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Beauty: L’Oreal Detox Clay Mask Review


I’m sure I’ve banged on about my crazy skin before and I’m always on a quest for products that promise to give me clear and glowing skin. I was having a particularly bad skin day (picture warning, bad skin pic below) and I’d just read London Beauty Queen’s post about the new clay masks and thought I’d give the detox one a go.

L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask


Off I scooted to Boots to hunt down one of the detox masks, it was the very last one is the whole store which I think is a good sign as it must be popular. Best news of all the clay masks are currently on offer at Boots for just £5 instead of the usual £7.99.
The detox clay mask is charcoal based which is meant to be great for drawing out the skin's toxins but the downside is – it’s black, not so ideal with a white bathroom! But hey, if that’s the price of clear skin then I’ll take it!

L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask

L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask


The formula is really rich and creamy and drew out all the impurities without drying my skin out. I’ve used cream based face masks in the past and found them to be really drying on my skin it’s really easy to apply an even layer across the skin and dries well whilst working its magic.  I did find it a little harder to clean off and be prepared for your bathroom to look like there’s been a bit of an explosion but, I promise the results are worth it! I have taken to relaxing in the bath with it on – so much easier to wash off.

L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask
Before



L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask
Such an attractive look! 

L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask

There are three different clay masks within the new range each offering a different result – Detox - to draw out impurities, Purity - to tone down oily and shiny skin and Glow – to illuminate dull, lacklustre skin. L’Oreal are promoting multi-masking but for me at the moment I’m sticking to detoxing as it seems to be working its magic.
As you can see from my fairly hideous before picture my skin has reverted to my adolescent self but the after picture was taken two weeks after and it’s so much better! Yay for clear skin!

Have you tried any of these masks or do you have a failsafe product you always turn to in a time of need? Let me know, I’m always on the lookout!


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Beauty: Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box

I love drifting through the beauty hall at Selfridges, it’s just so dreamy and literally makes me want to throw down my bank card and yell ‘take all of my money and give me pretty things’. But, seeing as I have boring things to pay for like house bills I can’t do this. So when I spied on BeautyJunkieLondon about the exclusive summer beauty box, I knew I had to get my mitts on one.

Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box

Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box


When the postman delivered my beautifully packaged box I could not wait to rip the packaging open. It was housed in a Selfridges box filled with yellow and white tissue paper. It was honestly like unwrapping a gorgeous Christmas present!

So what was hidden beneath the tissue paper? Everything was contained inside an exclusive Alphabet Bags canvas pouch with ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in mint green across the front. For me I think it’s a little too big to be a make-up bag but would make a really gorgeous summer clutch bag.

Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box Alphabet Bag


You can’t buy this exact pouch at Selfridges but there are some really nice alternatives, one of my favourites says ‘All that glitters is not gold’.

Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box


Inside the bag I found the following products:


Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box

Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box

Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box


Considering I only paid £35 for this whole box it’s worth so much more!

I’ve had beauty boxes in the past but usually monthly ones where the contents are always a surprise but I think I prefer to pay a little more and know exactly what I’m getting.
I’ve had a look online and this box has now sold out but, I imagine they would do other because this has been so popular!

Do you subscribe to any beauty box services? What do you think? Would you prefer to know exactly what you’re getting each month? 
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Lifestyle: Filling my home with fresh flowers from Beards & Daisies

I absolutely love having fresh flowers at home, it really does make everywhere smell glorious. I try to have flowers in my house at least once a month and really do nurture them for as long as possible, I have been known to keep them a little too long and all the petals dropped all over the carpet. Opps.

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers


I’ve been wanting to do a floristry course for ages now and I’m still researching the perfect one for me at the moment so when I found out the lovely Jo from Beards & Daisies had retrained as a florist after giving up her job as a business manager I really wanted to discover what her company was all about.

Beards & Daisies deliver gorgeous letterbox flowers which are carefully packaged to fit straight through (surprisingly enough) your letterbox! There’s currently six different bouquet styles on the website to choose from and I zoned in on The Skylark purely because it’s bursting with colour and texture.  

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers


My flowers arrived beautiful packaged in gorgeous grey packaging, I don’t know about you, but I think the packaging itself is as important as the contents! Each stem was individually wrapped in netting to protect it during its journey.

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers


Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers


One of the things I loved the most is the card with a hand written quote – mine said ‘Life and love are very precious, when both are in full bloom’ which is from the book Little Women. It’s the extra little touches which make all the difference.

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers


At first I arranged all the flowers in one fancy new wedding vase but decided because there were so many I could split across two (sadly the second isn’t a fancy wedding gift, but hey ho you can’t have it all!) and give each stem a little more room to bloom and look beautiful.

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers


With my curiosity about taking a flower arranging course I asked Jo a couple of questions about her inspiration and what advice she would give to anyone thinking about doing it. I was of course after the inside gossip!

Jo, Founder of Beards & Daisies


What inspired you to start Beards & Daisies?
I was starting to feel like a square peg in a round hole after working long hours glued to a laptop in my role as a business manager 
and I was desperate to be doing something more creative. I made the big decision to leave my job and start the business 
after sending a bouquet to my mum for her birthday as I couldn’t be with her in person and 
I felt disappointed that the flowers didn’t look as beautiful a gift as a bouquet from a local florist would have.
So I quit my job and started what my boyfriend fondly refers to as ‘flower school’ where 
I retrained in floristry and trained with an award winning wedding florist. My love of flowers began when I lived on 
London’s famous Columbia Road in my 20’s where the famous flower market is held every Sunday, 
so my house was always filled with flowers!

What's the story behind the name?
I was planning my sister’s wedding which was in her garden at home and she wanted it very natural and rustic.
Her fiance and his friends happened to all have beards and my sister and I coined the phrase that her wedding would be all ‘beards & daisies’…
I'm not sure if alcohol was involved in this conversation initially… 
The phrase stuck and now I like to think of Beards and Daisies representing men (beards) and women (daisies)…
It’s certainly memorable and that can only be a great thing!

How do you decide which flowers will be included in each different bouquet?
I spend a lot of time looking at colour combinations and floral trends and I then mock up all the bouquets in a vase so 
I can see how it will look when my customers receive them to ensure the colours work together, 
it represents value for money. there are enough flowers etc...

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to try their hand at flower arranging?
There are some great courses out there, including 1 day and evening classes where you 
can dip your toe into floristry before committing. If you don’t want to commit to a course then there are some 
great PYO (pick your own) flower farms out there where you can simply grab a bucket and then fill it with 
freshly cut flowers from the fields. 
Then when you get home you can get hands on arranging the flowers in a vase and see what shapes and colours
 work together!

What's your favourite flowers?
I love delicate flowers that look like they have been picked from wild fields or the garden so for a filler I 
love astrantia right now and I can’t get enough of O’Hara roses which have the most stunning 
smell and their petals look like a work of art, they are just so delicate!
https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

Now you can win your very own bouquet from Beards & Daisies. All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Travel: My essential holiday buys

I’ve been chatting to the lovely team over at Cheap Holidays Tenerife and they asked me what my essential holiday buys were, so I thought I’d give you a little run down of how I get ready for my holiday.

Ibiza Town View From A Boat

 I love holiday shopping and in my mind I make everything ‘essential’, purely to justify the money I’m spending! If I really took a good look in my wardrobe I reckon I’ve probably got enough clothes to last me an entire month and that’s without wearing the same thing twice!

But even though I have a wardrobe and dressing table full to bursting with clothes, accessories and make-up I just cannot resist stocking up before I go. I will always buy new bathroom essentials like shampoo, shower gel etc. even if I already have full ones at home. (This is the perfect time for an eye roll emoji!) I just can’t help myself in Boots and always end up with extras like sea salt spray, leave in conditioner – basically anything that shouts summer!

Ooo then it’s a new swimwear despite already owning about 12 different bikinis and swimsuits I still always need want something a little different for each holiday. My current go to places for swimwear at the moment is New Look and Victoria’s Secret both have styles which really seem to fit my shape.  I’m loving this ‘Beach Squad’ black swimsuit from New Look at the moment and it’s only £17.99!

New Look Beach Squad Swimsuit
Image source: New Look


Now, I love the clothes and accessories in both Mango and Zara but if I’m heading off to Spain or the Canary Islands like Tenerife I will always wait until I’m there before splashing out. They are both Spanish brands and always tend to be cheaper there than they do at home, plus I always find there is more choice and exclusives that you can’t find at home. I picked up this super cute clutch bag for just 9 Euros last time I was in Spain and I haven’t seen it in a UK store! Even with the current exchange rate that’s a massive bargain.

Mango Accressories

Mango Accessories

Mango Catus Accessories


I also always wait until I’m holiday to stock up on cute jewellery. You can guarantee that there will always been a little local market selling really unique and inexpensive pieces. I like to try and find really pretty but unusual 
things which I know no one else will have.

What are your pre-holiday essential buys? Is there anything you will always hold off buying until you’re away?



For more information, please visit http://www.cheap-holidays-tenerife.com/ or call Cheap Holidays Tenerife today on 0800 0124 300




*Sponsored post but all content is my own 
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Beauty: My everyday make-up routine

I never used to be one who wore make up every day, not even a slick of mascara, but as I’ve got older I’ve got into a daily morning routine to make myself look and feel presentable to the outside world. Now I know that we don’t have to wear makeup and should never feel pressured to but, it helps me feel more confident and ready to take on anything.

everyday make up products


I tend to use products which provide good coverage but don’t feel too heavy on my skin. I hate the feeling of a heavy foundation which can feel like wearing a mask.

Now I’m a notorious alarm snoozer in the morning so I try and keep my look as basic and quick applying as possible. I cannot be doing with faffing around at 6.30am trying to give myself a flawless, just off the beach glow! When I have more time, I can spend forever perfecting my look but first thing in the morning – not so much!


So what does my everyday face actually involve and look like?

Here’s a quick rundown of what I use:

·         MAC studio fix powder in NC40
·         MAC blusher in Ripe for Love
·         Benefit boi-ing and eye bright duo
·         Naked basics palette
·         L’oreal cushion foundation
·         No. 7 Airbrush colour balancing primer
·         They’re real mascara
gimme brow
·         Benefit Goof Proof brow pencil

The No.7 airbrush colour balancing primer has been a complete game changer for me! My make-up artist used it on me at my wedding and I have to say I was a little concerned when I saw her coming towards me with a green cream but OMG it is literally the best thing ever. I’ve been using it ever since, it’s so good for balancing redness and evening out my skin tone – which at times is super uneven!

The L’oreal cushion foundation is a new one to my everyday routine, I bought it after watching the TV ad and decided that I had to try it out. So the ‘tap tap’ thing from the ad isn’t strictly the easiest way to apply it but I’ve combined the application with the flat top buffer brush from Spectrum brushes and this seems to give a really good blended coverage. I tend to use this as a based foundation and then apply MAC studio fix over the top for a more matte finish. I do not need anything to make me shinier!

Brows are another thing I’ve finally seen the light on! Being quite fair I’ve never really bothered too much with brow grooming, until I had them waxed and tinted at Benefit – the queen of brows. With the launch of their new brow collection I’ve invested in the Goof Proof pencil with is sooooooo good, completely no nonsense and easy to use. The spooly brush is great for product blending and shape defining.


Benefit Goof Proof Pencil

Benefit Brow Collection


I know I was super later to the Naked Basics palette party but since it’s joined my make-up bag it has been my absolute go to for an everyday natural look.


So that’s it, this is my everyday beauty arsenal which I turn to everyday to help me ready myself to face the world. 
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Travel: Tips on keeping your home safe whilst on holiday

I travel a lot with my job and I do worry about leaving my house especially as we’ve spent such a long time renovating and really making it into a home. The thought of someone breaking in uninvited really sends shivers down my spine!

Passport



I’ve been chatting to the guys over at Chill Insurance and I’ve come up with 8 top tips of keeping your home safe whilst on your travels.

Blogger desk goals


1.       Ok, so this is an obvious one but, don’t have your home address attached to any social networks you use. As I said, totally obvious but it’s a prime thief targeting tool if you have your address available anywhere online. Even if you have the highest security settings on your channels those little sneaksters will still find out!

2.      Even if you’re looking for a speedy departure to kick start your holiday don’t be tempted to leave luggage in your car overnight. Leave it by the front door so it’s ready to go instead of risking it in your car.

3.      Let your favourite neighbour know you’ll be away so they can keep a watchful eye over your house and keep a lookout for anything suspicious. We have a cat, Nigel and during our last holiday our neighbour came in to feed and look after him

4.      Make sure your home insurance is fully up to date and covers everything you need. It’s worth looking to see if your insurance covers things like freezer loss (say there’s a power cut and your freezer defrosts and you lose everything) and water damage – in case of a burst pipe. I know these are worst case scenarios but it’s better to be covered than not. ChillInsurance compare loads of difference insurers to make sure you get the best quote.

5.      Hide any expensive items like laptops and cameras out of sight so no one walking past could be tempted. This is the same if you leave a car on your drive, leave nothing in it on show

6.      Make sure all electricals are turned off and unplugged. We always turn off literally everything we can such as the oven, TV’s, wine fridge (oh yes we have one!) and smaller things like hairdryers and any phone chargers. This not only saves on the electric but also cuts out any fire risks if there are any power surges or power cuts

7.      If you have a garden, make sure any gates, sheds, garages, conservatories or log cabins are securely locked and all expensive items like bikes are hidden out of view

8.      Leave your curtains or blinds open, nothing says empty house like closed blinds during the day!


Let me know if you have any top tips which I’ve missed, I’d love to hear what you do to keep your home safe. 




*sponsored post but all thoughts are my own
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Travel: Postcards from Barbados

I've just come back from another trip to Barbados and yet again the island has captured a piece of my heart. I've got so much to tell you about why you simply have to put it on your bucket list this minute! So whilst I gather my thoughts here's just a few images to inspire you!

St Martin's Bay Barbados


Crop Over 2016

HyperSounds Barbados

Crop Over 2016

Crop Over 2016

Bathsheba, Barbados

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Travel: Going back to Barbados for Crop Over

I’m so excited I could explode, I’m going back to Barbados next week for Crop Over which is basically carnival on the island. I went last year and had the most fun ever! You can check out my photo diary from last year here.

Crop Over 2015


This time I’m going to be staying on the beautiful South Coast at the four star Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels. I’ve already been nosing at the website and it looks so dreamy.

Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels

Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels


I’ve already been checking out the itinerary for my trip and it’s going to include things like T20 at Kensington Oval which is the home of cricket (I’ll need to brush up on my cricket knowledge), a tour of the island in a jeep, touring the island by boat which is one of my absolute favourite things to do in Barbados and the finale is Grand Kadooment.

Keep an eye on my Instagram for updates (of which there will be many) and also find me on Snapchat, username – Kylievj
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Lifestyle: John Lewis has got Christmas all wrapped up

I’m a fully fledged John Lewis fan and I basically want to kit my entire house out with things from their store. So when my friend Becky from English Mum asked if I fancied checking out what they have in store for Christmas, I of course leapt at the chance.


John Lewis Christmas Table


John Lewis Christmas Tree


John Lewis Christmas Tree

Now, I know what you’re thinking ‘not more talk of Christmas’ especially on the hottest day of the year, but it was all just so pretty and not to mention sparkly!


English mum and John Lewis stag
Becky made a new friend

We were greeted with winter gin & tonics from Sipsmith Gin which included a dash of sloe gin and wedge of orange, I think I will definitely be recreating these for Christmas. The lovely ladies from Sipmith gave me the recipe to share with you:

INGREDIENTS
·         25ml London Dry Gin
·         20ml Sloe Gin
·         Great quality tonic (Fever Tree is my favourite)
·         Orange

METHOD
1.       Fill a highball with ice
2.       Add 25ml of Sipsmith London Dry gin
3.       Top with a great quality tonic
4.       Drizzle 20ml Sipsmith Sloe Gin on the top
5.       Garnish with a fresh wedge of Orange

Sipsmith winter gin and tonic

Sipsmith winter gin and tonic

I found the handbag of my dreams – how beautiful is this Kate Spade bunny bag?! I’m just waiting for it to hit stores so I can get my paws on it.

Kate Spade bunny bag


We were also let into a little secret, the fabulous online clothing brand Hush are opening their first concessions in John Lewis stores in Chelmsford, Oxford Street, Leeds and Birmingham and their autumn/winter range looks gorgeous. How fabulous is this sparkly maxi dress and love jumper! (Sorry the pictures aren’t my best work, the spotlights were conspiring against me!).  

Hush autumn winter collection

Hush autumn winter collection


The ladies from my favourite biscuit company of all time, Biscuiteers were on hand to show off their new Christmas range as well as personalising cute Christmas jumpers for us. I think this is the first time ever my name has been on anything! It was almost too cute to eat, well almost!


Biscuiteers Christmas collection

Biscuiteers Christmas collection
So happy with my personalised Christmas jumper
I have to say the goodie bag we were given on our way out in the sunshine was gorgeous and included some cosy grey winter socks, a silver star bracelet from Hush, the best chocolate ever from Simply Chocolate and a Christmas cracker. 

John Lewis goodie bag

John Lewis goodie bag


*includes PR samples but as always all thoughts are my own
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