect your health and bring on a flare.  I am trying to be really careful and take care of myself during the moving process, although I find it really difficult to sit back and let people help me!!  Last time we moved house (5 years ago), I was perfectly well and doing lots of packing and heavy lifting.  I have found it really difficult to take a step back this time, but my body simply can’t manage it any more.  I’m very lucky in that my husband and family are extremely supportive and will all be helping us on moving day.  I will just have to sit back and dictate from afar, lol!


Anyway, I just wanted to let you know why I haven’t posted much recently.  It may be a bit quiet around here until we have fully moved and I’ve recovered from the upheaval.  I will definitely be back though, never fear!

I hope you are all as well as possible.


You Beauty Subscription Box – August 2015: Review and Unboxing!

Hi guys

This month’s box is now my fourth You Beauty subscription box.  Like my previous reviews, I won’t go into too much detail about the subscription and how it all works, but everything can be found in my March post.


I didn’t enjoy this month’s box as much as I normally do, only because I won’t use one of the items and I’m not sure if I can use the book.  But at just £6.95 including postage, I really don’t mind.  Even the two items I will definitely use are worth more than that anyway, and I will happily give the other things away to friends.

Here’s what I got this month:

TREsemme – Platinum Strength 60 Second Treatment Shots (x3)


This is the first of the two items I chose to receive this month.  These intensive hair treatments strengthen and fortify your hair for intensive nourishment.  It claims to leave your hair looking smooth, healthy and stronger.  They are formulated with a renewing complex, deep conditioning your hair to provide strength and moisture.

To use them, you shampoo as normal, massage the treatment into your hair from middle to the tips (avoiding the roots) and then rinse after 60 seconds.  The treatments can be used once a week or whenever your hair needs repair.

I haven’t had chance to try these out yet, but I always enjoy using hair treatments as they seem to make a real difference.

Value: £4.47 (£1.49 each)

Ole Henriksen – Truth Serum Collagen Booster


This is the second item I chose to receive.  It is a face serum to be used as part of your morning skincare routine.  Formulated with a high-powered vitamin C complex to help smooth out lines and wrinkles, whilst preventing further damage, this serum also contains anti-oxidants to fight off environmental factors.  The serum also contains orange and green tea extracts.

The serum smells really good…. like an orange ice lolly!!  It has an almost gel-like texture and feels a little oily at first, but absorbs into the skin really nicely, leaving no shine or residue. This makes it a perfect daytime serum, as I hate the ones that leave an oily sheen under your makeup!

Obviously I can’t comment on how well it works until I’ve used it for at least a month or so, but my initial impression is really positive.  I would definitely consider buying this, but want to see how long this 15ml lasts first, as this size is a reasonable £15, whereas the 50ml size is around £50!

Value: £15 for 15ml

SiennaX – Gradual Glowing Self Tan


This was one of the ‘extra treats’, which I did not choose myself.  It is a 15ml sachet of gradual self tan, which develops within 6-8 hours.  It is described as an ‘anti-cellulite formulation’ and contains Aloe Vera, almond oil and cocoa butter.  It is also paraben and cruelty free!  I assume this sachet is enough to do your body once (or perhaps just arms and legs).

I am really not a self-tanner… I have embraced my paleness!  So I won’t be using it, but passing it onto a friend who will.

Value: £12.95 for 200ml (we received 15ml)

The Mortal Instruments 1: City of Bones – Sample Book


This was the second ‘extra treat’.  It is the first 60-odd pages of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series.  The book is about vampires and werewolves in New York.  The female lead character encounters the dark side of New York City, and the dangers of forbidden love.

I have vaguely heard of this series but have never read any of it.  I will probably give this a try if I can comfortably read it.  I struggle with hand pain from my ME/Fibro and this is a very small book, so I will see what I think and then buy it on the Kindle if I like it enough.  It’s an interesting concept having a book excerpt in a subscription box, but I don’t think I would want to receive these too often.

Value: from £3.80

This box has been hit and miss for me, but that will always be the case in a box where you don’t choose everything.  They could never please everyone, every month, and I appreciate that a lot of people would be pleased to receive self tan.  As I always say, it’s still a good deal for the two items I chose – costing around £19.50!!  Considering I paid under £7, I am still really pleased.

What do you think of this month’s box?  Have you tried any of the products?  Are you a tan-a-holic?  Let me know in the comments box or follow me on social media – Twitter and Facebook.

Birchbox Beauty Box – August 2015: Review and Unboxing!

This is my fourth Birchbox beauty box review.  As always, I won’t go too much into how the Birchbox subscription works, but if you want more information, you can find it in this post.

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First of all, I love this box!!  The actual box itself is adorable.  It is an emoji and #beautyjunkie themed box, so the pattern is just lots of adorable, pastel-coloured beauty emojis.  Definitely one I’ll be keeping to put my makeup in.


The other thing I noticed when I opened the box was that it smelt amazing!  One of the products (which I’ll show you below), smells really nice.  Here’s what I got:

Bonus Item – Emoji Stickers


These are little beauty themed stickers such as mini makeup brushes, mascara and nails.  I’m a really stationery and sticker person, so I will definitely get use out of these.

Formula 10.0.6 – Overnight Success Spot Minimising Patches


This is a sachet containing little deep-down cleansing patches which stick to your skin.  They are infused with tea-tree and grape seed.  You stick one over a blemish before you go to sleep, peel it off (and bin it!) in the morning and it should have helped improved the appearance of the spot.  As you can see, I couldn’t even wait until I’d taken a photo to use these!  I had a spot which has been around for over a month and just won’t go, so I used a (different) patch two nights running.  Although the spot is still there, it is much less red and definitely smaller.  I will keep using the rest of the packet but it’s something I would definitely consider buying as they do seem to work.  They’re also really secure, so no falling off your face in the night!

Value: £2.95 (we received full size).

The Balm – Balm Desert Bronzer


Ooh I was so excited to receive a The Balm product!  I see them all the time on YouTube and blogs but have never tried one of their products.  This is a long-wearing, fade-resistant formula bronzer (no shade name mentioned).  I’m not much of a bronzer user but wanted to try this so I could tell you what I think.  It’s actually a nice shade for a pale person, as long as you use a light touch.  I just gently touched a fluffy brush into it and dusted it onto my face, where the sun would naturally hit, and it looked really subtle and nice.  It’s a tiny pan, so quite fiddly to get a brush into, but it’s not surprising as they are quite expensive products.

The packaging is really cute – it’s like a little book, with a magnetic closure and retro pictures of the swimming pool etc.

Value: £15 for full size (we received 0.8g sample size)

Lord & Berry Blusher in Lotus


Lord & Berry are a brand that very often show up in beauty boxes, but more often than not it is lip products.  This is a loose pan of blusher, which may be annoyingly packaged for some but as I have a Z-palette, it will fit nicely in there along with my eyeshadow pans.

This blusher is such a lovely colour – they claim it will suit all skintones and I can see why.  It is a sort of dusty rose with a hint of brown.  It looks quite dark in the pan but is more subtle on the skin.  It’s really flattering and definitely something I will wear.

Value: £17 (unclear whether we received full size, but I think it may be smaller)

Huygens – Exfoliating Cream


I have vaguely heard of this brand before but don’t really know anything about them.  This exfoliating face cream claims to be gentle enough for daily use.  It uses rice powder particles to smooth and purify without irritating the skin.  It has a pleasant citrusy smell.  It does feel really nice and creamy on the skin, almost as if it will moisturise slightly whilst exfoliating.  I like this product but probably wouldn’t purchase it, as I like to try different skin products.

Value: £17.90 for full size (we received 10ml sample)

Kebelo – Clarifying Shampoo


I have never heard of the brand Kebelo.  This clarifying shampoo is intended to clear any product build-up and styling stress which have left your hair looking dull.  Now I don’t really use hair products apart from the odd spritz of hairspray, but I like the idea of clarifying every month, to get rid of any deep-conditioning build up etc.

You only need to use this shampoo once or twice a month, working it through your hair in the same way as normal shampoo.  I will enjoy using this product and it will probably last a while as you use it so infrequently, but I wouldn’t repurchase it due to not really using hair products, as I mentioned.

Value: £13.95 full size (we received 50ml)

Rituals – Fortune Body Scrub


This is a combination of a body wash and exfoliator.  This is the product I mentioned which scented the whole box – I could smell it as soon as I opened it!  It smells lovely – a combination of sweet orange and cedar.  You can use this scrub a couple of times a week , massaging into damp skin and then rinsing off.

[Edited to add: used this and love it!! It’s quite fine and really effective at removing dead skin. It left my skin soft and smelling nice. Lovely!]

Value: £10 full size (we got 70ml which is fairly big so not sure if it’s full sized or not).

I really liked everything I received in this box.  It was a nice mixture of makeup and skincare, and I was really pleased to finally try a The Balm product.  I’ve never had a bad Birchbox yet, they’re always really good!

What did you think of this month’s box?  Have you tried any of the products?  Let me know in the comments box or follow me on social media – Twitter and Facebook.

Beauty // How to Extend Your Gel Manicure – Quickly and Easily!


I was lucky enough to receive a voucher for a manicure for my birthday in May.  I went for it recently and got this gorgeous gel mani.  Because I was using nail oil, my nails grew really quickly and the manicure quickly had those tell-tale gaps between my cuticles and the start of the gel polish… which obviously doesn’t look great!


I decided to have a go at extending my mani, partly because the salon couldn’t fit me in for a little while, and partly because I just wanted my nails to last a little longer.  Luckily, I had an almost identical coral-orange nail varnish at home.  I filled in the gap with the coloured nail varnish.  Whilst the varnish was still slightly wet, I took my Eye Kandy glitter in Candy Coin on a tiny makeup brush, and applied it over the area.  Once it had dried, I applied a layer of glossy top coat over the whole nail, to seal the glitter in and refresh the shine.


As you can see, I made a bit of a mess with the glitter on my cushion – everything is now slightly shimmery in the room, haha!  I was really pleased with how the nails came out, after only 5 or 10 minutes of attention.  It was pretty effortless and didn’t really require any skill!  The colour of my glitter is slightly different to the existing rose gold, but it’s only obvious with close scrutiny.  Not many people spend time staring at my nails, so that’s fine by me!


Hopefully this little beauty hack will keep my nails looking nice until I get the gel removed later this week!

What do you think of my nail refresh?  Do you ever extend or change up your gel manicures at home?  Let me know in the comments box or follow me on social media!

AA Skincare – Bergamot and Aloe Deodorant – Natural Skincare Review!

Hi guys

Today I’m reviewing another product by AA (Amphora Aromatics) Skincare.  This is the second product I have kindly been sent by the company, and I’m really pleased to test out their things as I love the idea of going more natural with my skincare and beauty regime.  If you want to see the eye gel I reviewed, you can find the post here.  As I said in my first review, although I was sent the product, this post is not sponsored and all opinions are truthful and my own.

Just to recap in case you didn’t read my previous post, AA Skincare is a fairly new natural skincare range from Amphora Aromatics.  They are a UK-based company (Bristol) and it’s always nice to support UK businesses where possible.  Their mission statement is to “supply their customers with wonderfully natural, effective products at affordable prices” – and from what I’ve seen on their website, the prices really are affordable, with most products at well under a tenner!  The skincare range combines essential oils with natural ingredients, avoiding chemicals and artificial ingredients.


I was actually really keen to test out this product, as I had already been considering switching to a natural deodorant.  I currently only use Superdrug’s own anti-perspirant as it’s cruelty-free, but it still contains lots of chemicals.  The only sticking point concerning me was that deodorants obviously deodorise but don’t stop perspiration.  I have always used an anti-perspirant, as obviously most people prefer to stop sweating rather than just sweat, without any unpleasant smells.  I was intrigued to see whether this would be enough for me.


This deodorant is made with naturally deodorising essential oils – bergamot gives a refreshing citrus smell but also attacks the bacteria that cause nasty smells.  Aloe is another naturally deodorising ingredient and also ensures that the deodorant is kind to your skin.  AA don’t use aluminium, alcohol and synthetic parfum in their deodorants.

The deodorant is in a solid glass bottle, with a decent sized roller ball applicator.  It smells really nice – I really like the fresh, citrusy smell, with a hint of sweetness.  It applies well, but obviously takes a little while to dry – I’ve always found this with any roll-ons, compared to spray deodorants, which dry almost immediately.

I obviously spend a lot of time in bed or around the house, due to my chronic illnesses.  Without being too TMI, this means I don’t really sweat much!  So I find this deodorant is sufficient when I’m at home, being fairly inactive.  If I was exercising, I would probably still prefer an anti-perspirant, but may use a bit of this after working out, to stay fresh!

I will definitely finish this deodorant, and may well repurchase it once it runs out.  They also do two other scents – grapefruit & cedarwood, and lemongrass & lavender.

You can buy the Aloe & Bergamot deodorant here.

Do you prefer deodorants or anti-perspirants?  What do you think of using natural beauty products?  Let me know in the comments box!

Shopping // Mini Avon Haul (Mainly Purple Lipstick)!

Hey guys

I haven’t done many haul posts recently as money is tight!  I’m moving house soon and am no longer getting sick pay, so there isn’t much spare money for makeup (sad times, right??)  But after seeing one of these lipsticks on a friend (hi Amber, if you’re reading this), I had to own it.  I have a ridiculous amount of purple lipsticks, but am always on a crusade to find more.  They often look purple but come out pink on the lips, which really annoys me.  I might actually do a post on all of my purple lip products one day…


In the meantime, here is what I got from Avon.  I placed my order online, so there was a £3.50 delivery charge.

Naturals Bright Apple Blossom Scented Spritz – £1.25


This is a 100ml bottle of body spritz.  Avon describe it as “crisp green apples and sweet apple blossom”.  It does have a really nice, fresh scent but part of me can’t get over thinking it smells more like a room spray or bathroom spray!  I don’t know why as it does smell nice, but I can’t imagine actually using it on my body….

It was only £1.25 so I will happily use it around the house as a room spray, it definitely won’t go to waste.  I can’t link to this, as it is no longer on their website, although they have lots of other scents in the same spray at £1.25.  It may well come back in the future, as things tend to come and go at Avon.

ColorTrend Kiss ‘n’ Go Lipstick in Neon Orchid – £3.75

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This is the lipstick my friend had.  I immediately asked her what it was and wanted it for myself!  It looks really bright and pretty on the lips.  It applies smoothly and has a nice consistency.  It is a little on the dry side, but not enough to cause any problems, it just means it has good staying power through drinking and eating.  It actually does leave a slight shine and gloss to the lips.  It’s the most beautiful, vibrant colour – I love it!  I only paid £3.75 for this, which I think is a great price, but it’s currently on their website here for just £2!

I also really like the packaging of this lipstick – it’s quite modern and bright (along the theme of their neon colours of this range).  I don’t get why they have used the American spelling of ‘color’ though – this is strange since the next lippie I bought spells it the English way!  Anyway…

Ultra Colour Indulgence Lipstick in Spring Lilac – £8

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This final lipstick was the most expensive thing in this mini haul, but I still think £8 is reasonable for what feels like a good quality lipstick.  Avon describe this range as “silky smooth lipstick with hydrating gels – gives lips a burst of vibrant, juicy colour”.  It also contains SPF15, which is really useful!  That’s something that is often overlooked in lip products.

It glides on and feels so hydrating and comfortable on the lips.  The very flat edge can make it a little difficult to apply neatly, but as long as you’re careful and patient it is fine.  You could always use a lip brush.  I didn’t think this colour would be as exciting as the Neon Orchid one above, but I actually love it!  It comes out more purple than it looks here, but is still a really wearable colour.  I will definitely get a lot of use out of this.  You can still find it on their website here.

I really liked everything I got here, and will get a lot of use from the lip products.  I wouldn’t repurchase the body spray but will make use of it as a room spray.  Avon’s prices are also great – if you’re looking for a bargain, they always have reductions and offers on!

What do you think of my purchases?  Do you like purple lipstick?  Let me know in the comments box!

I’m Normal Poorly!!

Hey guys

Sorry if I’m a bit absent around these parts. I’m very indignant as I’m ‘normal person ill’!!  I’ve got a cold, which I know isn’t a big deal, but on top of my chronic illnesses, it’s making me feel really crappy!!

I had a high temperature at first, so was holed up in bed with a cold, wet flannel on my head. Attractive, I know!

Anyway, if you need me, I’ll be in bed with lots of tissues, Beechams and hot drinks!

Have a great weekend all. Let me know what you’re getting up to.