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University graduate. Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle blogger.

Reviews written

since 02/03/2011


The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith 11/03/2016

Murder, Mystery & Models...

The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith Hi, everyone! I want to start by saying, sorry about not posting but I’ve been so focused on my blog and freelance writing. I will start to post a bit more regularly and consistently now. Today’s review is my very first book review. About The Cuckoo’s Calling is a book I’ve wanted to read for so long as I have heard amazing things and it is written by J,K. Rowling who is one of my favourite authors - her writing to me is so easy to read and also so comforting if that makes sense. The Cuckoo’s Calling is a mystery, crime and detective novel with the main character as Cormoran Strike who is a tall, hairy and unkempt private detective. He is finding out the mystery around the death of a famous and very wealthy model with the help of his new assistant, Robin. I didn’t know what to expect with this book, even though I had heard great reviews, as J.K. Rowling is obviously very famous for her Harry Potter which is very different to a detective/crime novel but she does it very, very well - so much so that I have already bought the second book and I can’t wait to start it. My Opinions Firstly, I love the cover, it is simple but eye catching and it looks great on my book shelf - I have the paperback version. The book starts off well, it is engaging throughout the entirety of the book, for me anyway. I seemed to connect with the two main characters, Strike and Robin, quite quickly and wanted to know what happened with them both as well as the mystery of the death which ...

Cathedral, Chester 24/08/2015

A Must See in Chester

Cathedral, Chester For my birthday on the 15th August *I'm 23 now, cries* I wanted to explore a new city as I love sight seeing and Chester seemed like the perfect choice as there is so much history from the vikings to the romans and there are a lot of things to see. A friend of mine went to the University of Chester and she is always saying how amazing the city is. We live in Manchester so it isn't too far away, although we drove and avoided the motorways (my mum hates motorways and refuses to go on them). With the traffic, roadworks and trouble navigating a new city trying to find a long stay parking space, it took us about three hours! I wanted to go to Chester Cathedral, The Row, the Grosvenor museum and the city's roman walls, sadly my sister became ill half way through the day so we only managed The Row and Chester Cathedral which was really disappointing especially on my birthday but things like that can't be helped. My friend said that we would need at least an hour to look around the cathedral which I thought was a bit excessive but she was definitely right! I've been in so many churches on our holidays around Europe, including Saint Peters Basilica in Vatican City, Temppeliaukion Church in Helsinki and Cadiz Cathedral to name a few. Although I didn't know what to expect with this one as I've only been to Chester once as a toddler and as Chester is a relatively small city, I didn't think it would be THAT big - I was very wrong! Chester Cathedral is Church of England church, it is ...

Jorvik Viking Centre, York 23/08/2015

Visit Viking Age Jorvik

Jorvik Viking Centre, York Last month myself, my sister and my parents went to York for a mini staycation. We've been to York before (around halloween time almost ten years ago) but we all wanted to visit again, especially as myself and my sister were both children at the time and didn't understand or appreciate the history. We drove to York even though the weather for the few days we were going was just rain, rain and rain - typical English summer. I had The Shambles, York Minster, Jorvik Centre and the Castle Museum on my list and thankfully we were able to visit all of them in a few days. About a week before we were going to York we used our Tesco club card points to get a heavy discount on our tickets for the Jorvik centre and when we got there we didn't have any problems using them - so for four adults, instead of being around £40, we only paid £10 in total which was great. The line outside the Jorvik centre was quite long so I would suggest going early in the day as we had to wait in the rain for about half an hour or just over. The staff did come out and hand out umbrellas after a while. The Jorvik centre is easy to find, just follow the people dressed as vikings - they kind of stand out. If there is a wait then there are shops around the Jorvik centre such as Topshop, Boots (the smallest Boots ever) and Fenwicks as well as cafes. If you don't want any spoilers about it then maybe don't read ahead. The Jorvik Centre is built on the site where archeologists found well preserved remains of ...

The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Day Cream 01/05/2015

Worth a try if you have dry/sensitive skin

The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Day Cream The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Day Cream I have tried a few products from the aloe range from the body shop including the foaming cleanser and the toner - both of which are pretty good products although I don't think I would rush out and buy as soon as they run out as I love the Nivea sensitive range more and I like to try new products. However, the stand out product that I have tried from this range is the day cream. I have the small 15ml travel pot which can be bought in sets, I think and I have used all of it up so here are my thoughts. Firstly, I don't like the packaging, I personally don't like putting my finger into the pot as it gets under my nails and it is just pretty gross so I would have preferred it to be in a tube container. I also think the packaging doesn't very appealing and it's quite old fashioned, in my opinion. The product itself is an off white cream day cream that has a slight aloe vera scent but it smells a bit like plastic too (maybe this is just because I have the smaller size, the full size product might be a little different). I'm not a fan of the scent anyway! Although I do love travel/trial sized skincare because I have sensitive, eczema prone skin it's a great way of trying products without having to pay the full price. The day cream is smoothing, moisturising and it doesn't irritate my eczema although I haven't used this product when I have had a full blown eczema flare up - I think it would irritate slightly if I were to use it then (but ...

Soap & Glory iFoam Body Wash 30/04/2015

A disappointing product from Soap & Glory!

Soap & Glory iFoam Body Wash Soap and Glory ifoam Ultra Creamy Body Wash (200ml) Soap and Glory is one of my favourite bodycare brands as well as Lush and Dove however I don’t really treat myself to their products vert often as they are a little pricier than most other products in boots/superdrug. I won this product last year from a competition on the soap and glory facebook page - I was very lucky with competitions last year! I usually use products from the soap and glory original range in the pink packaging with the classic soap and glory scent but this product is very different. Firstly, the packaging design and colour scheme is very different and a lot more unisex. Also the scent is nothing like the classic floral, almost perfumed soap and glory scent. This scent for this body wash is sweet, fruity - it smells like products used on my hair in the salon I go to. The body wash lasts for a while as it is a fairly large bottle and the product lathers quite well too when used with a bath scrunchie/lily (whatever you want to call them!). The scent doesn’t linger on the scent and it isn’t very strong which I am glad about as I’m not a huge fan of the scent; although I love the classic soap and glory floral scent. The body wash doesn’t irritate my skin and it doesn’t dry out my skin. It does leave my skin clean and smooth but it isn’t the best body wash I’ve used, in fact it was a fairly average shower gel in a pretty bottle. Overall, I do love soap and glory products but sadly this product didn’t live ...

Bumble and bumble Surf Foam Wash Shampoo 29/04/2015

Surfs up!

Bumble and bumble Surf Foam Wash Shampoo Bumble & Bumble Surf Foam Wash Shampoo Bumble and Bumble is one of my favourite pricy haircare brands. The surf shampoo and conditioner are two of my faves! The packaging is so cute and simple. The shampoo comes in a 250ml bottle and I have used up all of the shampoo. The shampoo does contain SLS so if you are sensitive to it then you should probably avoid this product. The shampoo smells amazing, the scent is SO fresh, clean and summery. It has a swimming pool/sea/water scent to it and I personally love it and I think a lot of people will but as with all things, not everyone will love it. The conditioner has a very similar scent and I love the conditioner even more; I would definitely repurchase both products, especially the conditioner. The shampoo is so pleasant to use, not only because the scent is so nice and refreshing but also because it lathers so well, it doesn’t dry out my hair and it also doesn’t make my hair feel heavy or greasy. I love the way this shampoo makes my hair feel - it leaves my hair smooth, soft, slightly textured and moisturised to an extent. Sadly the scent doesn’t really stay in my hair, I might have to try the Bumble & Bumble surf spray. Overall, I love this shampoo. It smells heavenly, it lathers well *probably due to the inclusion of SLS* and it leaves my hair smooth, light and soft. It doesn’t irritate my scalp although as mentioned, if you are sensitive to SLS then it might do. Bumble & Bumble products can be bought from so many ...

Nivea Sensitive 3-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Water 27/04/2015

A fantastic micellar water for eczema prone skin!

Nivea Sensitive 3-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Water Nivea Daily Essentials Sensitive 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Water I won this product last year but since then I have bought two bottles myself, as well as the Nivea sensitive night cream and day cream (the latter is a daily essential for me, especially when I have an eczema flare up). Firstly, a micellar water is a makeup remover and no-rinse facial cleanser that was created in France and it supposed to look/feel like water on the skin - and being as gentle/non-irritating. Since then so many brands have brought out their own versions from Lancome, Loreal, Garnier, Vichy and more - Bioderma, as far as I know is the most famous, it’s a makeup artist favourite and the original. As much as I love Bioderma, it is a little pricy (although it’s worth it in my opinion and I’ve gone through so many bottles) so I wanted to try a cheaper version. I wanted to try this product when it was released so it was lucky that I won a bottle and I’ve been loving it on the whole since. This micellar water is unscented, it looks/feel like water on the skin and in the bottle and it also feels gentle on the skin. The micellar water does remove makeup well, I only need a fairly small amount on a cotton pad to remove my foundation, concealer, eyeshadow etc well but it isn’t amazing at removing all of my waterproof mascara. The micellar water doesn’t make my skin feel tight, dry, irritated or stripped which is fantastic although on rare occasions it can slightly sting my eyes although it is a rare ...

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 23/11/2014

A fantastic camera for blogging!

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 Sony Cyber-Shot DSc-H200 Camera I have been using digital cameras for years, especially bridge cameras but I have only used Nikon cameras until now. I haven’t really used any Sony electricals and tech. I bought my camera with a gift voucher for Very and it was on offer so I chose it and I am so glad I did! I have been using this camera for the past 6 months or so and I did take it with me while on holiday in august. -Camera Specifications (from box and the Sony UK website) 26x optical zoom 20.1 megapixels 22.3mm wide angle lens Uses an SD card or memory stick -What is included? In the box I received my camera in Black, an instruction manual, a usb cable, shoulder strap, lens cap, lens cap strap and four AA alkaline batteries for the camera. In all honesty, I never use camera instruction manuals but it seems fairly comprehensive. -Design, ergonomics, weight I love the design, it is simple and sleek although one negative point in my opinion is that the camera is relatively heavy. The weight is approximately 430g which may not be that heavy to some people but it is to me personally however it doesn’t put me off using the camera and it doesn’t affect usage. In terms of ergonomics, it is easy to hold and use with two hands - the buttons are well placed although if you are trying to take a photo with one hand it is difficult because of the design and also because of the weight of the camera. -Using the camera: settings and taking photographs/video There are numerous ...

John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Spray 24/10/2014

Not the dream product I was hoping for!

John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Spray John Frieda Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Styling Spray I have used John frieda products for a while now and I have always been impressed with their quality and performance so when I saw this product I instantly thought it was going to work well. I had been looking for a product like this for a while and as John Frieda is a great brand, in my opinion, I bought it to try. About the product This product is a spray which you spray onto the hair and when the hair is scrunched this product is supposed to “restore definition, elasticity and bounce to natural curls. Leaves hair touchy soft and shiny.” The spray bottle contains 200ml of product and it basically claims to ‘activate and define curls’. This product is alcohol free and contains a thermal protectant.The packaging is quite nice, like all john frieda products, as it is simple and the text is easy to read. Using the product I have used this product quite a few times and the instructions on the bottle are as follows: “spray liberally on damp hair and distribute evenly. Scrunch small sections of hair to help create definition. Allow hair to dry naturally or blow-dry using a diffuser”. I followed the instructions each time I have used this product and it is very easy to use. Firstly I brush my hair throughly to remove any tangle or knots. Then I spray a good amount of this product in my hair, about six or so sprays and as you only need a few sprays each time you use this product, that in turn means that it will probably last a ...

Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm 18/10/2014

The Bees Knees!

Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm Burts Bees Beeswax Lip balm I bought this product a while ago online and I have tried quite a few products from Burts bees over the past couple of years and I love the brand and their values and I have loved the majority of products I have tried. - About the product The lip balm contains 4.25g or 0.15 oz of product. The balm contains a lot of natural ingredients such as sunflower seed oil, peppermint oil, coconut oil, soyabean oil, rosemary leaf extract and more. Burts bees does not test on animals and the packaging is recyclable. The balm claims to be soothing, cooling and refreshing. - Using the product and results This is the first balm that I have tried from burts bees and they do have a large range of lip balms. The balm claims to be cooling, soothing and refreshing and I definitely agree with that! I use this balm a good few times a week, as I do have quite a lot of lip balms and this one is definitely one of my favourite balms. The balm has a smooth even texture and it applies quickly and easily. Unlike other balms, this one is not very slick or glossy when applied, it is quite thick and waxy so it doesn’t make the balm go on as slick/easily as others. When I apply the balm it doesn’t make my lips look glossy or moisturised but it does make my lips feel smooth, soft, moisturised and it instantly makes my lips feel very cool and refreshed, probably because of the peppermint in the ingredients. The instant cooling and refreshing effect of this balm makes my lips ...

Nivea Sensitive Night Cream 13/10/2014

Perfect for sensitive skin!

Nivea Sensitive Night Cream Nivea Sensitive Night Cream Until using this product I haven't ever tried any nieav skincare products, it was just a brand that never appealed to me and I don't like the original nivea scent. However, I won a competition on a blog in which I received the night cream, day cream, cleaning milk and makeup remover from the new Nivea sensitive range and I have fallen in love with the products! - About the product The bottle is 50ml, the packaging is simple, clean and easy to read. The cream is free of parabens, colours and perfume which is fantastic. It contains liquorice extract and grape seed oil. The cream claims to moisturise and prevent redness, tightness and dryness. - Using the product and results I have been using the cream everyday for months, I used up the bottle last month. The second or third time I used the cream, the lid of the bottle broke and would not fit back on showing how poorly the packaging is made sadly as the product itself is fantastic. The cream is an of white colour, it looks very average and it smells clean, fresh and the scent is very very subtle. The cream is very thick so I would only really recommend it if you have dry/very dry skin as I does specially dying the cooler months. The cream applies very smoothly and it feels very nourishing, soothing and comforting on my skin which is fantastic as sensitive skin (I have occasional eczema) can feel very uncomfortable and horrible at times. The cream is a miracle worker, it leaves my skin ...

Bliss Blood Orange & White Pepper Hand Cream 12/10/2014

A handbag essential!

Bliss Blood Orange & White Pepper Hand Cream Bliss Blood Orange and White Pepper Hand Cream Firstly, apologies for my absence from Ciao! I have been using hand cream religiously for a couple of years now as I have a patch of eczema on my left hand which is rather massive and very very dry so I have been going through all of the hand creams I have received as gifts or magazine freebies including this one from Bliss. - About the product I have used a few things from Bliss and in my opinion it is a great brand although it is a bit expensive. This product is a 30ml tube, the packaging is fantastic and eye catching. The hand cream contains some good ingredients such as macadamia seed oil, citrus peel extract, aloe leaf juice as well as others. - Using the product and results I first tried this range when I received the body butter version in a beauty subscription box last year and I fell in love with the scent and formula so when Bliss had an amazing offer where you received five minis when you bought anything, I had to take advantage - one of the product minis I picked was this hand cream. I have been using it on and off for months. The scent is definitely citrusy but it has a slight spicy/musky scent to it which is quite subtle. I really like the scent! The cream itself is a white colour, it looks quite average. It applies very smoothly to the skin, it doesn't feel really greasy or heavy unless you use too much. It doesn't take too long to absorb, although I do prefer other hand creams to this one. The cream ...

ELF Eyebrow Kit 18/06/2014

Cheap for a reason!

ELF Eyebrow Kit ELF Eyebrow Kit (Ash) I bought this kit a few months ago and I haven't been able to get on with it, I find this with most ELF products, they can be hit and miss. There are a couple of ELF products that I love but sadly this is not one of them! - Product description (from ELF UK) "Create brows that are fuller, thicker, and more defined! The pigmented wax defines and shapes brows and the colour complementing setting powder keeps them looking arched and perfected. The doubled sided taklon brush has one side to help arch your brows while the other side aids in filling them in. This duo provides lasting colour definition for a naturally beautiful look." - About the product The kit comes with an eyebrow powder, wax and mine came with a tiny angled brush and a mini pair of tweezers. The tweezers were not very good at all (I have been using the famous tweezerman tweezers which are a bit expensive but they are fantastic)> The little brush wash't great either. The kit looks really cheap, as it was and there is a tiny mirror inside. I bought the kit in the shade Ash. - Using the product and results The shade Ash is really nice, as it doesn't contain any red undertones so it looked natural in my brows and with my hair colour at the time although now my hair as red undertones so the colour is off. The powder is smooth and easy to use although it isn't very pigmented. The wax for me is pointless, it doesn't add colour and it doesn't hold the brows/hairs in place which is the point ...

Dove Beauty Bath Indulging Cream 14/06/2014

A winner from Dove!

Dove Beauty Bath Indulging Cream Dove Beauty Bath Indulging Cream Dove is one of my favourite body and haircare brands from the drugstore/high street, mainly because the products smell amazing and they are just so effective for me and this one is no different. - About the product I have the massive 500ml bottle, which I have used up, it is the indulging cream version. It does contain sodium laureth sulphate which some people are allergic too but it is so common in body/bath products - in this product I don’t have a problem with it personally. I love the packaging, it is quick and easy to use. - Scent The scent of dove body products is just amazing, as well as some of their haircare, it is the gorgeous original Dove scent. It smells so fresh, clean and comforting to me, it smell like linen and fresh bedding. - Using the product and results The product is a thick creamy body wash really, I only use it as a body wash in the shower although you could use it as a bubble bath product. It smells so gorgeous when I use it, its just heavenly! The cream feels really soft and luxe on the skin, it cleanses the skin well without stripping it or drying it out which is fantastic. It doesn’t irritate my skin or cause any negative effects. It lathers well, probably because of the sodium laureth sulphate which is a lathering agent. It washes off quickly and easily, it is just a gorgeous product and the 500ml bottle lasted me so long! - Price and availability It is currently on sale on the Boots website for £2 ...

Simple Kind to Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser 31/05/2014

Simple but effective

Simple Kind to Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser *before I start this review, I wanted to say sorry for the absence, I have been busy with my blog* Simple Kind To Skin Rich Replenishing Moisturiser I have gone through about ten or so bottles of this moisturiser including a bottle or two of the light moisturiser as it is so cheap and it doesn’t irritate my skin. Simple is a great brand for sensitive skin as well as Organic Surge, Green People, Pai, Bioderma and Avene. - About the product The moisturiser comes in light and rich versions and they are 125ml each. The moisturiser contains pro vitamin B5 and Vitamin E but it doesn’t contain artificial colours, perfume or chemicals. I like the packaging, it is simple and easy to use - as well as being practical and hygienic. - Using the product and results The moisturiser looks and feels like any other cream moisturiser, it is white and fairly thick as well as having a very smooth texture. The cream is quick ad easy to apply, although since the first bottle I have always had to apply a couple of layers of the cream (even with the rich one) because it has never been as moisturising as I need it to be, but I kept using it as it never irritates my sensitive, dry, eczema prone skin. It has a smooth texture so it applies nicely and it doesn’t leave the skin looking or feeling greasy, heavy or oily. It absorbs fairly quickly and it makes a nice base for makeup. Overall, I would recommend this product for those with normal, sensitive, combination and slightly dry skin types - ...
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